County Commissioner JoAnn Birrell and the entire board of commissioners should be applauded for the new policy giving an edge to Cobb County businesses during the process of bidding for work to be paid for by taxpayer funds. After all, part of what these companies will earn for their services comes from tax dollars they paid.
We have long needed such a policy. Cobb County is home to a host of companies and professionals, who are as competent as any in the state. We expend countless dollars and energy in the drive to attract businesses to Cobb County, but once we get them here, we do little to retain them.
I have numerous friends who operate various types of construction companies as well as architectural and engineering firms and their biggest complaint is that they cannot get contracts fromCobbCounty. It has always galled me a bit to read that a contract has been awarded to company in Douglasville, Atlanta, Decatur or some other place not in Cobb County.
What remains now is for the CCSD and the School Board to adopt the same policy. More than one professional, when bidding on Cobb County school work, has told me that Doug Shepard, the Chief Administrative Officer of SPLOST, makes no secret of the fact that he prefers working with the “big companies in Atlanta”. Fine, he is free to do that, when he is spending HIS money, but, when he is spending OUR money, he needs to look first at the people closest to home.
In many cases, the people who work for these companies also call CobbCounty their home, and they pay taxes here. Awarding work to them is a win-win situation.
It does not take any more intelligence than that possessed by a Moon Pie to realize we are all better off when we keep our own folks employed and busy. Let’s get with the program here, CCSD.