Cobb County

Cobb transportation officials address BRT, bikes, Braves at town hall meeting

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 

KENNESAW — On the heels of the groundbreaking ceremony for SunTrust Park, the 41,500-seat stadium for the Atlanta Braves, leaders of transportation agencies in Cobb met Thursday to assure residents they are working to improve the county’s roads.

About 100 people attended the town hall meeting at Kennesaw State University’s Continuing Education Center.

Residents attended with varied agendas. Some wanted improvements made to the county’s community transit bus system, others advocated for more biking trails and another resident wanted county Chairman Tim Lee’s proposed bus-rapid transit system.

Charley Levinson, who works at BCT Printing in Norcross and ran for Marietta mayor in the last election season, said he uses mass transit every day to get to work, and he wants the county to implement a bus rapid transit system. 

“I hope it’s in the works soon,” Levinson said. “It’s either the BRT or nothing, and nothing is the absolute worst thing for this county.”

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Debates could impact undecided voters

Name of Publication: 
Fox 5 News
Excerpt of Article: 

Posted: Oct 22, 2012 4:58 PM EDT Updated: Oct 22, 2012 5:47 PM EDT

Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré to speak at Kennesaw State University on Oct. 29

Honore Headshot.jpg

Honoré, who led recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, will speak about leadership and preparedness.

KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct. 22, 2012) — U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré brought calm and order to the chaos that followed after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in 2005. Now retired, Honoré speaks candidly about what it takes to be prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.

WHO:

Superior Court challenger cries foul

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 
by Jon Gillooly
 
June 21, 2012 01:42 AM   
 
 
 

MARIETTA — Attorney Nathan Wade, who is attempting to unseat Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green in the July 31 election, believes it is wrong that Green is listed as the incumbent on the ballot.

Green was appointed to the bench, not elected, Wade pointed out during a candidate forum held by the Cobb Republican Women’s Club on Tuesday.

Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed Green to the Cobb Superior Court in 2010.

“This seat was held by long-time Judge Kenneth Nix,” Wade said. “Upon his retirement, there was an appointment that was made … without there being any interviews or without there being the opportunity for any qualified candidates to I guess submit a resume and interview for the position. I would have loved to have stacked my resume against the individual who got the appointment.”

Wade went on to say that he will be listed near the end on the ballot.

“I will not have the ‘incumbent’ next to my name,” Wade said. “‘Incumbent,’ I believe, should be reserved for those individuals who have been elected. I don’t think there really is an incumbent in this race. Neither of us have been elected. So please, ignore the incumbent mark.”

Green did not respond to Wade’s comments when he was given the floor.

Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University who specializes in elections, said the ‘incumbent’ note is powerful.

“When voters see the ‘i’ next to the judge’s name, that’s usually who they vote for because they don’t know any better,” Swint said. “The average voter doesn’t know what kinds of decisions the judge has made or really much about their reputation unless they happen to be in the court or a lawyer, that kind of thing, so it’s an uphill battle to any challenger.”

Transit tax opposition getting louder in Cobb County

Name of Publication: 
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

By Janel Davis
 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

If you go to almost any public meeting in Cobb County — no matter the topic — conversation is most likely to turn to the proposed regional transportation referendum.  

And the voices you’ll hear are often opponents strongly sharing their misgivings. With the county’s commission chairman’s race about to officially launch, the conversation is expected to get even more intense as campaign rivals attack incumbent Tim Lee’s support of the transportation plan that early on included a controversial rail line in Cobb.

In July, voters from 10 counties will go to the polls to decide whether to approve a 10-year, 1 percent sales tax to pay for $6.14 billion in regional transportation projects compiled by a group of elected officials from each of the counties, known as the regional roundtable. Though Cobb isn’t the largest county in the region, it has plenty of voters and plenty of sales tax dollars.

And it could have plenty of influence. Vocal Cobb opponents are working with groups in other counties and combining resources and sweat equity for a metrowide surge. Two recent polls differ on how the referendum will fare in the suburban counties.

“Cobb is one of the spokes in the wheel. They are right in the clutch of transportation issues and traffic,” said Kerwin Swint, political science professor at Kennesaw State University. “Cobb is a big target of voters, and turnout here will be very important here and in Gwinnett.” 

And one of Cobb’s core characteristics, he said, is its long-standing record of organized opposition. 

Lobbyists gave meals, tickets to local lawmakers

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 
 
by Jon Gillooly
jgillooly@mdjonline.com
February 01, 2012
 
 
 

MARIETTA — No one is listed receiving any yachts, but lobbyists do buy meals and smaller gifts for Cobb lawmakers.

