The newly formed Cobb Citizens for Governmental Transparency — which includes such odd bedfellows as the county branches of the Tea Party and the Sierra Club — has two press conferences scheduled for today to call on the Cobb County Commission to delay tomorrow’s scheduled Atlanta Braves stadium vote, so that there’s time for “citizens [to] be appropriately informed and engaged when significant tax dollars are obligated or expended by our elected officials.” And at least one state legislator, Democratic state senator Jason Carter, says he’d like to see more time for discussion as well:
“As a fiscal conservative, it makes sense to me to be careful when talking about $300 million in taxes and debt assumption. I love the Braves. I have to believe that the deal is good for them and for Cobb County. But if that’s true, then there is no reason not to let people digest the plan before the vote. Frankly, this is not even a controversial position and I’d be surprised if the governor or any other candidates disagreed.”
If you think you recognize that smile and that surname, yes, he’s Jimmy Carter’s grandson. (Jack’s son, not Amy’s. Amy has apparently managed to keep such a low profile since reaching adulthood that her Wikipedia image is of her as a child holding a cat.) He’s also running for governor, so prone to making public statements like this, and from Decatur on the other side of Atlanta, so not really likely to be listened to by the Cobb commission. Still, given the likelihood that this whole project is going to need state approval at some point — if only for highway upgrades — it’ll be interesting to see whether more opposition emerges in the state legislature, especially from Atlanta representatives.
State representative Earl Ehrhart, meanwhile, — who helped engineer the Braves-Cobb deal, and who is a partner in a “mega sports park” under construction near the Cobb stadium site — says that any delay would risk Atlanta stealing the Braves back:
“Give them four weeks to let them spend that big Atlanta money?” he scoffed.
Yeah, because you know Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is just champing at the bit to try to outbid Cobb’s offer — wait, what?