County considering hiring 6 new employees
by Geoff Folsom
gfolsom@mdjonline.com
April 23, 2012 12:48 AM | 4307 views | 12 12 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — While Cobb County government is looking to eliminate positions, county commissioners will consider hiring six new full-time employees.

Commissioners will take up the issue at their Tuesday meeting.

The new employees will work for the county Department of Transportation, primarily to work on sidewalks that are part of the 2011 SPLOST program, said Dan McDuff, deputy transportation director.

The total budget item will cost the county $602,000 per year. Bill Shelton, Cobb DOT road maintenance division manager, said that includes salaries, equipment and concrete.

The six workers will be paid between $21,000 and $31,000 annually, not including benefits, Shelton said. The money is being transferred from SPLOST funds into the DOT’s operating budget.

McDuff said the county is hiring the workers to build sidewalks because it will save money. McDuff said using county workers will cost around $125,000 a mile, compared to $300,000 for contractors. This will allow the county to install nine more miles of sidewalk over the four-year SPLOST.

Still, the county is not abandoning contractors for the sidewalk projects. McDuff said it plans to spend $8.4 million on contractor-led projects, compared to $2 million for sidewalks using county crews.

Certain jobs require contractors, McDuff said.

“If there are lots of walls, lots of grading, things like that, we would certainly like to go to a contractor,” he said.

The county will also have a public hearing on the closure of Turner Road east of Barrett Parkway, located off Macland Road in west Cobb. Commissioner Helen Goreham, who represents the area that includes the road, said West Cobb Funeral Home is asking the county close and abandon the public right-of-way on the road in order to expand, possibly adding a parking lot.

“It’s needed from a development standpoint,” Goreham said. “That part of Turner Road is not functional and doesn’t connect to anything.”

McDuff said Turner Road basically became a dead-end street once it was split up due to the construction of Barrett Parkway. At one point, the part of Turner Road that’s up for closure had mobile homes located on it, but the trailers are now all located west of Barrett Parkway.

“There’s really no purpose to the road,” he said.

Public hearings are required any time a county road is closed, McDuff said.

The Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in their second floor meeting room at 100 Cherokee St. in Marietta.
Comments
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Reba S.
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April 26, 2012
I was shocked to see the sidewalk on Dallas Hwy. that leads to nowhere. Who in their right mind is going to walk along a super busy highway when they can walk the great trails at Kennesaw Mtn.? Also, the sidewalk is wide enough for a semi-truck!!!How many people do they expect at one time? What a super waste of my money!!!
Kennesaw Voter
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April 24, 2012
I support the local SPLOST for roads and sidewalks in Cobb and have voted yes every time. Good job with hiring the 6 folks to build the sidewalks and saving some money so more sidewalks can be built.

BUT i am totally against the TSPLOST because it is a boondoggle...Cobb County got the short end of the stick and frankly the project list is a rip off for much of metro atlanta. VOTE No on it in July...and also vote TIM LEE OUT too.
Just Saying
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April 23, 2012
Why would anyone in their right mind work for Cobb County at this point when people are leaving right and left. Benefits are becoming increasingly unaffordable and non-existent.

Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere.
Devlin Adams
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April 23, 2012
By waht authority are SPLOST funds transferred to an operating budget and used for salaries?
homeownernextdoor
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April 23, 2012
Very good question Devlin!

If Splost money can be used as salaries to the same end, which is a transportation department project, and it can be done through a series of tranparent and legally correct motions, I think it is worth moving the money out of the 'per se splost budget' and into into the salary budget. If it is an example of the county ultimately saving taxpayer money, then government should be applauded for creatively, and legally and tranparently doing so.

If it can be done in the case of sidewalks, (again legally and as fiscally sound means to a taxpayer savings end), THEN THE COBB COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD SHOULD TAKE NOTE AND DO THE SAME! CCSD should get that $300K manuevered back to the teachers' salaries.
to useless
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April 23, 2012
Do you think that sidewalks might have to be installed in sections rather than all at once?
nobamamama
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April 23, 2012
Perhaps the county needs to hire stormwater mgt. people who will work on behalf of the

Cobb county citizens whose homes are not protected due to retention ponds not in compliance... maybe also a group of people who will work diligantly to protect homeowners from developers like DDR who come in, rezone areas that should not be rezoned, and then take advantage of the laws that Cobb county commissioners should be following when approving these rezonings.... OR maybe even spend the money on a watchdog group that makes sure the commissioners are voting on things that have been FULLY disclosed and not misrepresented. (ie Sandy Plains Village shopping center) District 3.....
Useless sidewalks
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April 23, 2012
I am disgusted at the waste of taxpayer dollars for sidewalks. The new sidewalk that starts nowhere and leads nowhere on Dallas Highway to John Ward Road is absurd. Who the heck is going to walk on that sidewalk? Just another example of government waste!
More Talking Points
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April 23, 2012
Spoken like a true tea-partier.
Say What?
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April 23, 2012
It's only a waste to those who drive everywhere. You need to get out and enjoy the sunshine a little bit. Maybe your disposition will improve and you could save a little gas!
anonymous
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April 23, 2012
Cobb County is actively pursuing the continuation of an integrated and multi-modal transportation system that promotes compliance with the federal Clean Air Act by emphasizing the need to create increased pedestrian travel opportunities by expanding the sidewalk network and developing a pathway

program.

Whenever possible, developers will be encouraged to construct sidewalk along the right-ofway abutting their developments. The pathway program takes pedestrian access one step further by

providing safe, convenient access to activity centers such as schools, park, and shopping centers in an effort to encourage pedestrian and non-motorized vehicular travel.

translation: get of your fat butt and drive less
OnTheOtherHand
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April 23, 2012
Actually I am looking forward to the sidewalk on Dallas being completed up to the Kennesaw National Battlefield Park. It is difficult at times to access the park parking, and ultimately the trails.

Some of us enjoy getting out for a good, safe walk!

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