Seems as though Cobb Countians are coming to the same conclusion….

This endorsement of Tim Lee was in the MDJ this morning.  Our eyes are open to the hand we’ve been dealt, but we’ve still got to do the right thing for Cobb’s future.

THERE’S NO QUESTION that Tim Lee has had a rocky two years as Cobb Commission chairman, or that many of those rough spots were of his own making.


LEE’S SOMETIMES-SHAKY PERFORMANCE helped deliver a full field of challengers when re-election time rolled around this summer. He’s now in a runoff race against former Commission Chairman Bill Byrne, a landscape architect who served from 1993 until his resignation in 2002 in what proved to be a fruitless run for governor.

Byrne is unquestionably the most controversial public official ever elected to local Cobb office in modern times. Although he proved a capable-enough administrator, he is best remembered for his role in passing an anti-gay resolution that sharply divided the county and cost Cobb its chance to host any events during the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Also memorable was his decision to green-light construction of the poorly designed Bedminster Recycling Plant on County Service Parkway, and the way it spewed noxious fumes into nearby neighborhoods, and the way his commission initially tried to ignore the problem. Also notable was the refusal of Byrne and his commission to adhere to the “Sunshine Laws,” and his attempts to commandeer then-new Cobb TV23 as a bully pulpit from which to push his agenda and bash his enemies.


Lee has had a rocky shake-out in his first two years as chair. But he is the stronger of the two candidates remaining. We see little desire on the part of most voters to roll back the clock two decades and put Bill Byrne at the helm of Cobb’s government once again.


p.s.  I’m slammed at work today, but wanted to get this up.  Keep it civil in the comment section please as I won’t be able to check in as much.


  1. Three Jack says:

    Shocker! Otis Brumby and the MDJ go after Bill Byrne! Say it ain’t so.

    The MDJ board leaves out all the good that Byrne did for Cobb County, AAA rating, presided over an unprecedented growth period, etc. And they also fail to give credit where due to Gordon Wysong for the anti-gay thing.

    The majority of Cobb County residents did not care about losing Olympic volleyball, the only event scheduled to take place in the county. It wasn’t that big a deal other than to some media hacks who always looked for ways to disparage the fastest growing county in America back then. Some of us were actually happy with the decision borne out by the re-election of Chairman Byrne after the Olympics left town.

    Lee in 2 years has shown his total lack of leadership ability. If one can justify voting for him despite his abject failure as chairman, then why not vote for Obama who also has proven to be a complete failure.

    Tough call but I will vote for Byrne if for no other reason than the entertainment value of him as chairman.

    • Rambler1414 says:

      Using “entertainment value” as a measuring stick to determine who to vote for
      is like choosing which college to attend based on whether they have Wendy’s or Arby’s in the Food Court.

  2. Bob Loblaw says:

    Entertainment value? That’s why you’d select an elected official? My God this isn’t deciding which movie to attend. The guy moved away, ran for office in another county BLASTING Cobb County in the process and now is back again? He said he was running against Lee because of T-SPLOST. That’s over. What’s he got now? Entertainment value? Doubletalk over substance. Amazing.

    • Three Jack says:

      Bob, Get a grip man. When we are left with a choice between a known failure and a known crazy man, wtf are voters supposed to do? I guess you choose failure, I’ll take entertainment…neither should be the final option in a county the size of Cobb.

  3. Bob Loblaw says:

    Its not me that needs to get a grip. Someone that’ll cast a ballot to watch four years of embarrassing frivolity needs to get a grip. I don’t care who Cobb has on its ballot to be its county chair, but failure? The guy gets an “F”? Cobb seems to be doing better than most counties in Metro. Granted, the military-industrial complex pays the tab to keep property taxes low, giving it an advantage. A county chairman is a serious job. Allowing entertainment to be a rationale for casting a ballot shows that a voter isn’t taking their part in the process seriously. Just don’t vote.

    • Three Jack says:

      “Just don’t vote.” I seriously considered this, but decided that I will vote because if the GOP is going to keep offering 2 evils from which to choose, I along with everybody else must pick the lesser. In this case, that would be Byrne and he has the added bonus of providing entertainment to those of us who follow politics.

  4. CobbGOPer says:

    Sitting this one out, but researching what would be required to recall a commission chairman… Maybe we can get rid of both of them.

  5. bruhsam says:

    As a centrist Cobb County taxpayer (which of course throws me far to the left of the average voter here) I’ve been fascinated by this election. The comments to this posting are illustrating that fascination. For example:

    Specific instances of Commissioner Lee’s failures – Mostly people are upset that he raised taxes and cut budgets. Is this a failure? No. It’s a difference in policy.

    Support of the T-SPLOST – I mean, come on, you can’t expect him to roll over and not support it after everything he’d gone through to help it move, unlike certain State Senators I could name.

    Tossing back to ThreeJack, giving credit to Byrne for the AAA rating and the growth period is the same as blaming Lee for the economic downturn recently; stupid. I’d think all of the readers and commenters on Peach Pundit would be realistic enough to know that politicians have limited impact on economic issues.

    I’m basing my support of Lee on something fundamental: He’s willing to say what his plans are. Byrne’s only plan is “not Lee” and “I’d do it differently.” That is not a good way to win my vote.

    • Three Jack says:

      bruhsam, You may want to re-read my post…I did not give credit to Byrne as if he singlehandedly achieved the AAA rating and caused growth in the county — “presided over an unprecedented growth period,..” But his policies did contribute to the climate that encouraged many of us to start our own businesses during that time period. My point was/is, MDJ only pointed out the perceived faults while totally ignoring many good things that occurred during Bill’s first run as chairman. But that’s normal for a Brumby newspaper that survives only due to the antiquated legal notice system here in GA.

      And yes, IMO raising taxes during one of the worst periods in Cobb County economic history is a failed act from a failed leader.

  6. bruhsam says:

    ThreeJack: There you go using that word again. I’d grant you “disagreeable act” but not “failed act” because what is your measure? If you’re defining any tax hike as a failure mode, than I guess we’re done talking and there’s really not much point having a discussion. If your only complaint about Lee is his tax positions, just be clear about that.

    For the record, I was not a big fan of my tax hike this year, but when all I can see in the future for a Byrne chairmanship is “fire everyone; let the economy sort them out” there’s not much choice. That may be hyperbolic, but it’s the logical conclusion of the policies he’s spoken about given his desire to cut county spending.

    Cobb County has thrived on a number of historical accidents, and the vigorous (and I would argue, responsive) county staff are a huge contributor to that.

    So, given that raising taxes is a failure mode, which county departments do we cut first?

  7. Technocrat says:

    Still don’t understand the antigay marriage mentality when the results might have been a low HIV rate in Cobb compared to Fulton County [center of Olympics] …….granted 750 [out of 700k+] is not good ……..but 18,000 out 950k seems more than excessive. Maybe not having Olympic volley ball was a great thing.

    Every one of these Cobb HIV patients cost $25,000 per year FOREVER at absolute minimum in free drugs and a few hospitalized individuals have spent way in excess of a million EACH of your State Medicaid and Federal Taxes.

    My son says people don’t want to hear about it. Maybe so but divide $30+ million by Cobb Taxpayers to see your share.

  8. Simeon Barsabae says:

    Bill Byrne’s obsession with Agenda 21 makes my tin foil hat tingle… and not in a good way.

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