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Facts about the Future of Transportation in Cobb County

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Safe and efficient transportation has long been a top priority in Cobb County and plays a key role in building and maintaining a strong, prosperous community. Recently, the Board of Commissioners passed a resolution to adopt the five-year update to the 2040 countywide Comprehensive Transportation Plan.

  • The CTP is not a regulatory document.  It is a planning document required by the Atlanta Regional Commission that provides opportunities for counties to take advantage of and maximize state and federal funding opportunities.
  • The CTP requirements state that all plans must include short, mid and long-term/aspirational projects. The CTP update approved last week includes 240 projects.
  • Bus Rapid Transit is one of these projects. The adoption of the CTP does not equate to BOC support of BRT.  In fact, the BRT project is conditioned with a statement that reads “This project will only move forward with a specific and separate approval of the Board of Commissioners. If deemed necessary by the board, it will be put to a referendum of the voters of Cobb County.”
  • This means that if and when, the BOC chooses to consider this project, there will be open and transparent dialogue about the merits, cost and funding so that the board of commissioners, whomever they may be at the time, can decide the best next steps including, but not limited to, a public referendum.
  • It is important to note that we, as a board, cannot legally bind a future board to a voter referendum or any other course of action. The condition we put on the BRT project ensures that the BOC, whomever it may consist of at the time, will consider the project as it is presented at the time and make a decision about whether or not and how to move forward in an open, public, and transparent process.

Visit www.cobbinmotion.com to review the report and check out the entire list of projects that will positively impact Cobb County now and into the future.

 

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The Future of Transportation in Cobb County

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A message from Chairman Tim Lee: 

Safe and efficient transportation has long been a top priority in Cobb County and plays a key role in building and maintaining a strong, prosperous community. Last week, at the Board of Commissioners meeting, the BOC unanimously passed a resolution to adopt the five-year update to the 2040 countywide Comprehensive Transportation Plan. The CTP is a 30-year plan that provides a vision for the transportation future of Cobb County.

The development of a CTP is required by Atlanta Regional Commission for all counties in the Atlanta area.  This update includes both a five-year constrained (funded) plan and an aspirations plan. This document allows Cobb County to take advantage of, and maximize, state and federal transportation funding opportunities.

I am proud of the work that Team Cobb put into the development of the Cobb County CTP. Over the course of the last two years, more than 10,000 residents participated in the public involvement process. This input guided the development and prioritization of transportation solutions, projects and policies.

The adopted CTP includes a list of more than 240 projects. These projects address everything from traffic mitigation and safety to airport improvements, bicycle and pedestrian pathways, technology enhancements, transit expansion and improvements. The project list totals more than $5 billion dollars of investment and includes several major projects such as the Third Army Road Interchange, Revive 285 and Bus Rapid Transit along the Highway 41 corridor connecting Kennesaw State University to Arts Station in Atlanta.

Although BRT is one of the projects in the plan, the adoption of the CTP does not imply BOC support of this project. In fact, this document states that if and when the BOC chooses to move forward with BRT, it will only happen with specific and separate approval of the board. This will allow for transparent, public dialogue about the merits, feasibility, cost and funding of BRT. It gives the board the opportunity to openly consider the best steps for moving forward, including alternatives such as a voter referendum.

Cobb Community Transit is the second largest transit operator in Georgia and while BRT and transit improvements are, and should continue to be, a major focus in Cobb County, this is but one of 240 worthwhile projects. Together, the projects and policies set forth in the CTP will alleviate congestion, enhance safety and improve the quality of life for our more than 700,000 residents.

I encourage everyone to visit www.cobbinmotion.com to review the recommendations report and check out the entire list of projects that will positively impact Cobb County now and into the future.


 

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Lee remodels office with new space and people: None of expenditures approved by the commission

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Written By Dan Klepal – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee is remaking his office, both literally and figuratively.

