The Cray Cray has started…

From the MDJ, they report that Bill Byrne wants to start hacking up Cobb County.

EAST COBB — Bill Byrne has proposed creating a city of East Cobb to let the area determine its own growth.

“Cobb County is driven by the Board of Commissioners with regard to growth issues,” he said. “If you create a city … the city council determines the growth policies, and when the economy comes back, east Cobb is going to explode again, and I think they should be the ones to determine what they’re going to look like.”

In addition to two Georgias, we’re now going to have two Cobbs?  Ever wonder why they’re called East Cobb Snobs?  That would be because they have a substantially higher income than the rest of the county.  So…let’s just split the county between the haves and have nots as much as humanly possible.

Cobb will become West Side Story with 75 being the rail road tracks.  Folks – this is NOT good for Cobb County.


  1. Napoleon says:

    WOW! Class warfare in the Cobb GOP primary runoff. Let’s just create special tax districts to tax East Cobb more and redistribute the funds to us poor folks on the west side of the tracks…err…I-75. Obviously those “East Cobb Snobs” aren’t paying their fair share.

    As we have seen in Fulton and DeKalb, to create any new city would require a vote of the legislature followed by a vote of the people in the proposed new city. Byrne can’t just decree it.

    Thank you for helping me decide that Bryne is the one I should vote for.

    • Bridget says:

      Napoleon, you’ve had dinner at my house….you know I don’t live in East Cobb.

      My point is that Bill Byrne is not a uniter. He’s not interested in being reasonable and getting along with others to make good decisions on behalf of the entire county. Bill: “Don’t like my growth plan? Fine – go do your own.” That’s not being reasonable – it’s being petulant.

    • Three Jack says:

      Napoleon, Byrne acknowledges the local commissioners and legislature in the article, “It’s a concept to begin the discussion, not to end it, and obviously the two district commissioners — Bob Ott and JoAnn Birrell — would have to buy into it or it doesn’t fly, and the Delegation would have to buy into it or they won’t create it,” Byrne said.

  2. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    Localized zoning is not such a bad idea as in some states zoning decisions are made at a more local level of government in heavily-populated areas that are not under the purview of an incorporated city called townships.

    It’s just that if you localize zoning, planning and development decisions for East Cobb then you’ve got to do it for the rest of the unincorporated areas in the county, particularly the Vinings village area which is sometimes at odds with the county commission over zoning decisions, but also South Cobb which is in an advanced transition to being more urban in nature, West Cobb and North Cobb.

  3. bgsmallz says:

    Having just been through the incorporation of Brookhaven (yay!) and seen some of the issues with the proposed ‘city light’ plan that Byrne is proposing in Peachtree Corners, I’m not sold with the idea but I’m also sympathetic to incorporation in general. I truly think the county as a city model is unsustainable…even in Cobb and Gwinnett…and it forfeits franchise fees as if the county was a rural area instead of a thriving suburban/semi-urban area.

    However, the Cobb County chairman should have a bigger vision. Rather than just floating a “City of East Cobb,” it would seem more fair to float an incorporation/annexation plan for parts of the county so that other areas could also deal with their own zoning and growth issues, right?

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          What? I agree that a rapidly-urbanizing county of 700,000 people in Cobb and an even more rapidly-urbanizing county of over 800,000 in Gwinnett both have totally different zoning, planning and even public safety and code enforcement needs than when they were just simply fast-growing semi-rural exurban and suburban areas with much lower populations, which is how their county governments seem to be setup to function primarily with only one full-time chairman and four part-time county commissioners each to deal with the increasingly urban issues of two counties whose populations are each larger than most incorporated major cities.

  4. Rambler1414 says:

    Byrne has been bringing it for months.

    “The T-SPLOST is an ARC-driven agenda. It is not a Georgia [Department of Transportation] or General Assembly-driven agenda,” said Byrne, a 2002 GOP candidate for governor.
    The ARC has designated the U.S. 41/I-75 corridor as a future path for high density, high-rise growth, Byrne pointed out. “That’s Agenda 21 101.”
    Another example: As commission chairman, Byrne was an advocate for constructing four-foot wide sidewalks along county roads for use by pedestrians and joggers.
    The county is now constructing an eight-foot wide multi-use trail along Dallas Highway in west Cobb. “That’s Agenda 21,” Byrne said. “Bicycles and pedestrian traffic as an alternative form of transportation to the automobile.”
    According to the former commission chairman, the architects of the Agenda 21 blueprint in metro Atlanta are Tad Leithead, the current chairman of the ARC and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, whose city would benefit from increased centralization.
    Byrne also singled out Sam Olens, the former Cobb County commission chairman who is now attorney general, as an Agenda 21 activist – for his alleged advocacy of a regional government.

