From the downtown booster organization: "We are hopeful that the Braves and the City will develop a scenario that will keep them at Turner Field far beyond 2016."
Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee must feel like he’s sitting in a dunking booth. During the Public Comment portion of the bi-monthly Board of Commissioners meetings, it has become almost customary for citizens disgruntled with Lee’s handling of the new Braves stadium to take their best shot at the chairman.
Secrecy helped Cobb County hammer out a deal to lure the Braves from their downtown Atlanta home. That same stealth may have violated Georgia’s Open Meetings Act and, conceivably, cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
So, it's been just over a week since the Atlanta Braves announced their intentions to move to Cobb County. Reporters have been furiously filing open records requests, politicians have been spinning their positions, and the team's attempting a PR offensive. Meanwhile, some fans are taking to a form of art therapy.
Well Braves fans, after almost a decade of sustained mediocrity—one division title and two measly postseason wins—a head is finally rolling. But it’s not the head you wanted.
Cobb County officials went into extra innings Monday trying to get bond financing approved for the Atlanta Braves’ new stadium. But it’ll be weeks before they know if they won.
In case you’re curious, here’s what dissenters wanted to discuss at the Cobb Commission meeting on the Braves stadium
Before Tuesday’s vote on bond financing agreements for the new Atlanta Braves stadium, Cobb County commissioners refused to let critics voice concerns. A brief standoff ensued, as several members of the advocacy group Cobb Citizens for Governmental Transparency (CGT) stood to protest before police escorted them from the room. We were curious to hear what CGT might have said if given the chance, so we asked representatives of the group whether they’d come to the Cobb chambers with talking points in hand. As it turns out, they had.
At its first public meeting, the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority, the owner the 87-acre Turner Field site, discussed the sale and outlined a plan for community input. For an hour and a half, a panel that included AFCRA Executive Director Keisha Lance Bottoms, AFCRA Board Chair William K. Whitner, Atlanta Planning Commissioner Tim Keane and others answered questions and responded to criticism from the crowd.
So, who knew about Cobb Commission Chair Tim Lee’s ties to a turf company before the Braves deal was announced?
When Tim Lee isn’t running Cobb County government, he's promoting an artificial turf manufacturer. But the Cobb County commission chair doesn't see that job conflicting with his newfound role as cheerleader-in-chief for a $672 million Atlanta Braves stadium. "I am so far removed from the process of what goes in what stadium, it's not even funny," Lee told me last week.
When the Braves announced their move to the burbs on Monday, there was plenty of vocal vitriol from ITPers. But there was surprisingly little celebrating, let alone gloating, from the people of Cobb County. That low grumble you heard instead was the angry muttering and collective unsettling of suburbanite stomachs of a tax base left to wonder where the hell Cobb’s share of the money for the new stadium was going to come from. And Cobb officials were saying nothing to salve the dyspepsia.