Holding My Nose, but Will Vote on Aug 21

Sad sigh :/

I’ve chosen who I’m going to vote for in the Aug 21 runoff for Cobb Chairman – and neither candidate makes me want to run to the polls.  My choice is either the guy who’s consistently raised my taxes or the guy who will send Cobb backwards.

I will hold my nose and vote for Tim Lee. Yeah – that Tim Lee.  The one in which there is video footage of me speaking at a public event saying, “I will turn my effort into making sure you’re not re-elected, Tim Lee.” …How did this happen??

As I’ve said many times, I’ll probably retire here in Cobb County.  That means I have to look forward and choose the Cobb I want my babies raised in.  I am NOT for tax increases, but I AM for a thriving community I’m proud to be a part of.  After both research and first hand attendance at debates, I can’t vote for Bill Byrne. This is NOT going to make me popular with the Cobb GOP faithful, but it’s where I’m at after much consideration.

Going through my rich mahogany bound notebook that I keep in my purse to gather thoughts, I turned back to some pages from May 30th.  I took eleven pages of handwritten notes at a candidate forum.  Four men answered twelve questions, and I summarized each of their statements.  I remember at the time my mouth actually gaped when he said, “Cobb County is a destination, not a feeder system. We need to reassess our growth pattern. How many more do we want to let in past our current 700k?”  Um, a lot?  You’re either growing or you’re dying – there’s not a middle ground.

As an engaged citizen, I simply can’t let Cobb County become the Dead Sea – stagnant and decaying from lack of fresh water.  I want Cobb to progress.  If there’s a good plan on the table, I will invest.  Spend money to make money where it makes sense – where there’s a strategic and well thought out growth plan.  It’s just the bad plans like TSPLOST (imo) that I’m against.

I was a freshman in high school when Bill Byrne was Chairman of Cobb, so admittedly I’ve had to do as much research as folks new to Cobb.  Bill’s wacky Agenda 21 comments and Antigay Resolution aside (p.s. I love people of all walks too much for that horse manure plus it cost Cobb a spot on the Olympic torch path), I can’t overlook:

In the MDJ’s Voter Guide from July 2012:

Does Cobb offer too little, too much or the right amount of financial incentives to lure new jobs?

Cobb County offers too much for incentives to attract new business to Cobb. Cobb’s reputation will attract new jobs on it’s own and incentives for new businesses is a disadvantage to existing businesses already in Cobb.

We’re STILL in a recession.  Turning off the spigot of job growth will be Cobb’s death knell.

As mentioned, I’m not overly excited to defaultly vote for Tim Lee. There’s a host of baggage in Tim’s truck too: a 16% property tax increase, which I noticed as I had to re-adjust my auto-pay amount on my home loan; support of the local Cobb SPLOST; raging support of TSPLOST; a $33M shortfall in the county budget; a raise in CCT fares; …it just goes on.

Tim Lee is impressionable no doubt.  His one plus is that he won’t be combative with the Chamber, and we have a fighting shot of a cooperative relationship with the business community.  You’re doing it wrong if you plan to be successful by poking the top bears with a hot poke.  Bill Byrne said this a couple of weeks ago:

“All of those people have self serving interests, and they believe that Tim Lee can best serve their business interests by going the regional approach, and they clearly like the way he’s doing business,” Byrne said. “I am just the opposite. I’ve said this before, my opponents are far bigger than Tim Lee. They begin with the Governor, Gov. Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, you have the Speaker of the House David Ralston, you have our own Attorney General Sam Olens, and you have the Secretary of State (Brian Kemp). Those are the five most powerful Republicans in the state of Georgia, all proponents and fundraisers for the passage of this TSPLOST, and I’m their lone enemy in Cobb County. Then you add on to that the Chambers of Commerce plural, and the two CIDs, and all of the people you’ve just mentioned, which are all tied to those people or those groups, and the battle is between all of them and me. They know that if I prevail they’re all out, and there would be radical changes in the way Cobb County does business, and they will not be welcome, and they know it (my emphasis added), and this is a very, very major period of time for them, because as they see it their financial future is tied to this election.”

Bill Byrne might consider himself the enemy of all the men he mentioned – I am not.  I’m for anything and anyone that will help me make my little slice of heaven a better place.  Don’t take Cobb into war with you.

Bill knows how to get his supporters to the polls, so I encourage you to do your own research and implore other concerned residents to go vote on Aug 21.  Let’s hopefully count this election as Tim’s and start looking at the next steps.

So, how do we elect Tim Lee yet keep his tax-friendly wings clipped like an early Spring gardenia?

