Around Town learned this week that former Cobb School Board Chair Lindsey Tippins of west Cobb will not challenge northeastern District Commissioner Tim Lee, who has already announced that he will seek Olens' soon-to-be vacated spot. Tippins told AT that this is "not the right time in my life" for a county-wide race for the chairman's job, citing the time commitment needed for Cobb's top job.
Tippins, a successful self-made water and sewer contractor, said he was "appreciative and thankful for the encouragement" he has received since expressing interest several months ago. Tippins' friends weren't surprised by his decision.
Tippins spent 12 years on the school board and is an avid outdoorsman who never misses a chance to go fishing, hunting, snowmobiling or water skiing. When it comes to water skiing, the 60-year old Tippins says he still enjoys slaloming but is past the age of getting up on one ski.
He is a devoted family man, living on a 60 acre farm in the Lost Mountain community. He also enjoys his two grandchildren and has a third arriving in January.
ALTHOUGH TIPPINS wouldn't predict a possible challenger for Lee, he did say Lee "got in the race early and has a lot of support."
It's believed Tippins told Lee several weeks ago about his decision not to run.
With Tippins out, Lee so far has no announced or rumored opposition except for former Chairman Bill Byrne - always the wild card.
However, several GOP politicos in Polk County, where Byrne has a horse farm near Cedartown, are speculating Byrne will run next summer against Chairman Marshall Thaxton. Speculation surfaced when Byrne a month or so ago at a GOP meeting in Cedartown publicly accused Thaxton of not being a "real Republican."
Byrne apparently likes to keep folks guessing on his political plans. In Feb. 2008 he voted in the Presidential primary in Cobb and then on Feb. 28 2008 registered to vote in Polk County. And then several weeks ago Byrne showed up at Cobb elections office on Whitlock Avenue with questions about an exploratory committee.
One source told AT where a candidate is registered to vote on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1 determines where a candidate can run. Stay tuned.
MEANWHILE, A FOURTH CANDIDATE, Earl Stine, has jumped into the race for the District 3 seat representing northeast Cobb on the Board of Commissioners. Stine, an IT management consultant, has an accounting degree from Georgia State University. The centerpiece of his platform is a call to eliminate county property taxes and replace them with a 1 percent "Homestead Option Sales Tax," or HOST.
"My plan would allow our county, for the first time, to collect revenue from people who shop and visit here, and are using our governmental services, but are currently paying nothing," he said.
Stine argues the HOST 1 percent tax would bring in the same amount of revenue as the current 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or $140 million - considerably more than the $90 million taken in by the property tax on homeowners.
Stine and his wife, Cindy, are three-decade residents of Cobb and have two adult sons.
Already in the race are three other Republicans: Waste Management Co. community relations director JoAnn Birrell, attorney Steven Ellis and Atlanta architect Stephen Moon.
Incumbent District 3 Commissioner Lee is expected to resign to run for commission chairman if, as expected, Olens resigns to run for state Attorney General.
LOOK FOR KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY to kick off a major drive to bring football to its sprawling campus at a noon press conference Thursday.
And look for legendary UGA Coach and Athletic Director Vince Dooley to be announced as a consultant to help KSU finally field a team and that several deep-pocketed supporters have been lined up to help pay for the startup.
“I have been visiting with them about a consulting position,” the amiable but tight-lipped Dooley told MDJ news editor Kim Isaza when he returned her phone call early on Friday morning as she was headed to work. He added that any further details would have to be announced by KSU.
KSU President Dr. Dan Papp, now in his fourth year as president, has supported fielding a team but said money was a substantial obstacle.
KSU just last week announced a new soccer stadium for its team and a new women’s pro team — the Beat — that will share the new $16.5 million stadium. That could be expanded to hold 22,000 spectators.
Dooley will reportedly help KSU like former Falcon Coach Dan Reeves did for Georgia State University, which is to field its first team under Head Coach Bill Curry next fall.
Expected to be on the KSU exploratory team are Marietta attorney “Red Fred” Bentley, who has talked to Dooley for several years about the consultant role, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stan Dysart, who has severed on an ad hoc KSU football committee going back to the presidency of Dr. Betty Siegel days.
Some of the FSU faithful may remember her bright gold T shirts, that said “Kennesaw Football” on the front and “Still Undefeated” on the back.
So it may not be too many football campaigns from now that we hear this cheer at kickoff coming from KSU’s new stadium: “Go Owls! Hoot! Hoot! Hoot!”
THOSE ATTENDING the noon Thursday press conference at the Owl Nest at the sports and recreation park can expect to see a beaming Dr. Papp standing tall — actually one and a half inches taller.
Papp tells AT he gained his new height by getting rid of his “famous bow legs” thanks to two new knees and shedding about 10 pounds. Although appreciative of the good work of his orthopedic friend and knee specialist Dysart, the recovering Papp says it will be several more weeks before he is feeling good enough to say, “I am glad I had it done,” adding, “I’m glad I’m not a centipede!”
THIS IS MARIETTA’S BIG 175TH BIRTHDAY weekend, as most AT readers know. And if you need some local history to take home and read about — or to give to a friend as a holiday gift — you have two great opportunities this morning. Authors Becky Paden and Joe McTyre will be signing copies of their new book, “175 Facts About Marietta,” which was published by the city’s 175th anniversary committee. They’ll be at The Avery Gallery at 390 Roswell St., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. And Joe Kirby and Damien Guarnieri, authors of the just-published “Marietta Revisited: Then & Now,” will be signing copies of their new book this morning as well. They’ll be at the Cool Beans Coffee Roasters just off the Square on Mill Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ...
A pair of special “Marietta Lights” tours are planned Sunday and Dec. 12 by the Historic Marietta Trolley Co. Sunday’s tour will go to “Light the Night,” WellStar Kennestone’s fourth annual tree lighting event; while the Dec. 12 tour will stop at Oakton House and Gardens. The tours also will drive throughout town to take in the festive lights and will include as well a drive through the Lights of Life at Life University. Plus, there’ll be caroling aboard the trolleys. For more, contact Cassandra Buckalew at (770) 425-1006 or e-mail Cassandra@mariettatrolley.com.
SICK BAY: Marietta Housing Authority Chairman Ed Hammock has been hospitalized at St. Joe’s for the past week after suffering chest pains.
THE GEORGIA BALLET will ring in the holidays with a presentation of “The Nutcracker” today and Sunday at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre at the Cobb Civic Center. There also will be a special performance called “Dancing Duet,” at 5:30 p.m. Sunday featuring dancers Commissioner Lee, President Dr. Lisa Rossbacher of Southern Polytechnic State University, restaurateur Johnnie Gabriel and CNN anchor Tony Harris.All proceeds from the Dancing Duets will benefit The Georgia Ballet and The Center for Family Resources. For tickets and more information call (770) 528-0881 or visit www.georgiaballet.org.