Other Voices: Braves stadium fight is not about baseball anymore
by Gary Pelphrey
December 03, 2013 08:51 AM | 1002 views | 5 5 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print


As I sit here on this Thanksgiving morning, I count my blessings — a loving wife, both of us in good enough health for our age, a full belly, some good friends still alive, some college classmates connected with us by the Internet — close enough, but not too close.

I’ve made some new friends these past two weeks, at concerned citizens meetings held in some store’s utility space — meetings called for 7 p.m. after work, where some are eating their fast food dinners, some arriving a half hour late, apologizing, saying their boss kept them late.

We were meeting to stop the obvious railroading through of a document that commits our county and its people to raising some $692 million in bonds, a 30 year obligation, including an annual debt service expense of $17,900,000.

Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee was insensitive enough to the purpose of the public hearing requirement to present, in the agenda, a version of the document different from that published 10 days earlier; he added insult to injury by making two more ad hoc changes to the document after he had closed the floor for public comments.

After Lee passed his motion, the winning group assembled to celebrate in the Strand, just across the street. As I was walking through Glover Park to my car, I passed the Strand marquee. I could hear the music, the crowd noise of laughter, tinkling glasses, congratulations all around.

In Glover Park, I passed a homeless man, limping along, obviously cold, carrying a sign saying “I’ll work for food.”

This is not America; this is not Georgia; this is not Cobb County. We must stop looking the other way, away from corporate welfare.

This is not about baseball any more. 

Gary Pelphrey

Attorney at Law

Comments-icon Post a Comment
December 03, 2013
"This is not America; this is not Georgia; this is not Cobb County."

- Ummmmm, perhaps you should check your medications?
Kevin Foley
December 03, 2013
And I'll bet Cobb County tax payers picked up the check for the celebration, too.

The shareholders of the $17 BILLION Liberty Media thanks Cobb County for handing over $300 million of your tax dollars, the biggest corporate give away in Cobb County history.

December 03, 2013
Did you give him any food or money?

If you didn't give him any food or money, I will conclude that you are no different than the Chamber of Commerce...only you want to give taxpayer money to people you feel sorry about and are more than willing to whine about it - but very unlikely to take any substantive steps on your own to address the situation.

Fact Check !
December 03, 2013
Perhaps the man on the street will become the man at the counter, on either side, because he has a job.

Revenue bonds are expected to be issued for $276 million, not the $692 million cited. Expected better recitation of the facts from an Attorney at Law. Here's the breakdown;

$276,000,000 - Cobb's commitment (REVENUE BONDS)

$ 92,000,000 - Brave's commitment

$230,000,000 to $280,000,000 Brave's cash due 2017

$ 10,000,000 - Cumberland CID

$ 14,000,000 - Cobb DOT improvements

The Revenue Bonds will be funded through car rental tax, hotel room tax, no net increase in property tax millage when the park bond is retired, plus a Cumberland CID 3 mill levy applicable to commercial properties only.

Estimated job creation:

5,227 construction jobs

3,141 ongoing ballpark jobs

827 jobs due to visitor spending

Should we instead just cut a check to the man on the street? While many are critical of what you consider corporate welfare, similar criticism is accurately delivered when discussing waste, fraud and abuse of gov't. programs... The Obama Phone comes to mind; Disability claims spiking after unemployment insurance expired, Medicaid fraudulent claims, EFT cards being used in foreign lands to support lavish vacations, and on, and on, and on...

I'll take the Brave's and Cobb's leadership to stimulate our local economy over the latter all day, any day!

Chop, Chop !
December 03, 2013
Did you give him a job?
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