Expand your view to see all the Cobb Commissioners: Lee (Chairman), Goreham, Ott, Birrell, and Thompson.  The votes usually go Goreham/Thompson voting to expand government, Ott/Birrell to shrink government, and then Lee casting the third vote that has lead to steady tax increases.  We need three votes making sane business decisions for the county.

Woody Thompson is the only Democrat on the Board – that vote is pretty set.  Helen Goreham, however, is a Republican who steadily votes with Tim Lee’s tax increases.  She’s up for re-election in 2014.  Helen is pleasant to talk to, and I know her daughter through the YRs, but we’ve got to step back and take a look at the bigger long term picture of our county.

Someone please start considering a run for District 1 Commissioner.

Buh :/ It’s a rough day to be a Cobb Snob…



  1. Calypso says:

    I hope Bill Byrne gets elected. That way, any businesses thinking about opening/relocating to Cobb will probably come to Gwinnett. And Byrne, with his bible-thumping rages against gays and science will draw attention away from the foibles of our Gwinnett County Commissioners for a while. Go Bill!

    Just kidding, I hope Byrne loses and goes away once and for all. You good citizens of Cobb don’t need to put up with his load of crap again. Besides, I hear the folks in the schools are tired of putting stickers of silliness in the front of all their science textbooks.

  2. Technocrat says:

    Cobb, Georgia, US, will be in for some painful times if Odama gets reelected [not that I love Romney].
    Just what we need 4 more years of local tax and spend feel good sweet and kindness.
    We need someone almost heartless [MBA talk] to do the dirty work that must be done to right the ship. Sure it will be a little painful but then the Sun comes out.

  3. AlanR says:

    Thanks for some excellent thoughts about the current election and the positions of Byrne and Lee, such as they are. Sigh.

    For voters old enough to remember and appreciate Bill Byrne, the question is why would anyone want more of that? It’s not just his combative personality, its his whole approach to things. You could get whiplash just trying to figure out what he wants for mass transit — monorails, trains, buses. And the same with the zillion dollar composting plant that never quite worked right and never quite was cost competitive with other disposal options. Its always some other shiny new thing. I also can’t get past his relationship with the zoning attorney who had all the billion dollar deals come before the commission. Byrne claimed he voted against his friend sometimes. I always wondered if it wasn’t really about the one time, whatever it was, the one vote for the one big deal that really mattered to the attorney. I guess I’m just too old and too cynical these days.

  4. CobbGOPer says:

    I voted for Boyce. I think I’ll pass on voting for either of these jokers. I said I wouldn’t vote for Lee because of his tax measures and I won’t go back on that. But voting for Bill Byrne is like voting for an ex-con and hoping they’ve reformed; you can never really be 100% sure he won’t start running around screaming like Sheriff Joe Arpaio and bring unwanted attention to Cobb.

    • George Dickel says:

      Has Bill Byrne ever claimed to be reformed? I don’t recall it.
      It seems to me that there’s far too much at stake to let one’s own “I said this and won’t go back on it” turn into a vote for a horrible candidate by proxy. Ballots and screen names can still be private.

      Hell, had Byrne been able to run in Polk County like he wanted to two years ago, I’d have been surprised to see him get elected there. I’d be floored if Cobb County put the same man back into office in 2012.

      • CobbGOPer says:

        “It seems to me that there’s far too much at stake to let one’s own “I said this and won’t go back on it” turn into a vote for a horrible candidate by proxy.”

        Well, unlike most of our GA-GOP, I try to keep promises I make. Even if they’re just to myself. I won’t vote for either, and I’ll think positive in that hopefully Tim Lee will win, but also get the message voters have sent him regarding his past support for TSPLOST and for his property tax vote.

        At the moment I’m trying to figure out who can run against Helen Gorham, another that should be targeted for defeat. She’s my commissioner, and I was perturbed I have to wait another two years to vote against her.

  5. Three Jack says:

    Lee’s a tax first, evaluate later guy.

    Byrne’s a run your mouth first, try to CYA later guy.

    Damn, the GOP does it again…try to pick the lesser evil.

    Tough call for me…I seldom if ever vote for an incumbent who raises taxes. On the other hand, I seldom if ever vote for the candidate who wears his religion on his sleeve as a means to justify backwardass laws. There is no good choice in this runoff.

  6. Three Jack says:

    Wayback machine — https://sites.google.com/site/cobbantigayresolution/ — Cobb defunded the arts and passed anti-gay resolution.

    Dick Yarbrough, spokesman for AOC announces torch will not go thru Cobb — http://www.nytimes.com/1996/04/20/us/olympic-torch-relay-will-skip-atlanta-suburb-that-condemned-gay-life.html

    I was living in Cobb during that period and remember not caring one bit about the torch passing through. Also really didn’t cause me to lose a bit of sleep when the volleyball event was moved from Galleria to UGA. Cobb County elected commissioners who expressed the opinion of most Cobb voters at that time. In the long run, who came out looking better — AOC which put on one of the worst run Olympics in history or Cobb County which kept growing at an incredible pace, gained a AAA credit rating and eventually saw the anti-gay resolution kind of just go away.

