Mission Statement: The current goal of the Cobb Parks Coalition is to achieve full funding of the $40 million Cobb County Parks Bond Referendum approved by
voters in 2008 for the acquisition of park land.
Great News! On Tuesday, April 11, 2017, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners provided partial funding of the 2008 Park Bond in the amount of $27.5 million to buy land for parks. Please help us secure the remaining $12.5 million to fulfill the voter-approved $40 million Park Bond referendum with a friendly email to the Board.
Cobb County Chairman Mike Boyce officially signing $27.5 Million of the $40 Million Park Bond 2008 Referendum on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 with Parks Director Jimmy Gisi, County Manager David Hankerson, and Cobb Parks Coalition representatives Norman Fagge, Roberta Cook, Morning Washburn and Joe O'Connor. Roberta and Morning are holding a cup representing $40 million Park Bond amount.
The Park Bond 2008 Referendum:
Cobb voters passed a $40 million Park Bond referendum in 2008 to buy properties to save as parks. On April 11, 2017, the Board of Commissioners provided $27.5 million towards Park Bond funding, so now $12.5 million more is needed to fulfill the referendum. Email a "Thank You" to the Board for taking action on the 2008 Park Bond to purchase land as parks in Cobb County.
#1 Action You Can Take to Help:
Send an Email: Email the Cobb Board of Commissioners to complete funding for the $40 million Park Bond from 2008 voters approved by referendum.
or you can call the Board of Commissioners at (770) 528-3000
#2 Attend a meeting: Attend the next Board of Commissioner meetings on Tuesday, May 9 at 9:00am and Tuesday, May 23 at 7:00pm. 100 Cherokee Street, 2nd floor. Wear green. Contact Roberta for more information.
#3 Write: Pen a Letter to the Editor at the Marietta Daily Journal: email@example.com or the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Check out the Blog for example letters)
#4 Share: The Cobb Parks Coalition website & Facebook page with friends and neighbors!
#5 Join our group: Become a greenspace advocate by attending the next Cobb Parks Coalition meeting, Monday, May 15 at 10:30am-12:00pm, Harry's Whole Foods Community Room, 70 Powers Ferry Road, Marietta. Contact Cynthia for more information.
100 Cherokee Street, 2nd Floor, Marietta, GA 30090
The Scoop: Park Bond 2008 is a voter-approved Referendum that has not yet been funded but the earmarked Park Bond money is instead being reallocated to another project (in this case the Braves stadium financing) before funding Parkland purchase as voters decided by Referendum vote in 2008.
Clearly Board of Commissioners is obligated to fund the full $40 million Park Bond with already earmarked funds before moving those funds into any other project.
Funding Park Bond 2008 requires no tax increase, because more than enough taxes currently exist in the long-standing Debt Service Fund to repay Park Bond 2008 easily. Read the latest blog on The Choice: $8 refund of 300 acres of new parkland
If the Park Bond Referendum is not fully funded, it appears to be a bait-and-switch, because voters approved the money for parkland preservation, not another project. Park Bond 2008 must be funded first.
Here are articles in the news about Park Bond 2008 funding and the Braves deal:
From Cobb County Braves FAQ Page:
"Will my property taxes be used to pay for this (the new Braves stadium)?
Currently .33 mills of your property taxes pay for the parks bonds that were issued in 1996, 2007 and 2008. The last of those bonds will be paid off in 2017 and 2018. The millage will then be shifted to the General Fund when these bonds expire to raise an equivalent amount of revenues of $8.67 million. Those monies will then be used to pay for bonds to finance SunTrust Park construction. The average amount of .33 mills per household is $26 per year and this shift of funding will not impact other government services such as police, libraries, parks and other services."
Watch WSB-TV Coverage of the Park Bond Story!
Cobb County park bond likely another factor in commissioner race
Above are pictures of 15-acre Furr Property in South Cobb, under threat of development
All Properties Chosen for Purchase in 2009 with Park Bond 2008 Have Been Re-Nominated for Purchase in 2016.
The $40 million Park Bond 2008 was overwhelmingly approved by voters with 67% of the electorate, yet the Board of Commissioners has not issued the Bond money to purchase any park property.
Why Fund the Park Bond 2008 Referendum? Cobb County should fund the full $40 million to fulfill the voter-approved Park Bond referendum, especially if the County is using Park Bond money for other purposes. Cobb County needs to purchase at least 8,000 acres to achieve its own greenspace goals, yet Park Bond 2008 would likely save fewer than 400 acres. Fully funding Park Bond 2008 is an essential first step toward protecting the natural resources and quality of life in Cobb.
