The MDJ “Around Town” column on Saturday, January 12th, discussed the controversial IMAGE certification issue that the Cobb Commission is now leaning towards implementing. It is my opinion that in the long run the IMAGE program will ultimately become extremely beneficial to Cobb County.
The AT column also mentioned that Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee was unenthusiastic about supporting the new IMAGE law because he had close ties to the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and he worried that it might be anti-business. Hopefully, Lee’s eventual decision will be decided independent of any pressure from the Chamber.
However, what does concern me is that since Lee took office a couple of years ago he has demonstrated that he often leans toward the issues that the Chamber of Commerce favors and seeks out its approval. Mr. Lee is an amiable person and is allowed to lead and vote any way that he desires, as long as he doesn’t break any laws.
However, I’m confident that he can try harder and do better. Rather than trying to please and be so cozy with the Chamber all the time, I honestly believe that our county would be better off and could accomplish more if Lee was more of an independent, self confident, free-thinking decision maker. His close attachment and open partiality to the Chamber only serves to raise several questions about where his loyalty belongs and causes many to wonder who’s actually controlling or governing our county.
Under no circumstances should it be the mission, or even the perception of one, that the Cobb Chamber can regulate, strongly influence or control Cobb’s business. There needs to be a large transparent space between the goals of the Chamber and the operations of the county government. Right now relationships appear way too close for comfort.