    • Napoleon says:

      I agree re: AOC. Also, am I the only one who noticed at the beginning of the Olympic Opening Ceremony when they were running through the Olympic posters for each game they skipped Atlanta? I rewinded several times to be sure. Went from 1992 in Barcelona to 2000 in Sydney.

  7. ZazaPachulia says:

    Interesting read. I know nothing about Cobb politics, but anyone considering voting for the “Cobb is a destination, not a feeder community” candidate should take the perimeter south to Fayette County and ask the good folks down there how much fun it is to have local government run by a (mostly elected in 2008 & 2010) group of anti-growth, combative “Fayette is a destination” Tea-Partiers.

  8. jesse says:

    Bridget you are right on target. As a lifelong Cobb resident, a diehard R and sorta long in the tooth to be frank, I am astounded that anyone would continue to support Byrne. Really folks, a replay of the Byrne years would set Cobb back decades. And this would NOT be a return to the good ole days. For the many who were around in those years you will recall that life with Byrne was a constant battle. It felt like we were at war with everyone all the time. And Cobb didn’t win much. For those of you who came later, please do your research.

    Trust me the man hasn’t changed. If anything he is worse – and he is proud of it. He even brags about his “way of doing things” and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. I believe he means all 700,000 of us that live in Cobb. I urge Cobb citizens to not risk your community’s future, your business and your childrens potential to stay and thrive in Cobb on Byrne. That would be a bad bet.

  9. Daddy Got A Gun says:

    I’m voting for Bill. He had the forsight and cajones to stand up and oppose TSPLOST, from its earliest days.

    I don’t want TSPLOST Lee involved in future transportation funding efforts. In 2015, Cobb’s transportation SPLOST expires. Who do you want to pick the projects when they try to renew it? Byrne or Airport Runway Lights Timmy?

    I’m a big fan of our Police Department, who I consider to be one of the best in the state. Tim Lee’s budget cuts has hit that department hard. Byrne has indicated that he seek other ways to balance the budget than cuts in that department.

  10. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    I agree that given a choice between Tim Lee and his pro-TSPLOST, pro-tax baggage or Bill Byrne and his seemingly even larger amount of baggage with the combative additude, the anti-gay resolution, the international embarrassment of Cobb County during what should have been a time of celebration and Cobb’s “coming out” party to the world (pun intended), etc, I, too would extremely reluctantly vote for Lee.

    …And this is coming from someone that admittedly can be somewhat ornery at times and can appreciate a bit of well-timed and justified combativeness when seemingly necessary, but the return of Byrne to the Chairman’s seat may be a step backwards in the wrong direction for a county that is an increasingly key cog in a region that is in desperate need of a way forward into the 21st Century.

  11. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    Needless to say, after his voracious and completely misguided support of a fatally-flawed T-SPLOST and a huge tax increase during a severe economic downturn, Tim Lee deserves what he is getting in a runoff matchup with the notoriously combative Bill Byrne.

    Though, by no means can I fault Lee for raising fares to $2.50 one-way on Cobb Community Transit as transit fares in Metro Atlanta are entirely too low for the amount of transit service that is expected and transit users need to be much more responsible for paying much more of the cost of the operations and maintenance of transit.

  12. Technocrat says:

    Something Lee and the other post 1992 members won’t take credit for is this:
    from AJC [07/28/12 by Lanel Davis].
    “The number of Cobb HIV/AIDS patients has grown by 20% since 2010 from 628 to 750+”……………” When I first got here in 1996 there were 80 said Dr. Africa Alvaraz – McLeod.”
    Male to male transmission is only 43% so you cannot totally blame Gays and drug users.

    Now which political group is protecting your children grand children………..closet Democrats.
    By the way Fulton County has 18,000+ known case. CDC says a minimum of 20% more don’t know they are infected.

  13. notsplost says:

    It’s a shame we didn’t get Mike Boyce or Larry Savage in the runoff. This county desperately needs new blood. However with that being said here is why I am voting for Bill (and really against Tim):


    That article pretty much sums up Tim Lee’s career. He is openly contemptuous of the people he is supposed to be serving. For any thinking voter, to leave such a man in power is a dangerous thing. If nothing else he needs to go in order to send a message.

    Prediction: if Lee somehow squeaks by in the runoff (and I give him a real chance due to low turnout) then our property taxes are going up again next year. And if the TSPLOST springs back to life like a zombie we’re really in trouble. He is a fully owned subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce.

