Citizen of the year: Tim Lee
by Rachel Gray
January 26, 2014 12:48 AM | 5978 views | 13 13 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta Daily Journal Publisher Otis A. Brumby III presents Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee with the Cobb Chamber 2013 Citizen of the Year Award. <br>Staff/Todd Hull
Marietta Daily Journal Publisher Otis A. Brumby III presents Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee with the Cobb Chamber 2013 Citizen of the Year Award.
Staff/Todd Hull
MARIETTA — After shocking Cobb County more two months ago with the announcement of the Braves’ impending move to Cobb County, it was Chairman Tim Lee’s turn to be surprised.

At the Cobb Chamber of Commerce 72nd Annual Dinner, MDJ publisher Otis A. Brumby III honored Lee with the Citizen of the Year award late Saturday night.

“There are certain news events in life, good and bad, that we remember where we were when we heard the news,” Brumby said, suggesting the move will be such an event in Cobb.

The Braves announced their decision to move to Cobb on Nov. 11. The Cobb County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 Nov. 26 to approve the move and give the team $300 million in public funding for a new $672 million stadium.

Lee was the key player who worked quietly with county government officials and the Cobb Chamber of Commerce to ensure the Braves moving to Cobb was a solid deal.

“Lee was criticized by some for keeping the public in the dark too long,” Brumby said.

But Brumby added it was needed to ensure the move, which will bring prestige, jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue to Cobb.

Brumby said Lee was this year’s obvious choice.

However, after receiving the award, Lee said, “I really am at a loss for words. … This is way beyond what I deserve.”

Lee told the crowd Saturday night he would work tirelessly to “bring the stadium out of the ground.”

A great responsibility

Lee was first elected to the Cobb County Board of Commissioners in November 2002, serving the residents of northeast Cobb. He was elected as chairman in July 2010.

In July 2012, Lee was asked, “Does Cobb offer too little, too much or the right amount of financial incentives to lure new jobs?”

“There is no one size fits all approach to economic development. Incentives, if they are offered at all, should be tied to the number and quality of jobs created. That should be handled on a case by case basis,” Lee told the MDJ at the time.

After the awards ceremony Saturday night, Lee said he has a responsibility to the community to keep the residents informed about the progress of the new stadium.

“We will do it the Cobb way, on time and on budget,” Lee said. “I want to make sure Cobb is proud of us.”

Lee and his wife, Annette, have been married for 23 years and have three children and six grandchildren. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Marietta.

Lee has worked in advertising and marketing for more than 35 years and owns a marketing consulting firm, Summit View Marketing Inc.

Lee is a former board member of MUST Ministries and a past chairman of the Cobb Symphony Orchestra.

In 2011, Lee was named by the Atlanta Business Chronicle magazine as one of “The 100 Most Influential Altantans.”

Black ties and the ‘Tomahawk Chop’

Nearly 1,000 guests in tuxedos and glittering gowns joined together Saturday night to practice the Braves ‘Tomahawk Chop’ and chant in unison.

The black-tie affair at the Cobb Galleria Centre included a reception, dinner and awards ceremony. The large networking and social event is hosted by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce every year.

The band, Yacht Rock Schooner, finished out the evening.

Past recipients of the Citizen of the Year award, dating back to 1963, include Howard Atherton in 1969. Atherton was a former Marietta mayor and owner of the Atherton Drug Store that once stood on the Square.

Joe Mack Wilson was awarded the honor in 1980. Wilson served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1961 to 1988. He was mayor of Marietta from 1990 to 1993 and died in office at 73.

Besides leaders who have died after helping to shape Cobb, some honorees are still active in state and national politics.

Isakson was honored in 1988. In 1993, Newt Gingrich got the award right before becoming Speaker of the House.

While Chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, Sam Olens received the Citizen of the Year award. He now serves as Georgia’s attorney general.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Chris Peters
January 28, 2014
Seriously? Even if the Braves deal turns out to be the best thing to happen to Cobb County since the invention of indoor plumbing, the Marietta Daily Journal fumbled the ball badly here.

Citizen of the year should be reserved for someone who either does a truly heroic deed (firefighters and police who risk their lives, for example), shows leadership or exemplifies public service.

Tim Lee, through his actions, shows that he only cares about maybe 5% of the county. That would be the well-connected insiders who benefit from a cozy relationship with him and three of the other four Commissioners (Lisa Cupid is the notable exception.)

He also tried to bamboozle the voters into raising taxes on themselves to fund big government boondoggles like the Bus Rapid Transit system, which he is still touting.

