Lord Acton is famous for saying: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I don’t know if the Cobb County government has fully reached that point as with the political corruption that periodically occurs with our neighbors to the south; however, the fact that the Braves stadium deal has been less than transparent in terms of permitting public input lends credence that we are headed that way.
As a Smyrna resident who lives roughly one mile from the stadium site, I strongly object to its presence and do not trust what usually turns into overly rosy projections about reduced traffic patterns and economic benefits in these cases. The county’s citizens have a right to question this deal.
What do Tim Lee, Bob Ott (in whose district the stadium will be), and the other Republican members of the Commission have to lose by at least permitting the opposition to ask legitimate questions and voice their opposition and concerns at a public meeting? Nothing.
This is perhaps the most significant project in the county since perhaps the establishment of Dobbins and the Bell Bomber (now Lockheed) plant, yet the Republican Commission appears to have no desire to hear any public dissent.
The Republican Party dominates the Commission 4-1, and the current commission does not have the reputation of bickering and infighting amongst itself along various demographic and geographic lines as other county commissions in the Metro region. Clearly, the whole process surrounding the public hearings is nothing but about the exercise of raw, naked, political power without concern for minority rights, even though the commission majority are members of a political party, which supposedly is for open and transparent government.
As a lifelong Republican, who has largely voted straight-party ticket since my first election in 1992, I must send a message to Chairman Lee, Commissioner Ott and the Cobb GOP: I will not be voting for Lee or Ott, if they are the Republican candidates for their respective offices come the 2016 elections, or for their replacements, who may have been whole-heartedly for this project throughout this shame of a public input phase.
The Republican-controlled commission has made a mockery of the ideals the Republican Party purportedly stands for, and this is one Republican who says, “Enough is enough!”
David J. Stewart