Steve Penley, renowned Georgia painter, has penned…err….brushed a message to critics (critiques?) of both Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s response to the #snowpocalypse last week. You can see it to the right of this text. There are a lot of people upset over the seemingly lack of preparedness for the weather event by metro and state governments as well as the response. It’s easy to say that decisions should’ve been made differently, but of course, hindsight is 20/20.
I know my colleagues on here have written posts concerning the snowy weather last week, but this too shall pass. We’ll “overreact” expecting the worse when the next #snowpocalypse comes barreling towards us and then fizzle out when it gets here. Also, wondering how many of the folks complaining about schools closing due to the threat of snow are now criticizing government officials for dropping the ball. You can’t have it both ways. Heads probably will roll within GDOT, and I expect Senator Jason Carter to get some mileage from this matter (I would like to know where his big “make it stop snowing” button is). I expect Governor Deal’s primary challengers to make use of this ordeal as well.
Anyway, back to Mr. Penley. He posted the the note as a response after his work was unintentionally ridiculed by national media when a portrait of Mayor Reed, painted by Mr. Penley, was given to the mayor for his award as being “Georgian of the Year” by Georgia Trend magazine…coincidentally the same day as the snow started to fall. From Atlanta Magazine:
You see, his original painting of Reed — the one presented to Hizzoner at Tuesday’s Georgia Trend magazine Georgian of the Year award presentation at the downtown Ritz-Carlton — photobombed the award picture with Deal, Reed and Georgia Trend publisher Neely Young. This is the same photo that Deal’s folks posted on his Twitter account Tuesday as the flakes began flying in the city. That now infamous tweet has circulated all week on the news and across social media. It’s been largely used to condemn the elected officials as being out of touch, posing for grip-n-grins in the basement ballroom of a luxury downtown hotel as traffic gridlocked all around them. The photo and painting even made Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart during Thursday night’s scathingly funny report on our weather mishap.
Penley has painted numerous politicians and business leaders over the years for the state’s business monthly magazine, including the original work used for Reed’s 2014 Georgian of the Year January cover. Reed was given the painting at Tuesday’s luncheon.
Most meteorologists in this area would probably tell you that winter weather in our area of the South is hard to predict. This winter storm could have gone either way*. Unfortunately for Mayor Reed and Governor Deal it didn’t. Mayor Reed has already been re-elected, but Governor Deal may have to fight a little harder in May and November.
*The forecast for Chattanooga last Tuesday morning called for no accumulation or some light accumulation up to 1 inch. No warnings or advisories were issued until after it started snowing here. The forecast was revised later in the morning and again later in the afternoon for accumulations up to 2 inches, so it did catch us off-guard.