Therefore, we request that the Park Bond 2008 be issued now, and listed below are 5 more reasons reasons why.
- Voters approved this Park Bond in 2008 and have the right to petition the County to use those funds, especially before the County re-appropriates those funds for any other purpose, such as a stadium.
- Property values only get higher, and the sooner the $40 million from the 2008 Park Bond is spent, the more value Cobb County residents will get for their money for Park Bond approved in the 2008 referendum.
- Developers are purchasing and building properties at an alarming rate, leaving very little ideal land left to be saved. Many of the Park Bond properties have already been developed, or are under threat of development.
- $40 million is such as a small amount but what it gives back to people is priceless: a place to enjoy nature with friends and family.
- Passed in 2008, the Park Bond has been allowed to languish for 7 years and counting. This is too long to wait for a voter-approved, easily funded referendum.
From November 4, 2015 Commissioners, get back to work on parks bond article by former President of the Cobb Parks Coalition Paul Paulson in the Marietta Daily Journal:
"Greenspace. Soul food for the spirit. We all need a taste. But in Cobb County, it’s endangered. Back in 2008 when it was learned that over 90 percent of our total acreage had already been knocked down by the blades of development, the people stood up and demanded action. Our Cobb County Board of Commissioners was compliant, agreeing to a ballot initiative asking voters for permission to issue $40 million in general obligation bonds in order to buy land for future parks in perpetuity before it was all gone.
Like the promise of food to a starving population, the idea took off. Regular folks joined the ranks, recruited others, engaged the press, manned phone banks with some even speaking to Sunday school classes early Sunday mornings. On Nov. 4, 2008, 65 percent of Cobb voters gave their blessing to issue the bonds. A mandate, no less. Pure democracy in action.
Yet, now in 2015, we still wait for the Commission to do its duty. We wait, as once again, the rejuvenated economy has awakened formerly idled bulldozers and Cobb’s green is rapidly bleeding red. And our elected officials stand proud to measure our economic health according to the growth in housing starts. But I wonder, are they equally proud of that same growth spreading like a cancer consuming the last of what makes a place home? Our elected servants seem to have forgotten their place..." Read entire article.
Why It's Important
We are asking that Park Bond 2008 be issued as soon as possible, before re-purposing the property tax funds for any other project, such as the Braves stadium financing.
Please support this endeavor by sending a quick email to the Board of Commissioners, asking them to use the Park Bond 2008 for parks.
"Preserving greenspace in Cobb County isn’t just a benefit; it’s a necessary part of preserving society’s connection to nature, history and the community." Read more on the importance of Park Bonds and saving Greenspace in Cobb County.
Questions & Answers
- Q: "Could Cobb County pay for both Park Bond 2008 and the Braves stadium?"
A: Yes, but Park Bond 2008 needs to be paid first according to the 2008 vote, before shifting the property tax approved for parkland into a new 30-year Braves stadium bond.
- Q: “On the Cobb County Braves FAQ page, it says the stadium financing is taking the property tax rates of the issued Park Bonds from 1996, 2007 and 2008. Why is Park Bond 2008 included when it has never been issued?”
A: The $40 million Park Bond in 2006 was issued in two installments: in 2007, $25 million of the $40 million was spent, and in 2008, $15 million of the $40 million was spent. The Cobb County Braves FAQ is misleading because the real Park Bond 2008 has not been issued yet, rather Park Bond 2006 was spent in 2 phases.
- Q: “Are the results of voter-approved referendums binding? In other words, isn’t the County under an obligation to fund a voter-approved referendum, certainly before re-appropriating those funds?"
A: That is a good question, and many wonder why citizens should have to petition the County now on an already voter-approved referendum. Ethically, it would seem that Park Bond 2008 or any other voter-approved referendum should be at the top of the budget to-do list every year.
- Read more Frequently Asked Questions here.
$40 million Park Bond 2006 preserved nearly 400 acres of parkland, while $40 million Park Bond 2008 has not been issued yet. The 30-year Braves Stadium Financing Bond will generate $258 million of reallocated revenue earmarked for Park Bond 2008. The $40 million Park Bond 2008 should be spent as voters intended before paying for the new Braves Stadium.
Cobb County is Below the National Standard of 10 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents
Cobb County is Below the National Standard of 10 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents