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Transparency Group Fights Against Legitimizing Braves' Financing

Cobb Citizens for Governmental Transparency has blasted the Cobb Board of Commissioners' "reckless railroading" of the stadium deal and the additional burden it could place on public safety and county taxpayers.

The Atlanta Braves' new stadium in Cobb County could be ready for Opening Day 2017. Credit: Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves' new stadium in Cobb County could be ready for Opening Day 2017. Credit: Atlanta Braves
A group of concerned Cobb County citizens from both sides of the political spectrum has asked the Cobb Legislative Delegation not to support any proposals from the Cobb County Board of Commissioners to legitimize plans for public funding for large projects like the Braves' new Cobb stadium.

Cobb Citizens for Governmental Transparency (CGT), who counts among its members Atlanta Tea Party leader Debbie Dooley and progressive activist Rich Pellegrino, met with individual members of the delegation on Monday.

The coalition wants to ensure that the legislative delegation does not introduce proposals into the Georgia General Assembly that would retroactively legitimize any potentially unconstitutional actions performed by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners to establish public funding for projects like the Atlanta Braves' Cobb County stadium and the proposed Riverwalk development near the stadium site.

The group cites the recent resignation of Cobb Public Safety Director Jack Forsythe as a reason to act more urgently; Forsythe wrote in his resignation letter that a lack of funding and other resources was negatively impacting the police department. The group alleges that the Cobb Board of Commissioners' "reckless railroading" of the Braves stadium deal will put additional strain on an already underpowered public safety force.

The Braves Come to Cobb


In addition, CGT has roundly criticized the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Braves and Cobb County, believing that there are too many ambiguities and inconsistencies in the documents that may force across the board tax hikes if the anticipated economic boom from the stadium does not pan out.

The MOU fails to pass even a rudimentary smell test as the basis for committing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars,” said Pellegrino in a CGT press release. 

CGT is also concerned about the generous tax abatement being handed out to John Williams' Riverwalk project inside the Cumberland Community Improvement District. The abatement as currently planned could cause the Cobb County School District to lose out on increasing property tax revenue for the site.

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