  14. seenbetrdayz says:

    Isn’t it always interesting in American politics how all candidates eventually get narrowed down to two, one being “the person who is awful” and the other being “the person who is negligibly better, to the point that you could say there’s no difference.”

    It’s almost as if they know that they can base their standards off the bottom of the barrel, rather than the cream of the crop. And the standards get lower every election.

  15. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    I’m with Bridget on this one. I too was at the May 30th ECCA meeting.

    I’ve lived in Cobb since 1990, and remember well Bill in the old days, however it appeared to me that 2012 Bill is crankier, grumpier and more isolationist than in 1994. I don’t have my notes handy-but he again said something about building a moat around Cobb… wasn’t that embarrassing enough the first time he said it?

    Can’t someone give him a fancy Board position at GRTL and take him off Cobb’s hands?

    • Charlie says:

      I haven’t seen Bill since the 2002 Governor’s race. That was cranky, grumpy, and isolationist enough for me. Is it possible that it really got worse?

      Besides, Agenda 21 is so last year. I can’t believe no one is fighting Agenda 22 yet. THAT’s where the real trouble is.

  16. debbie0040 says:

    I am very strongly supporting Bill Byrne. Tim Lee is a big government RINO.. I used to live in Cobb County until 2005 and knew both men

    • Charlie says:

      I swear to God you are your own worst enemy sometimes. This 15 minutes you’re mad at Tim Lee, so you won’t look at Byrne’s record that included a freaking MONORAIL, a public private partnership that left the taxpayers holding the bag, and his statement of contempt for Cobb just a couple of years ago after he vacated the premises.

      Pick and choose your battles. Just because someone tells you what you want to hear RIGHT NOW doesn’t mean they have a record to back it up. **Chip Rogers**Cough**Chip Rogers**

    • Bridget says:


      PLEASE reconsider. Bill Byrne is NOT a good choice for Cobb in the long term. He will run us into the ground.

      Even if you’re not FOR Tim….just don’t really the Tea Party AGAINST him on this one.

      Bill Byrne will hurt my Cobb County.

      • debbie0040 says:

        I encouraged Bill a few years ago to run against Tim Lee this year so it was not a matter of him telling me what I wanted to hear. I still have many friends in Cobb that are strongly opposing Tim Lee so I have kept up with what is going on in Cobb. I actually did a robo call for Bill Byrne a few weeks ago.

        I disagreed with some of Byrne’s decision but have disagreed far more times with Lee’s decisions and his closeness to the Chamber in Cobb County.

        Charlie, Bridget, I respect you both deeply, but we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

  17. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    As for the Agenda 21 conspiracy theories, I might would buy into it just for the sheer entertainment value if we weren’t in Atlanta, Georgia where all so-called “urban planning” is pretty much done solely by land developers looking to fatten their already deep pockets and the U.N. wasn’t such a pathetically hapless joke of an organization.

    Although, if one really wanted to get paranoid about the Agenda 21 conspiracy stuff, one could say that Chip Rogers was in on it along with the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Legislature with the connection being that Chip Rogers, who twice voted to advance the T-SPLOST legislation before being against it serves in State Senate District 21 and, though he was officially against it at the end, had a seat on the 21-member Atlanta Regional roundtable that came up with an unpopular project list for the T-SPLOST as part of a disasterous process all-around.

    State Senate District 21…21-member roundtable…Agenda 21…I can’t believe that no one has figured out the connection before now.

    Something for conspiracy theorists to really eat up and enjoy.

    • Calypso says:

      And at what age can one legally buy alcohol in Georgia? That’s right, TWENTY-ONE.

      It’s all coming together now.

  18. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    Exactly. And don’t forget who sales houses in State Senate District 21?

    ….Nobody other than Century 21 Realtors and in the 21st Century, no less.

    And what was ex-Atlanta Falcon Deion Sanders’ jersey number?…21

    State Senate District 21, 21-member Atlanta Regional Roundtable, the legal age that someone must be to purchase and consume liquor is age 21, August 21st, Century 21, 21st Century, Deion Sanders #21.

    ….It’s pretty obvious that this thing goes much deeper than any of us could’ve ever imagined.

    After a brief look at the evidence, one can only come to the conclusion that Chip Rogers, the State Legislature, the Atlanta Regional Commission, drunken 21-year olds, the day August 21st, Century 21 Realty and Deion Sanders are all in on a conspiracy to advance the through the United Nations the demonic plot of Agenda 21, a demonic plot that was authored by Lucifer himself.

  19. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    With choices like crazy Tim Lee, who seems to have never met a tax increase that he didn’t like and even crazier Bill Byrne, who stands ready to go to war with anything and everything that is breathing, how could Cobb County possibly ever go wrong?

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