Wiles chairs the 19-member Cobb Legislative Delegation and word has it that he irked some members of the delegation by refusing to hand over the gavel during the morning part of the delegation's annual meeting on Monday, during which local groups and municipalities turned out to present their wish lists for the upcoming legislative session.
Tippins didn't bother to attend the meeting, nor did a number of veteran legislators, among them state Reps. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna), Bobby Franklin (R-east Cobb), Matt Dollar (R-east Cobb), Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder), Terry Johnson (D-Marietta), Sheila Jones (D-South Cobb), and state Sens. Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna) and Steve Thompson (D-Marietta).
And a number of those who did attend, such as state Sen. Judson Hill (R-east Cobb), put in only a token appearance and spent most of their time absorbed in their Blackberries.
One lawmaker remarked the poor attendance showed a lack of enthusiasm that could be attributed to Wiles presiding.
Wiles finally left during the afternoon portion of the meaning, turning over the gavel to state Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), who serves as the delegation's vice chairman. Setzler, who says the new chairman of the delegation will be elected the first or second week of the new session, which begins Jan. 10, is considering running for the position himself, but hasn't made a final decision.
Former Smyrna State Rep. Rob Teilhet, a Democrat, is another local casualty of the incoming Nathan Deal administration.
Teilhet, whom Gov. Sonny Perdue named in September as executive director of the state's Public Defender Standards Council, told staffers Thursday that he would be gone after Jan. 10, when Deal is inaugurated as governor.
Teilhet told the Journal that he was notified Wednesday night, and he sent an email to staff Thursday morning notifying them of the change.
Brian Robinson, the head of Deal's transition team, told the Journal: "Rob is highly respected in both parties. The governor-elect appreciates his service to the state." Later on Friday, Deal announced he has named W. Travis Sakrison, 40, currently deputy chief district attorney in DeKalb County, to take over at the public defender standards council.
Teilhet's wife, Heather, is well-known in GOP circles and was a top aide to Perdue, serving as a spokeswoman and later as director of external affairs. The couple - who, given their differing parties are considered the Mary Matalin-James Carville of Cobb - are the parents of twin daughters, age 2. The family lives in Smyrna.
This summer, Teilhet campaigned for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General, but lost handily to Ken Hodges (who ultimately lost to Republican Sam Olens).
The Deal team insists such changes are normal with any new administration. But word on the street is that the fallout is a result of Deal's belief that Perdue's people actively supported Karen Handel's bid for the GOP nomination against Deal. Still, though, Deal has not announced a wholesale house-cleaning of state department heads.
Last week, AT reported that a Marietta resident, Heidi Green, a Perdue loyalist, would be replaced as the state's economic development commissioner when Deal takes over.
Dr. Andy Steinhauser, who teaches AP government and other subjects at Hillgrove High School, and before that taught at east Cobb's Walton High School for several years, has been named to the transition team of incoming state Schools Superintendent John Barge.
While Steinhauser told the Journal that Barge is reaching out to teachers with his appointment, Barge's team does include the superintendents of at least four districts in Georgia, including Dr. Alvin Wilbanks of Gwinnett, whose system was recently named the best in the country. Steinhauser also coaches wrestling at Hillgrove.
Honorary co-chairs of Barge's transition include Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, whose district includes part of northeast Cobb.
By the way, the word is that Barge, who is from Cartersville, has close ties with the three new members joining the Cobb School Board in January - Kathy Angelucci, Scott Sweeney and Tim Stultz, and also current member Alison Bartlett, whom many think will be the next board chair. This puts this prospective new board majority in good shape because, as the old saying goes, it pays to have friends in high places.
Betty Siegel, the always-smiling, gracious lady with the big red glasses who is widely admired for treating everyone with kindness, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree during today's graduation ceremonies at Piedmont College in Demorest. This will be her - count 'em - seventh honorary doctorate, said her husband, Dr. Joel Siegel, who also has a Phd. and is a retired associate Kennesaw magistrate judge. Since retiring from the presidency of Kennesaw State University in 2006, Ms. Siegel has traveled the world promoting ethical leadership in such spots as South Africa, Hong Kong, Berlin and Crete. Her friends say whenever she decides to end her globetrotting, there are plenty of folks here in Cobb who would like to see her do some work here. After all, she could probably give some of our politicians a much-needed cram course on ethics.
outgoing Georgia Public Service Commissioner Robert B. Baker Jr. has been named a partner at Cobb law firm of Freeman Mathis & Gary LLP.
Baker was first elected to the PSC in 1992, and was the first Republican to win a statewide election in Georgia since Reconstruction. He served two, six-year terms on the PSC and did not seek re-election this year.
Baker is known as a maverick Republican who is often credited with standing up to the big utility companies. His wife, Joselyn, is also well-known in Cobb circles. She was a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson in his failed senate bid in 1996 and served as press secretary for former Gov. Roy Barnes. She currently is director of communications for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
"Those who follow Georgia government know well Bobby's reputation as a bright and innovative public servant, with an unmatched reputation for integrity," Managing Partner Ben Mathis said in a news release about the partnership.
FMG is a specialty litigation firm based in the Galleria area.
short shots: The North Cobb and East Cobb business associations will hold a joint holiday party from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Mansour Center, 995 Roswell Street in Marietta. And the NCBA will host Piedmont Church pastor the Rev. Ike Reighard as speaker at its 11:30 a.m. meeting Wednesday. The association meets in the Fellowship Hall at Piedmont Church, 570 Piedmont Road.
That's all you can say about the recent Gobble Jog, sponsored by the MDJ and presented by WellStar Health System, and the biggest fundraiser of the year for MUST Ministries.
After the 10K, 5K and fun run races were finished at the Marietta Square, officials estimated that a record field of more than 7,000 had participated. But after plowing through all the data, race officials learned the actual number of entrants was 8,333 - a stunning figure for a winter foot race.
Making this kind of participation even more stunning is what it does for MUST Ministries. This year's Gobble Jog raised more than $265,000 and drove the figure raised for MUST by the Gobble Jog to over $1 million for the past eight years.
"The benefit of this race is that with record numbers of people in our community needing help right now, there are record numbers of people coming to support the cause," said the Rev. John Moeller Jr., MUST Ministries president and CEO
And where does this money go? Last year, with an army of 4,600 volunteers, MUST served 31,612 individuals in need, giving away an estimated ton of food a day.
Deserving applause in helping make the race such a rousing success are: Betsy Mathews, event chairperson and special events coordinator for MUST; Howard Cox, an event sponsor and co-chair of the race and a MUST volunteer; Lane Henderson, head of MUST corporate relations and race co-chair; Annette Lee, resource development coordinator for MUST; and Carole Wisdom, MUST vice president of development.