‘Spoiled brats’? plenty of reasons to oppose TSPLOST
May 16, 2012 11:27 AM | 3982 views | 15 15 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee compiles his “reading list” to take to the beach this summer, we’d suggest he be sure to include a copy of Dale Carnegie’s perennial best-seller, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” He might learn that the art of persuasion has little to do with hurling insults.

To his credit, Lee apologized on Monday for something he should never have said in the first place. It came to light on Monday that Lee, while meeting with the Georgia Community Coalition on Friday, had described county residents who oppose construction of a light rail line here as “spoiled brats.”

“Let me apologize for calling anyone a spoiled brat,” he emailed the MDJ. “Sometimes my passion for an issue gets ahead of me and I certainly wish I had chosen a better description.”

Lee added that he was referring to “those who are opposed to every new idea for bringing more jobs and prosperity to Cobb County.”

Lee’s original quote came to light via a blog entry on Tomi Johnson’s Wingcom Watchdog website, which also said Lee blamed opponents’ racism for the county’s failure to embrace light rail.

Tracked down by the MDJ following Monday evening’s town hall meeting he hosted in Mableton, Lee declined to comment on Johnson’s report that he had accused light-rail foes of racism.

Lee’s remarks came against the backdrop of the pending July 31 metro-wide referendum on whether to approve a 1 percent Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. That tax, if approved, would include $689 million for “premium transit service” from Acworth to the MARTA Arts Center Station in Atlanta. But the project list for the tax as originally approved would have earmarked that money — the bulk of Cobb’s share, in fact — not for a new bus line but for construction of a light rail line from the Arts Center Station northward to Cumberland Mall, a mile inside of Cobb.

The rail line proposal proved so toxic to so many Cobb residents that Lee backtracked and persuaded other regional officials to substitute the “premium transit service” on the project list instead. But the widespread perception remains that if the tax is approved by voters that the rail line would quickly make its way back atop the list. Such a line is eagerly sought by the Cobb Chamber and Cumberland Improvement District insiders who are backing Lee, and by lower-income residents of south Cobb, but has found little support elsewhere in the county. Critics complain that most of Cobb’s share of the TSPLOST would be used on a project that barely even touches Cobb, point out that federal funding for the line is doubtful and worry that local taxpayers would be on the hook for eternity to pay its operating and maintenance costs.

Adding to the pressure on Lee, he’s expected to face three opponents in the July 31 Republican Primary in his race for another term.

But the bottom line is that there are many valid reasons for opposing the TSPLOST — and in the minds of many, those reasons outnumber the reasons for supporting it. Moreover, as noted above, the arguments against it have nothing to do with “racism” or with being “anti-progress” or “anti-prosperity.” And as Lee well knows — or should know — few, if any, of those opposing the TSPLOST would fall into the category of being “spoiled brats.”

We understand that the stakes are sky-high for Lee, but he should know by know that you can change peoples’ minds faster with facts, figures and flattery than you can with insults and invective.
Comments
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Bye Bye
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May 21, 2012
Sounds like Tim Lee is on his way out... It's time for Tim Lee, David Hankerson and all the other Cobb leadership to leave. When the economy was good they had it easy and could sneek by. But now that they actually have to lead and make difficult decisions they are in trouble.
anonymous
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May 18, 2012
Spoiled brats?

C'mon Tim.

Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.

Oh I'm sorry!!

Was that a racist comment?

OK I'll try something a little more juvenile so Mr. Lee can understand my point.