Whether it’s state Rep. John Carson (R-east Cobb) receiving a $200 Georgia Chamber of Commerce dinner paid for by a lobbyist with the University System of Georgia or a lobbyist with the Home Depot buying state Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-west Cobb) a $100 ticket to the Georgia Chamber Eggs and Issues breakfast, lobbyists must report the money they spend on lawmakers to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. ...

Dr. Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University, said lunches and small gifts are acceptable to most people.

“It’s the larger items that generate the questions over ethics,” Swint said. “Georgia currently has no limit at all on what lobbyists may spend on public officials, which to many people creates an environment open to the influence of money and gifts. It also puts Georgia behind many neighboring southern states, including Tennessee and Alabama, that do have limits on how much lobbyists can spend.”

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Lobbyists gave meals tickets to local lawmakers  

Proposed F-35 cuts could hit Marietta

Name of Publication: 
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

WASHINGTON -- As Congress eyes Pentagon cuts to help bring down deficits, the multibillion dollar F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is in the crosshairs -- which could mean more belt-tightening at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta plant.

Tom Reynolds Part of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is assembled in Marietta, but the program faces budget cuts from the Pentagon.

 
Republicans who represent the area, though zealous about budget cutting overall, are lobbying against a Senate plan to hold F-35 production at current levels rather than increase it by three planes next year. The proposal, which would cut $695 million from the Pentagon’s $9.7 billion program request, must be merged with a House-passed bill that granted the full amount.

“We’re going to fight very hard to hold the line on that,” said Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta.

But the Senate proposal, which moved from committee with bipartisan support, is seen as a bellwether.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said as the proposals are merged he hopes for “a resolution on this or at least a firm game plan established on the F-35 among the appropriators. Whether we’ll see any of it restored or not I don’t know. Obviously I hope so.”  ...

 Chambliss and Gingrey both said they are confident Lockheed can limit job losses if the program is slowed, as it did by moving F-22 employees to other production lines, and they stressed military readiness concerns more than job losses. But F-35’s importance to Marietta is a big motivator.

“As the budget situation gets worse, it becomes a fine line to walk to say we’ve got to cut this spending, but not this spending over here,” said Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University.

“[But] they think it’s part of a political necessity to try to protect these defense dollars and jobs.” 

 

 

 

Fighter jet cuts may cost jobs at Marietta plant

Name of Publication: 
WSBTV.com
Excerpt of Article: 

Cobb County leaders are concerned about major military budget cut to the F-35 fighter jet manufactured at the Lockheed Martin plant in Marietta.

This week, a Senate defense appropriations committee recommended the program’s funding be reduced by nearly $700 million.

“Long term we’re concerned about jobs,” said Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin.

Tomlin told Channel 2’s Tom Regan that he hopes the recommended cuts would be reduced before the defense budget is finalized.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is currently the military’s most costly program. Each jet costs about $135 million and the entire program is budgeted in the hundreds of billions of dollars. ... 

Kennesaw State University economics professor Gorvind Hariharahan told Regan that Lockheed Martin needs to look for foreign countries as new customers for the F-35, like India and South Korea.

“It’s absolutely imperative they come up with a way to tap into the external markets,” Hariharahan said.

Lockheed Martin has already announced 1,500 layoffs in its aircraft business. A company spokesman told Regan is not yet unknown how many jobs will be cut at the Marietta plant.  

Posted: 5:53 pm EDT September 21, 2011Updated: 9:50 am EDT September 22, 2011 

 

Tax draws Cobb divide

Name of Publication: 
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Excerpt of Article: 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Cobb County residents vote Tuesday on a four-year sales tax extension that has divided the county between those intent on stopping the collection and others who think it’s the best way to pay for the projects it would fund.

If approved, the special purpose local option sales tax would begin Jan. 1, 2012, effectively continuing the current six-year SPLOST that ends the day before. The tax is expected to generate about $492 million over the four years for roads, parks and infrastructure renovation projects in the county and Cobb’s six cities.

Proponents, led by retired assistant district attorney Rose Wing and Citizens for Cobb’s Future, maintain an extension is needed to diversify the county’s tax base and provide the roads, buildings and public safety, which are reasons some people move to Cobb.

But the extension has strong opposition from vocal residents and groups who have testified at county meetings, rallied in the rain and done grass-roots work to get the tax defeated. ...

“A lot has to do with the economy and unemployment and the cost of doing business and living,” said Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University. “In this part of Georgia, you’ve had a number of SPLOSTs and votes on taxes and fees in the past five to six years, and some people may be nearing a saturation point.”

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