Here’s my current assessment about the Parks Bond issue ...
We have some good news at last. Cobb’s Board of Commission Chairman Tim Lee was quoted in the MDJ (12-31-15) that he plans to take the first step towards issuing the 2008 park bonds to purchase open land for public parks. He also said that he was going to propose forming a new green space committee to locate new properties that may be obtainable with the parks bond money. Nevertheless, since the $40 million referendum was overwhelmingly approved in 2008, the binding rules of the bond resolution and the nearly seven year delay is not good news. As a result, when the remaining parks bonds are issued they will generate a significantly smaller amount of money to acquire available park land. In addition, there is far less land remaining these days to pick from than in 2008 and the prices are considerably higher per acre. And that’s bad news.
Tim Lee also said that he has adopted his predecessor’s, Sam Olens, position not to issue the parks bonds if it would amount to a tax hike. After doing some searching, I couldn’t find any written information to substantiate Sam Olens position. Mr. Olens’ position certainly wasn’t pointed out to the public prior to the parks bond referendum vote.
Even before the Atlanta Braves and the Cobb Board of Commissioners created, approved and signed their Memorandum of Understanding in November 2013, Cobb County’s economy had already rebounded and recovered. So here’s the approved parks bond in line way ahead of the Atlanta Braves waiting for the county BOC to issue the bonds. Tim Lee now says that when the budget cycle came around each year they looked at the Parks bond and said no. So why did they say NO each year?
Meanwhile, the BOC and the Braves literally shoved the parks bond referendum aside and quickly moved to the front of the line for issuing bonds causing a major disturbance with 190,271 voters that approved the parks bond referendum. And on top of it all, neither the BOC or the Braves asked any citizen if it was OK with them.
Based on Mr. Lee’s intentions to go forward, wouldn’t it be a great idea to immediately begin the process of issuing the parks bonds and then select a new land search committee in due time?
This is my final question. Is there a law that decrees an elected official can’t raise taxes without being kicked out of office? Our elected county officials act like there’s one.
Published on January 10, 2016 in the Marietta Daily Journal