Takes one to know one!!!
Mike Sims
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May 18, 2012
Lee is typical of today's politicians. Folks like him need to be kicked out of office. They make big salaries and want more money for their friends.

rjsnh
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May 17, 2012
I will vote against Lee and Tsplost...call me any name you like.
West Cobb Mom 4
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May 16, 2012
I voted for Tim Lee last time around but won't make that mistake again. He lost me when he pushed the last SPLOST as urgent and practically promising that if it passed there wouldn't be a need to raise taxes. And, shortly thereafter he and the Commission raised the millage rates increasing property taxes on Cobb property owners. Most voters will not forget this, nor his labeling those of us opposed to the TIA as "spoiled brats". His apology did not come across as sincere. It reminds me of the many apologies one hears in the vein of "I'm sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings" which isn't a true apology wherein one accepts responsibility for their actions. Oh, and Ms. Goreham...I haven't forgotten your support of that millage increase. I will not vote for you either. I WILL be at the polls on July 31st!
anonymous
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May 16, 2012
Let's see Cobb taxpayers shafted with SPLOST, government buddies get lucrative construction contracts.

Hmmm... no, thanks.

Take that choo choo and run it where the sun doesn't shine.
Pat Sullivan
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May 16, 2012
We should vote against anything that takes additional money from taxpayers and gives it to any level of government to spend on our behalf. I believe we have gone so far down the line of being bilked that there is no sane path for return. I hope others will heed my advice and vote no on this SPLOST and any other future measures that do not CUT spending.
I am 100%
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May 16, 2012
against Tsplost and Tim Lee.
anonymous
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May 16, 2012
You had my vote for TSPLOST (not necessarily you) until those words came out of your mouth. There is a Chinese proverb that goes something like, "believe a man the first time they tell you something".

Mr. Lee, I believe you (and your friends).
br548
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May 16, 2012
That's some backhanded apology! To paraphrase, " I apologize to those stone age citizens who fail to see the wisdom of my words. I am sorry they are that stupid and hope through my assistance they may see the light."
SG68
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May 16, 2012
'I wish I had chosen a better description"

So Mr. Lee your opinion about those who oppose the TSPLOST has not really changed at all has it?

In your mind they are still spoiled brats, racists, bigots, anti progress and anti jobs and anti prosperity.

It my opinion you just don't have the vocabulary, the intelligence or the common sense to avoid spewing derogatory, inflammatory remarks about Cobb County citizens and taxpayers that don't support the agenda that has been dictated to you by your handlers at the Chamber and CID.

Great!! That's some apology!!

Admit it Tim you just don't have what it takes to lead Cobb County.

This has little to do with your position on the TSPLOST. That just happens to be the latest example of your inept judgement and leadership.

You have proven over and over again, by your actions, as well as, your inaction on various and numerous issues that you are are not suited for the job of Commission Chairman.

For those of you who will castigate me for this personal critique I will offer as my motivation what I think Tim Lee's mature and well thought out response would likely be:

"But Mommy he started it"!!
rosecolored glasses
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May 16, 2012
Tim Lee will be re-elected by a comfortable margin no matter what the MDJ and it's followers whine about. The TIA plan is good although not perfect and will pass. Speaking of mature wasn't it this newspaper who editorial page editor who claims that Obama is a Muslim? And if you all don't see race as part of the issue you are living on a different planet.
Devlin Adams
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May 16, 2012
Hey, Rosecolored glasses. A very appropriate name as that seems to be how you view the world.

So, you think Tim Lee will win the election, that TIA is a good thing and will pass, that this newspaper called the President a Muslim and that there is racism involved in opposition to TIA?

If you truly think that, then let me tell you about this peachy ocean front lot I have for you, just east of Yuma, AZ. This month we are running a special, buy one and we will throw in a lifetime pass to ride the Goodrich blimp.
SG68
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May 16, 2012
@ rose colored glasses

Unfortunately I have to agree with you on two of your predictions

Tim Lee will be re-elected

and

the TIA will likely pass (although I think Cobb County may vote no)

But that doesn't change the fact that both of those outcomes are going to be very, very bad for the future of Cobb County.

As far as your racism comment is concerned that doesn't rate a response.
anonymous
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May 17, 2012
Like the old saying that a hit pig will squeal when racism is mentioned, racists will squeal.
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