Lee: Cobb workers must still take remaining furlough days
by Laura Braddick
lbraddick@mdjonline.com
July 28, 2011 12:00 AM | 3285 views | 44 44 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Cobb County employees will still be furloughed for two more days before the end of the fiscal year on Oct. 1 despite commissioners approving a property tax increase with a 3-2 vote Tuesday.

The two remaining furloughs are Aug. 5 and Sept. 2.

Chairman Tim Lee said using the tax increase to eliminate the two remaining furlough days, which were implemented in April as part of a budget cutting measure, was never a guarantee, although his original millage increase proposal included that plan.

“Everything is a proposal until it gets voted on,” Lee said.

Earlier in July, Lee proposed increasing the millage rate to 11.21 mills, with a 1 mill increase for the general fund. But on Tuesday night, commissioners approved a millage rate of 11.11 with only a 0.9 increase to the general fund.

“We didn’t implement the full mill increase because we decided we just needed to keep moving forward with cost cutting measures put in place,” he said.

Even though eliminating furloughs was on the original proposal, employees were never officially told by the county that the furloughs would be eliminated, Lee said.

Lee added the fact some employees have already taken five furlough days while others will be furloughed on the upcoming scheduled days was a “part of the equation,” but not a deciding factor.

“The idea to propose a lower millage increase for the general fund and keeping the remaining furlough days came about independently,” he said. “One did not lead the other.”

Commissioners approved five furlough days in April as part of a measure to help fill a projected $27 million hole for fiscal 2011. It was the first time in county history that employees were furloughed.

Most all departments under the county manager’s office were required to close on the scheduled dates and employees were not paid for those days. The days were distributed so that they did not fall during the same pay cycle.

Public Safety officials coordinated their own furloughs while the Superior Court Clerk and Sherriff’s offices were allowed to implement the furloughs or cuts as they saw fit.

Commissioners participate in the cuts and furloughs as well, Commissioner Helen Goreham pointed out at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We took a 10 percent cut to our department, gave back our mileage and took furloughs,” she said.
Comments
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anonymous
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July 30, 2011
kennesaw Voter your view has so many inaccurate statements and accusations it means nothing. stop spouting off lies and trying to get others upset who are also uninformed. I'm also a hard working taxpayer.
Kennesaw Voter
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July 30, 2011
As a hardworking Cobb taxpayer I do express my view on government waste and taxpayer abuse; my view just happens to match many thousands of other taxpayers. If our BOC does not continue to cut the size of county government they will be hitting us taxpayers with another millage increase next year and then Cobb county will very much like Dekalb, Fulton and Clayton counties...please dont do that to us BOC. Us taxpayers cant wait for the next election.
anonymous
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July 29, 2011
your worong about cobb emplyees not caring. I would support the millage regardless of that fact. I also pay taxes so I guess I pay myself with your logic. If you think having 15k votes is teeny tiny, you must not see how many actually turn out. Our voice will also be heard
anonymous
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July 29, 2011
your way misinformed kennesaw voter. Its amazing how off you are on most things.

hybrid plan is 5% deduction taken from all eligible earnings (excluding overtime)

on a pre-tax basis for the purposes of making contributions. you can also participate in the Defined Contribution component. this additional

pre-tax contribution will be deposited into a 457 account and Cobb County will make a 50%

matching contribution, up to 2%, which will be deposited into a 401a account.

in addition to the mandatory plan , I invest my tax return into my own IRA plan. Maybe you should worry about yourself and less about us.
anonymous
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July 29, 2011
"If not then you might as well give troubled kids a handgun and the attitude to match."

Great comment.

When that kid has a gun pointed in the face of a family member and pulls the trigger, then maybe putting wallets and narcissism won't look so appealing.
Kennesaw Resident
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July 29, 2011
@Kennesaw Voter

Since we have it so well (90 percent?!?!?!....yeah, ok), applications are available at the Cobb County Website. But remember, it will be a government sector job, not a private one (i.e. lower pay for better benefits).

The even better news is that if you actually get hired, the MDJ won't have to buy additional web server storage for, nor will we all have to painstakingly look at, all your ridiculous posts.

Kennesaw Voter
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July 29, 2011
Deep down you know I am right. Low taxes, efficient government, and responsive to the taxpayer government.

Cobb should have a 401k set up for employee retirement...not a 401k like set up (whatever that is). Cobb taxpayers should not be on the hook for Cobb government employee retirements...PERIOD. Look at the mess Atlanta is in because their leadership was so corrupt several years ago an now the new Mayor Reed has to try to clean it up...all the while, their city employees scream because he is trying to correct things...what a rip off they have. Cobb should only match the first 5 percent of what an employee puts in which is what private sector companies do...but no...Cobb puts in about 90 percent which is a big fat ripoff of the county taxpayer....and still cobb employees want the taxpayer to pay more...well most of us hard working taxpayers are sick of it and will let the BOC know it come election day.

checked!
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July 29, 2011
senior citizens -check

