Bartlett asked for the amendment because she didn’t believe that the “bundled” project should be bundled, it was over budget and not needed, specifically because enrollment figures at Harrison had become stagnant. Since the vote the Harrison community has been in an uproar and political newcomer Heather Ryan has announced plans to run against Bartlett this summer.
Morgan’s vote came as a surprise because in February 2011, he voted in favor of the ninth-grade center location and hiring of an architect at a cost of about $500,000.
Board watchers say Morgan’s switch was political payback against board member Lynnda Eagle, who had been outspoken in January against his pet Teach For America project. Eagle reportedly passed Morgan a note before the March 22 vote asking if he was still on board on Harrison. He reportedly wrote back to the effect, “Not this time.”
When reached by phone on Friday, Eagle said that she had reached out to Morgan since requesting that Harrison be put back on the agenda but said, “I was not given any commitment.” She also said that she wouldn’t be attending Bartlett’s town hall meeting scheduled for tonight at which Bartlett will be trying to explain her reasoning behind her vote on Harrison.
And don’t look for Bartlett to change her mind, even though doing so might make things easier for her politically. AT’s source reports that she said on Friday that, “Everybody knows I don’t trade votes.”
Eagle said Friday she hadn’t heard anything about the talked-of quid pro quo, and that Morgan had not mentioned it to her.
“In theory I’m not opposed to Teach For America but we are still at about 40 elementary school teachers that we hope to find positions for,” Eagle said. She is talking about 350 teacher positions the district is trying to whittle away via attrition so that they can “fix” a portion of the $62 million deficit they may face next year.
Cobb Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa, who supports TFA, has said on numerous occasions since January that he would not make any recommendations associated with the program for at least another year, so either the board chair, vice chair or two board members would have to support putting it back on the agenda.
At that time, Hinojosa was planning on placing 50 TFA teachers in Cobb and paying for their training, which would cost about $400,000, by reaching out to members of the business community, in addition to using funds from a $350,000 Race to the Top grant that was denied. The source said that if the vote did in fact come back up though, he wasn’t sure how it would be funded this go-round.
WHAT LOCKHEED MARTIN F-22 PROGRAM veep Jeff Babione described as “Raptor Nation” was all present and accounted for one last time on Wednesday at the delivery ceremony for the final of the 195 Raptor fighter jets produced at the Marietta plant.
Thousands of those who had worked on the program since its drawing-board days in the mid-1980s and more recently crowded into the southeast corner of the massive B-1 Building for the ceremony, then gathered to pose en masse around the last Raptor for a group photo just outside the hangar.
Lockheed VP and Site General Manager Shan Cooper got high marks for orchestrating an occasion that went off without a hitch, with even the weather cooperating. And although the event was top-heavy with Lockheed and Air Force brass past, present and future, the remarks offered were notable for their brevity.
Cooper pointed out that the F-22 program marked only the third time that the Marietta plant had been able to “bookend” the first delivery of a new aircraft built here with the final one.
“And very much like C-141 StarLifter and C-5 Galaxy, the F-22 dramatically changed the way we did business here,” she said of the plant, which previously was known mostly for building cargo planes, heavy bombers and maritime surveillance aircraft.
“The new world of fifth-generation fighters was something completely different for the Marietta team. Parts with incredibly tight tolerances, applying the stealth coating, making sure that each F-22 had a radar cross-section roughly equivalent to a bee, and fly at supersonic speed on every first flight.”
Said Blackwell to Around Town before the ceremony, “It’s a sad day and a happy day. It will be great seeing it take off for the last time — but I preferred seeing it take off for the first time.”
CLARIFICATION: Tuesday’s Around Town reported that John Skelton, who’s running against Rebecca Keaton to succeed the retiring Jay Stephenson as clerk of Cobb Superior Court, had received $9,600 in in-kind contributions from Eureka Laboratories of Marietta. That raised eyebrows, as the maximum allowable contribution limit for the primary and general election is a combined $5,000.
The apparent discrepancy caused Marietta lawyer Mark Lane to file a complaint with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.
Skelton responded to Around Town that the figures reported to the state by his campaign were incorrect.
“(It) was reported in our financials as $9,600.00 but should have been reported as $960.00,” he said.
Eureka, a graphic arts company, is owned by Jerrett Dornbush, son of Elva Dornbush (chief deputy clerk under Stephenson), and wife, Barbara. Around Town mistakenly reported Tuesday that the company was owned by Elva Dornbush. ...
A “meet and greet” for retired Marine Col. Mike Boyce, who’s running for Cobb Commission chairman, will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the 3462 Sheridan Chase home in east Cobb of John and Jill Lively.
CALVARY CHILDREN’S HOME in Powder Springs will hold its 45th annual Open House today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Calvary was founded by the Rev. Ben Turner in Smyrna back in June 1966 after he was given two gifts: $600 and 300 concrete blocks. Calvary now is housed on a spacious 15-acre wooded tract in west Cobb at 1430 Lost Mountain Road and has provided a temporary home for hundreds of needy young people through the decades.