From all accounts Atlanta would have had a worthy mayor in Sidney Marcus, a long-time Georgia state legislator, as well as Andrew Young, who defeated him for the office in this week's runoff election. But there is an inevitably greater sense of anticipation in the prospect of this troubled city on the move being led by a figure of national and international reputation. The postelection assurances of cooperation between the two men should help provide the climate for achieving their mutual goal of Atlantans working together to solve their problems.
Mr. Young left his United Nations ambassadorship in controversy over talking with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization. He embarrassed the Carter administration with outspoken comments that were not the conventional wisdom about allies and adversaries. But, as in his civil rights movement days, he seemed to be thinking more of others than himself, saying what he thought rather than what he was expected to say. These are valuable attributes in a politician - or anyone else - and they helped Mr. Young bring American relations with the developing world to a peak of good feelings and promising relationships.
It is well that people like Young not be lost to public service in the United States. His tenure in Atlanta will be watched with interest.