  5. Matt Stout says:

    Bridget, there is a string of angry West Cobbers on Dallas Highway from Barrett Parkway to Due West Rd because Helen Goreham is preventing them from selling their homes to big developers. HG promised these home owners that “This section of Dallas Hwy will not be zoned commercial” as long as she is in office. And that would be as long as she is alive on planet earth. The homeowners are elderly, have been rear-ended pulling into their driveways, and have to wait forever to pull out of their driveways.

    Does Goreham deserve praise for keeping West Cobb in that kind of idyllic genre? Or should West Cobb’s Dallas Hwy look like Cobb Parkway all the way out to Paulding?

    You decide.

    • CobbGOPer says:

      As a West Cobb resident that uses Dallas Hwy a lot, I’m ok with this. It’s only really commercially undeveloped for short spans between Barrett Pkwy and the Avenue at West Cobb, and then again between there and the Publix/whatnot at Lost Mountain Rd. OK, and between there and the Paulding County line as well, but once you hit the county line it’s Walmart and car dealerships all the way to Hiram.

      I understand residents wanting to be able to sell their home/land to developers for the next big box shopping center (and so they can make out like bandits due to sheer geographic luck), but I’m also not interested in living on Cobb Parkway part Deux.

      I would say that is the only thing I agree with Helen Gorham on. But if she gets a challenger that supports continuing commercial zoning restrictions along Dallas Hwy west of Marietta, I’m for them.

  6. SmyrnaSAHM says:

    Bridget, I’m delighted that you see Byrne for what he is. When you described him as “a little tin-foily” in an earlier post, I thought, “A LITTLE?” His website alone alarmed me from day one. First, the typos were egregious, but it was his slogan that gave me considerable pause. “Return and Restore” to what, exactly? I moved to Cobb in 2000 after living in Decatur and Va-Hi since 1994 – but I grew up as an oil brat, so we moved pretty regularly. I’ve lived in Cobb longer than I’ve lived anywhere else, but I don’t think my family and I would have stayed here and planted roots and become as involved as we have (I’m a local elected, so I think I can say I’m pretty involved) if this were still Byrne’s Cobb County.

    Another commenter mentioned Vinings – that’s it’s own animal entirely, but it’s still Cobb, and Cobb sure does have its share of Fortune 500 companies. I’d love to hear a Commission candidate discuss how he will work with all facets of Cobb County. We are absolutely a part of Metro Atlanta, and if we are going to stay an economic contender in the region, we need someone with the vision to unite Cobb and work within the region. I don’t know if Lee is that person, necessarily, but it sure isn’t Byrne.

    I live in one of Cobb’s incorporated cities, so clearly I’m biased and I think that cities are super – but I think that we already have at least two Cobbs. When our senate district was redrawn (the Stoner/Hill district), a colleague asked me what Smyrna had in common with Sandy Springs, and while I think it’s important that whoever represents us in the Senate needs to remember us over here in 30080 and the 30082, the City of Smyrna has a whole lot more in common with Sandy Springs than we do with, say, Powder Springs. It’s also notable that, to my knowledge, Byrne has not reached out to any electeds in my neck of the woods – all the other candidates have, for every House, Senate, and Congressional race. Now, it’s not like they need to come kiss our rings, or whatever, but if we are going to potentially be working with this person, it would be nice to get a shout-out.

  7. 5MinuteMan says:

    Nobody wants this, including East Cobbers. Cobb does a good job providing services to EC, and the last thing we need — or want — is another layer of government to tax us in East Cobb. Byrne’s suggestion that we’d pay only a “nominal cost” for a major reorganization of Cobb County’s government is absurd.

    Looking over the precinct results, Byrne lost most East Cobb precincts to Tim Lee by a more than 2-1 margin. Floating a municipality of East Cobb is a desperate attempt by Byrne to pick up votes in an area that will go overwhelmingly for Tim Lee in the runoff.

