Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bob Ott, Cobb County Commissioner, sits alone in hot seat during citizen's Town Hall

Ott (seated at left) listened while citizens discussed how to hold politicians accountable.
Bob Ott, one of four Cobb County commissioners who voted for the Atlanta Braves Stadium deal, answered questions from frustrated citizens who said his vote could negatively affect quality of life, taxes, security, traffic, and education in Cobb.

The meeting, sponsored by Citizens for Governmental Transparency (GCT), was held last night at Turner Chapel A.M.E. Church in Marietta. It was facilitated by Sabrina Smith of Gwinnett County, a member of the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots, and Sharon Hill, a public relations and logistics consultant from Powder Springs.

Some folks are wondering whether the group has just been established to vent or to really make positive changes in Cobb.

"We are not anti-Braves...what matters is the process...what happened to 'the people said?' " exclaimed Hill who asked attendees to Tweet their concerns to the media. Many in the audience seemed to be trying to figure out how they could benefit from the Braves move, either by business contracts or transportation improvements.

Two main discussion points: where is the money coming from, and how will Cobb handle Braves' game traffic.
According to the Cobb County government website, "The total budget for the new stadium is $672 million. This includes the stadium, parking and other related infrastructure. Atlanta Braves will be responsible for $372 million and the remaining $300 million will be contributed by Cobb County and the Cumberland Community Improvement District." Anyone who works in project management knows that projects often go over budget, and taxpayers may end up with additional bills.

The meeting was a fact-finding, emotional roller coaster that often turned heated.

Also in attendance were several candidates running for political office, including Nathan Wade, superior court judge candidate, Cindi Yeager, solicitor candidate, and Joseph Pond, District 3 commissioner candidate. "A lot of people don't have the money in this economy to donate, but we can use your sweat equity," Wade said.

Yeager said citizens should get involved in political campaigns and not just vote.
District 2 Commissioner Bob Ott, who is also a licensed pilot for Delta Airlines, said he did everything he could to responsibly represent voters in the area where the new stadium will be built. As far as transportation goes, Ott said it is unclear what will happen four years after the Braves move to Cobb County. As for now, Ott said major road projects on Windy Hill Road include "alignment of interchanges and divergent diamond" construction.

He said potential benefits of the Braves moving to Cobb will be construction of mixed use developments near the stadium and jobs. Attendees voiced concerns that job opportunities generated by the move will not include Cobb residents, and businesses that will benefit most will be operated by outsiders.

WingcomLtd. reached out to Populous, the architectural firm selected by the Braves to design the new sports facility, and the Atlanta Braves to ascertain what skills will be needed by potential employers, but they had not returned calls or emails before posting this article.

To learn more about Cobb County government's assessment of the Braves move, go to:
http://portal.cobbcountyga.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3220&Itemid=156

2 comments:

  1. Business friendly politicians have pretty much taken over America's political landscape, local to national. Not much you can do in the short term but negotiate terms of surrender. The price one pays for not minding the store before it's robbed. ;-)
    Let's hope more people will wake up and reverse the trend over the next couple of election cycles.

    ReplyDelete
  2. PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) ® credential is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers. Recently I went for a PMP prep course by the training provider mentioned above, the instructor was too good and I passed with relative ease. Looking forwards to apply what I learned in PMP class in my company.

    ReplyDelete

Please leave a comment or email your comments to tomimot@gmail.com.