Lee using ‘accounting voodoo’ on stadium deal
December 23, 2013 10:32 PM | 1942 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

The Chamber of Commerce secretly decided Cobb needed a baseball stadium. No one can object since sports figures are treated like gods in modern America. So they dress up a few Chamber trophy wives in Cobb Braves T-shirts to hysterically tomahawk chop at token hearings and order their commission puppets to ram it through.

A new stadium will provide more seats close to the field, better luxury boxes, personal seat licenses, enhanced concessions, naming and advertising rights. All the stuff that Turner Field was supposed to have. Plus they can create some temporary construction jobs and build new restaurants and hotels (and put some old ones out of business). This will allow them to steal great jobs like selling peanuts from people in Atlanta who can’t afford the gas to get to Cobb.

Naturally, the MDJ is wild over this. But a state expenditure of any sort, or even state-backed bonds, must meet a public purpose. A new stadium has alleged potential benefits, but the benefits have not been demonstrated and have not been measured against pressing public needs.

Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee gets around this with accounting voodoo where funds designated for park land can be used to pave green space. Chamber stooges in the state Legislature get Georgia taxpayers pony up for some unnecessary road building and taxpayers in Atlanta get stuck tearing down a 20-year old multimillion dollar investment.

The only good thing is that it will make a MARTA train paid for by Cobb an absolute certainty. Even the greedy Smyrna Braves would not be stupid enough to come to Cobb without a secret deal to build one. Tim Lee denies it, but who believes anything he says? Atlanta should find some minor league team to come to town and use Turner Field since there is no Atlanta team anymore.

Johnny Plunkett

Smyrna

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