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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Community groups demand government transparency in Cobb County, Ga.

Taxpayers in Cobb said they are tired of government officials not listening to them.
A coalition of 13 community groups ranging from Tea Party patriots to Sierra Club devotees will be meeting in full force to demand open communication with Cobb County government leaders on a host of topics.

Citizens for Governmental Transparency (CGT) will convene Tuesday, March 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Turner Chapel A.M.E. Church, 492 N. Marietta Pkwy. in Marietta. Organizers are asking all members of the community to attend who are interested in legal challenges to government decisions and who may want to run to replace current political officials.

The organization held its first Town Hall in February in response to the Cobb County Board of Commissioners agreeing to use taxpayer money to construct a new Braves baseball stadium. The decision was made without seeking voter approval in an area already plagued with huge transportation problems.

Public financing is estimated to cost taxpayers over $500 million in additional taxes over a 30 year period, according to CGT.

"I don't understand what is motivating these politicians, but the way Tim Lee runs commission meetings bothers me," said Dave Browning at the last Town Hall held by the group. "As a professional, I had to fight traffic to even stay alive," said the now retired worker who stated that Braves traffic congestion in Cobb without a proper transportation plan will be a nightmare.

Ken Howell said Cobb needs to find a proactive solution to transportation issues.
Ken Howell said he has a problem with Commission votes on transportation, too. "They couldn't afford rapid transit until the Braves are coming to town. Now they will be spending $900k on a shuttle! We need to stay focused on the money," Howell said.

Other issues important to the group are cronyism in government, the power over commissioners held by the Chamber of Commerce, and the attempt to keep 17,000 Hispanics living in Cobb from becoming citizens with voting rights.

Carlos Garcia is organizing taxpayers to push for citizenship rights.
"I can't vote, but I pay taxes," said Carlos Garcia of the Cobb Immigrant Alliance, one of the groups in CGT. "I cannot vote now, but I do not make that an excuse not to get involved," he said.

For more information on this topic, call 404-573-1199 or 770-876-2070.

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