There are good arguments on both sides of the 2016 SPLOST renewal debate, which will be voted on by Cobb residents in a few days. I feel that too much of the money will be allocated to transportation projects, some of which are unnecessary and lead to overdevelopment. For example, widening Roswell Road all the way to the Fulton County line makes little sense to this east Cobb resident; the only real congested area is between Johnson Ferry Road and the new WellStar Health facility. This seems like a waste of money and a sure way to tear up a bunch of sidewalks, some of which were only recently put in with the last SPLOST.
On the other hand, the parks and public safety projects are worthy of consideration.
However, the real issue here is trust. I believe there are many good people in Cobb government who do their jobs with integrity and professionalism. However the Board of Commissioners has shown itself to be lacking in those qualities. We have a chairman who thinks it is OK to ramrod $400 million in borrowing through without bothering to inform his fellow commissioners until the last minute, not to mention allowing the county residents a vote. And we have seen with the 2008 parks bonds that the will of the voters can just be discarded whenever the commission feels like it. Those bonds were voter approved and could have been used to purchase valuable green space, at a time when real estate was cheap. I have to question whether this was done deliberately to allow those in the real estate development community, many of whom have close ties to the commission, more opportunities for profiteering.
If the voters cannot be trusted to weigh in on $400 million of bonds for the Braves stadium, or to have some influence on the future land use of an already overdeveloped east Cobb real estate market, then maybe they should not trust this commission as currently constituted to spend $750 million more of their money.
Christopher A. Peters