    • bgsmallz says:

      Can we please retire ‘another layer of government’? That is such a misnomer when it comes to incorporations.

      It’s that kind of simple rhetoric that GOP strategists hired by rich, liberal donors in Brookhaven tried to use to sway folks to vote against the city of Brookhaven…and frankly, it worked extremely well in somehow persuading libertarians and otherwise smart conservatives that they would be better off with DeKalb providing municipal services (with its unlimited ability to raise taxes and allocate resources using our tax dollars in other parts of the county) vs. creating a new, local government.

  8. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    Since Bill Byrne is allow to make statements like “moats”, that he will not address “Atlanta’s problems”, he’s still pissed that state law mandates Cobb be part of the ARC, and we should decide who to let “inside the gates”. Seriously, comments like this demonstrate an attitude deeply grounded in provincial and isolated mindset. That’s exactly what you’d be voting for. Welcome to 1892.

    The simple fact is, no region or county can grow and develop with this kind attitude. I’m all for letting local folks determine some issues, but as long as we’re all traveling on county, state and federal roads, drinking the same water, calling a centralized 911 system for fire and police, taxing folks for a county school system it’s delusional to think East Cobb is different and special. Some of the issues may be, but I’m pretty sure the East Cobb Civic Association is clear on how “special” we are. I leave it to them to fight the fights over that.

    It saddens me that cooperation and compromise have become such dirty words in some circles.

  9. John Vestal says:

    “Cobb will become West Side Story with 75 being the rail road tracks.”

    I’m guessing that the imagery of Cobb’s finest, athletic young men roaming along Sope Creek – occasionally breaking into fabulously-choreographed dance routines – may not sit too well with Mr. Byrne.

    …….or would it? 😉

  10. notsplost says:

    At least Bill is putting forward some new ideas and not simply running a mudslinging negative campaign.

    And on the topic of negative campaigning, I seem to recall getting a nasty mailer at my home a few weeks ago from Tim Lee claiming that Bill Byrne really lived in Polk County and wasted a bunch of money on an incinerator. I guess when your record is a failure you can’t do anything but bash your opponent. It seems to be working for Obama, I guess.

    This election is about Tim Lee’s failed leadership, plain and simple. He’s raised our taxes, tried to push the horrible TSPLOST on us with it’s new layer of regional government and sold us out to the Chamber of Commerce. Time for the voters to send him packing and on to his “dream” job which I am sure he already has lined up as a lobbyist with the Chamber.

    • James Touchton says:

      Why is it you can’t log in under your own name and post things about someone who I am sure you have never shared this to their face?

      James Touchton

      • notsplost says:

        The only reason I won’t give out my name is that I value my own privacy and I have no guarantees you aren’t some psycho who will try to come after me.

        I am not trashing anyone’s reputation. I am replying to a thread where Bill Byrne is getting flack for coming up with a new idea. You can do your own research on Tim Lee and come to your own conclusions. The only thing I’ve stated which isn’t a known fact is that he is working for the Chamber of Commerce and not the citizens of Cobb County. That is admittedly my personal opinion. However why don’t you do your own research instead of using vulgarities and trying to discredit my opinions based on the fact that like 99% of folks who post to blogs I use a handle?

  11. James Touchton says:

    Well, let’s see. Tim is “working for the Chamber of Commerce” as you say. I would be interested to see where you acquired this knowledge for which you base your opinion on. If you are referring to the EDGE idea and that only, that is weak sauce and causes me to wonder if you would tie business and economic development to a better Cobb County.

    Now, I don’t know much. I am a simpleton, admittedly. I do support Tim Lee. Why? I understand that a better Cobb will include more business. How? More business = higher revenue. More business = more taxpayers. More taxpayers = more money for county services which citizens I have learned in my time seem to enjoy.

    County Services cost money. I know, I know, every citizen is a budget expert and has pinpointed exactly what should be cut, based on their extensive knowledge of county government and their understanding of what need to go where. Sometimes I wonder if every citizen who pontificates on the matter isn’t a bona fide county manager just waiting to be asked to serve. It is a shame these experts do not run for office.

    Oh wait….much easier to lob bombs on the sidelines.

    I hope no physco comes after me…

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