The thing I’ve found true of every political situation is that if you pull and follow the tiniest thread, you realize it stretches across a lot of tapestries. That’s Cobb – everything’s connected.
There’s a LOT going on in my little slice of heaven. One of them happens to be the race for Chairman of the Cobb Board of Commissioners. It’s fitting that the vote is on the same day as the TSPLOST vote because that’s largely what the chairman’s race centers around.
There are four candidates running: Tim Lee, Bill Byrne, Mike Boyce, and Larry Savage. Another way to say it: a Pro-TSPLOST incumbent and the three men with roughly the same message trying to defeat him. As a Cobb resident, my taxes were raised three times last year, and I will say I could support any candidate who’s committed to keeping Cobb fiscally conservative.
Cobb has five commissioners: four districts plus the chairman. And while the commissioners appear on the ballot as four Republicans and one Democrat, the votes are usually 3-2 for tax increases instead of choosing from a long list of cuts recommended by the Citizen Oversight Committee.
I attended the candidate forum last Wednesday night at the East Cobb Library. Each candidate weighed in on twelve questions. I won’t bore you with listing the questions or their responses, but I was able to decide who gets my vote. I will keep that personal opinion off the front page, but for any voters against the TSPLOST, you’ll want to pay attention to this race.
As mentioned, the TSPLOST vote happens to be on the same day as the Chairman’s race – July 31. Soon. The incumbent is heartily backed by the Cobb Chamber. And while I think it’s vital to Cobb’s success that the Chairman has a good relationship with the Chamber, my point is that this brings the incumbent a lot of resources the other candidates don’t have. The most recent Cobb SPLOST won by 79 votes. Add in the Untie Cobb marketing onslaught leading up to July 31, and the political consultant who delivered the Cobb SPLOST victory with targeted voter turnout could potentially deliver the incumbent a 50+1 victory.
As I chatted at the monthly Cobb GOP breakfast this past Saturday, there was a general expectation that “of course it’ll go into a runoff”, but I’m not convinced. In another tapestry, this thread weaves over into the potential of Cobb suing if TSPLOST passes; the safety net. It is my understanding that Cobb can only sue by a majority vote of the Board of Commissioners. I’m sure some of you attorney types can confirm or deny. No runoff puts a bit of a kibosh to a favorable 3-2 vote.
This isn’t new information for the TIA team. I don’t, however, think the Cobb grassroots folks have given this race the weight and recognition it deserves. My hope is that the fiscally conservative candidates get some resources from concerned parties…quickly. Political consultants and volunteers unite. We’ve got work to do.