ATLANTA - Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is in a standoff with outgoing Atlanta school
Superintendent Erroll Davis, and the mayor's angry remarks have been recorded.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher learned the issue stems from nearly $20 million that the Beltline owes to the school system.
But what infuriated Reed is that Davis threatened legal action and admitted to doing so to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Nobody's going to negotiate at the end of a gun. So, if you're going to take hostages, you'd better be ready to shoot the hostages,” Reed said to Davis at an Atlanta Beltline board meeting last week.
“(It’s) totally inappropriate to have an executive have that kind of conversation in the newspaper with the amount of support that the city has given Errol Davis,” Reed said during the meeting.
Reed also offered a blunt analysis of political realities in Atlanta.
“The Atlanta Beltline is the most popular public project in the entire city of Atlanta -- by a lot -- more popular than APS,” Reed said.
He doesn't cave, said the mayor, and he won't this time.
“So let's tee it up, and let's go. You take the actions you need to take, but I want you to be clear, I'm going to be equally aggressive in addressing whatever you do,” Reed said.
Cynthia Briscoe Brown, a member of the school board and the Beltline board, sent Belcher an email Wednesday afternoon that said, in part, “For over a year, APS has tried to resolve these issues. Our commitment to the beltline is unquestionable, but our first responsibility is to the children of Atlanta.”