From my vantage point he seems to run the county like a modern version of that Boss Hogg character from the Dukes of Hazard.

I am certain that all this award does is reinforce his misplaced sense of pride in turning Cobb County into a backwater of cronyism and insider dealing.
Chris Peters
January 28, 2014
And I should also mention, this editorial pretty much guarantees that the MDJ will never see a penny of my hard earned money.

I can forgive Tim Lee, as I believe he genuinely thinks he is doing what is right for the county. He is just mistaken, not a bad guy.

But a supposedly unbiased media outlet and one that I thought was somewhat conservative now endorses big government and crony capitalism. That I cannot forgive.

Besides, 'll probably need to save my money to pay for the higher taxes coming when Tim Lee and his friends at the MDJ push another TSPLOST on us.

Well Deserved
January 27, 2014
Lots of negative comments here from the typical Cobb County whiners like Mr. Pond, Lib in Cobb,and the others. You guys actually bore us with your endless rants and negativity be it Mr Lee, the school board,the Chamber etc. We are actually tired of your constant predictable comments so give it a rest. In reality, most of Cobb County residents are thrilled that Mr. Lee has brought such a major attraction into our county and we look upon your comments as dumb thoughts from the same crowd that hates the idea of anything Mr. Lee does. The vast majority of Cobb citizens support Mr. Lee and are proud of his efforts to bring the Braves here. And congratulations Commission Chairman Lee for winning the award, you deserve it.
Rich Pellegrino
January 27, 2014
Ha, "Well Deserved", you must live in the same bubble that Lee & his Chamber cronies live in if you think that "most of the people" even have the necessary information to decide whether to support the Braves move or not. When even some of the actual facts, or lack thereof, are presented to most people they are aghast that they are being duped into paying and diverting their taxes to support what is at best a risky business endeavor, and hence really only suited for private investors.

Every day there are fresh revelations of gaping holes, at best, and misrepresentations, at worst, in the deal, from public safety , parks and recreation, and from Commissioners' revelations themselves on how laws were circumvented to ram this through. It shows an elitist lack of trust in the people and an old back room dealing mentality--any way you slice it.
Rich Pellegrino
January 27, 2014
Oh, I forgot to ask, is the reason that you don't include your real name that you are somehow benefitting financially from this Braves deal, as are many of its supporters?
Lib in Cobb
January 27, 2014
Lee has been awarded "Citizen of the Year". What's next a good job with the Braves or the developer after he leaves the public trough?
Joseph Pond
January 27, 2014
"Lee said he has a responsibility to the community to keep the residents informed about the progress of the new stadium." No, Tim, you have a responsibility to listen to the people of Cobb, not tell them what you are going to do. This country was built on No Taxation without Representation, something you do not care about.

The Cobb County Government should be in the governing business, not the business business- leave that to the Chamber of Commerce. Why does the Chairman of the BOC have the sole power to negotiate private business deals when the county has the Development Authority of Cobb County?

Egg on face
January 27, 2014
Any new lawsuits Mr. Pond? And it is the business of the BOC to help promote and help develop the county. You had your 15 minutes of fame already. We really don't want to hear from someone who has cost the taxpayers money for your childish rants about your need to raise chickens and how the big bad commissioners are stopping you.
Diamond Jim
January 26, 2014
This is like B.H. Obama winning the Nobel Prize. I'd understand this decision much more easily if it were the "Notorious Citizen of the Year" award. If another election were held tomorrow with an even moderately viable challenger, Tim Lee would be on his way out to pasture.
Just Wait
January 26, 2014
I don't know, it may just be me, but this award sure seems like it was rigged.
West Cobbian
January 26, 2014
Really scraping the bottom of the barrel on this one! Don't judge a person on a single event, look at all his/her "accomplishments." Not much there for

Timmy save increasing taxes, being buddy-buddy with the Chamber and the development folks, being rather dense, and so on.
January 26, 2014
I am just a guy who pays taxes that Tim Lee Hands out to the welfare queens of the Chamber of Commerce BUT, I know a crony capitalist Lovefest when I see one!

Gotta go vomit.

PS - Glad the MDJ is running this crude on the front page...helps us remember who is doing the good people of Cobb County.

whine, whine
January 29, 2014
many of us are looking forward to sitting in the box with Chairman Lee and County Manager Hankerson and enjoying the Braves. What makes it sweeter is to know that our night(s) out will be funded by you bunch of losers. Maybe you should try to find another part-time job instead of whining -
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