Interview with Walter Huntley

Then speak about how you came to work for Maynard Jackson's administration. What drew you to it?


Ah, basically, ah, I was working for an urban research organization called Research Atlanta. And um, Maynard was vice-mayor at the time, and he was, ah, interested in alternative revenue sources. Where would the city be, ah, with regard to its finances in the next ten or 15 years. And, I was working in the area of taxation and finance at the time, and was the one that was to do the, ah, briefing session with him. So, we came in and we started talking and I briefed him on where things were going. And ah, he asked me, you know, where was I from, and I told him I was from Texas. And then he said, "Well, look, I'd like for you to stay in Atlanta." And ah, at that time I'd only been in the city about a year and a half, and ah, he seemed very sincere. I didn't know that much about, ah, politics. I'd been doing mostly empirical research. And, ah, I guess within two weeks, someone called and said, ah, the vice-mayor's thinking about running for, ah, mayor, and he would like for you to work, ah, in his campaign on his issues group, as, ah, in the area of taxation and finance. And, I said, "Great, how much does it pay?" And they said, "Nothing." So, ah, I figured it would behoove me to, to get a little bit more involved in the political process, and understand what was going on. And he seemed to be, ah, very dynamic, and so that's how I started working, ah, for the mayor. He won, I made the right decision. And ah, started out, ah, as a special assistant in 1974, I think, ah, he took office in January, and I began, ah, working for him in March of '74.