Tea Party - check

home owners -check

cobb employees - check

Other than the private landscape contractors, who has Tim Lee not driven away from his name on a ballot? I honestly think that Mickey Mouse has a good chance of being our next chairman.
A Taxpayer
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July 29, 2011
Honestly, Kennesaw Voter has it right. Bloated government hurts everyone. Of course, Cobb County employees don't care. They know which side their bread is buttered on; they don't mind sticking the citizens with higher tax bills, as long as the county employees can maintain their stream of income. Well, it's too bad for those employees that they only make up a teeny, tiny percentage of the voting population. The rest of us believe in smaller government. If the commissioners and the County employees didn't hear our voices clearly enough before, they're sure gonna have a rude awakening come election day.
anonymous
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July 28, 2011
-- anonymous wrote on Thursday, Jul 28 at 02:36 PM » Cobb employees have been screwed again!!! The mass exodus of qualified and experienced employees continues, wake up Cobb County Taxpayers, you are turning into DeKalb and Fulton Counties! --

Just where are all these government workers exodusing to? Another job? Really?
miguelit
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July 28, 2011
Kennesaw Voter- Yes I am happy. I DO NOT consider this a tax increase. The $DOLLAR$ amount I will pay in property tax even with the millage increase is still about half what I paid in 2007. To me, they can call the millage rate whatever they please, it is the dollar figure I am concerned with. Cobb at least is responsible enough to lower the millage when they don't need it and raise it when they do. And no, I don't think any county employee expected the furloughs to go away, when they tell you not to expect anything, you expect nothing minus more.
Kennesaw Voter
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July 28, 2011
Yes i have a job, i clean up litter boxes for my mom's cats. I live in her basement and can get on the computer anytime i want as long as she is at work. This tax increase kills my mother, she just said last night that she might have to buy me store brand fruit loops from now on.Show some compassion for me....
anonymous
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July 28, 2011
based on the comments on this board it sounds like Cobb County is sorely lacking in Christians. No one should wish hardship and suffering on anyone no matter the circumstance. we reach out to our neighbors in tough times and offer help. sounds like most on here just step on there head and hold them underwater so they can suffer too. sad
anonymous
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July 28, 2011
if there is a mass exodus the only ones leaving will be the ones its citizens will want to keep. The ones with degrees and the ability to get better jobs in a bad economy. Your going to be stuck with the employees who can't be fired, don't care anymore, HS Educated if your lucky, , and then the 300 or so retirees will be leaving. good luck

the new retirement plan is a 401k genius
anonymous
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July 28, 2011
kennesaw voter- despite the furloughs I would have voted for the millage hands down.I moved here for a quality of life not offered everywhere. If I didn't want to pay taxes for these types of services I would have moved to South Georgia
peepserver
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July 28, 2011
Kennesaw voter - one question. Can you say with any reason which departments have too many employees?
TRUTH HURTS
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July 28, 2011
KENNESAW VOTER, YOU ARE AN IDIOT! READ THE PAPER MOORE OFTEN. COBB COUNTY WENT TO A 401K TYPE PLAN ALMOST 2 YEARS AGO. WHAT A CLOWN!
madashell5555
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July 28, 2011
I guess now would be the time to tell some of you to go stick it. The millage rate was rolled back in 2006. So now by this mill rate being passed, we are actually back to where we started. Some of you are smart enough to realize this and you also realize that in order to have the things we do, we have to pay for it. I noticed while watching not only this meeting and all of the other BOC meetings this year that the people with the biggest houses and most expensive vehicles did not want the tax millage increase. I also noticed that the land barons did not want an increase as well. The real hard workers did want an increase because they realized that in order to have the services that are NEEDED , the money has to be there. Yes , I agree that Hankerson made some really dumb purchases and he should be held soley accountable for Hyde Farm, the public safety village and a host of others. Where has he been the last six months????

In the other meetings it seems as though the only thing that people cared about was libraries and feral cats that are held at the pound. The seniors were left to rot , because the people in charge of those centers were not proactive they were reactive. Some of you all should be ashamed at yourselves for pissing and moaning during these meetings that you cannot afford the millage increase. If some of you would live within or below your means, then it would be very affordable. Designer coffees and designer clothes can take a back seat. If you want future generations to have a chance in life , then we need parks, swim centers and places where they can go. If not then you might as well give troubled kids a handgun and the attitude to match.
Cobb Resident
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July 28, 2011
I think the furlough days should be permananent. I haven't noticed a problem.

I have eight furlough days this year myself, so why not put them in place for good!
SO-f-u-n-n-y!
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July 28, 2011
THIS comment takes the cake:

Told you that Lee was lobbying employees to encourage the tax increase - they did and blogged and wrote and talked to their neighbors.

HAHAHAH - I told you he was lying and you all drank the koolaid

I find it funny

================================================

I guess I missed that email, phone call, memo, fax or carrier pigeon that told me what to do.

Wonder how on EARTH I thought about emailing my commissioner, talking to my neighbors and blogging all on my own little initiative. Guess I was just lucky!!

Ummmm... didn't the anti-millage supporters have the same rights to take the same actions?

What a moronic comment.
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