Since 2013, Lee has twice remodeled his office in the county building for a combined $34,500; he hired a deputy chief in January at $105,000 a year; and now he’s in the process of creating a position for a web-savvy employee who will take the place of Millie Rodgers, an assistant in the chairman’s office since 1992.

And none of that spending received approval from the full board of commissioners.

The latest office remodel — which cost $22,437 to convert a closet to office space for Lee’s new deputy Kellie Brownlow and install a new glass door — used cash from three different county funds, according to documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution under Georgia’s Open Records Act.

That includes $3,000 in savings that had been dedicated to buying furniture and equipment for the county’s senior services center in Powder Springs, the records show.

The county’s Biennial Budget Book for 2015-16 says that expenditure “increases or decreases … for a department or fund must be approved by the Board of Commissioners.” The document then gives examples:

  • The appropriation of additional revenue, such as … fund balance, to support operating expenses or fund a major capital project.
  • The re-appropriation of funding, or transfers, from one fund to another.
  • The appropriation of funding for additional employees, both full-time and part-time.

County finance director Jim Pehrson said the remodeling projects didn’t need commission approval because excess funds covered the cost. “There is not increase or decrease in budget and there is no transfer of funds with this project,” Pehrson wrote in an email.

County Attorney Deborah Dance also said County Manager David Hankerson can authorize spending of up to $50,000 without board approval.

Neither Lee nor Hankerson answered questions for this story. Hankerson, who was sent a list of nine questions May 20, including whether he approved the expenditures, referred all questions to Brownlow. Lee ignored a question about why he remodeled the office twice in two years.

Brownlow said Hankerson approved the remodeling expenditures.

While Hankerson wouldn’t answer questions, he did take interest in Lee’s most recent remodeling project, according to a Feb. 9 email between county staffers: “Mr. Hankerson asked that you provide him with a construction schedule for the chairman’s renovation as well as the county attorney’s renovation. He made a point that the chairman’s renovation is the priority.”

Lee also hired Brownlow without approval from the commission. She took a vacant position in the community services department and reports directly to Lee. The county had previously told the newspaper that move didn’t need commission approval because Lee was not creating a new position.

Bill Byrne, who was commission chairman for 10 years and lost an election to Lee, said it’s odd that the chairman would remodel his office twice in two years.

“I inherited the office and all I did was move around some furniture. I think it’s very strange,” Byrne said.

Lance Lamberton, president of the Cobb Taxpayers Association, has often clashed with Lee over fiscal issues. He said spending money without the commission’s approval “shows a cavalier disregard for the interests of the taxpayers.”

(Reprinted from the AJC.com. Read the original article HERE.) 

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Attention East Cobb Commuters: Portion of Riverside Drive to close for construction

 

Sandy Springs city officials plan to close Riverside Drive south of Johnson Ferry Road to through traffic from May 26 through mid-to-late August, said Sharon Kraun, city communications director.

Workers will realign the sharp curve on Riverside Drive to improve the road shoulder south of Johnson Ferry Road. The project includes roadway construction and installation of guardrail and sidewalks. A detour will be in place.

 

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Legislators and corporate lobbyists meet in secret at Georgia resort

East Cobb’s Sen. Judson Hill is highlighted in this report that exposes the close relationship between business interests and lawmakers within the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Sen. Hill is a longtime member of ALEC.

View the original 11alive report at http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/investigations/2015/05/21/investigators-legislators-and-corporate-lobbyists-meet-in-secret-at-georgia-resort/27695105/

 

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County offices closed on Memorial Day

 

All Cobb County Government offices, including public libraries, will be closed Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.

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Cobb County Government CLOSED Monday in observance of Memorial Day

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All Cobb County Government offices will be closed Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.

 

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Veteran’s Memorial 5K is Saturday

Veteran’s Memorial 5k presented by American Legion Post 29 this Saturday, May 23. All proceeds support the charities of the American Legion to benefit Georgia Veterans and their families.
Start times: 5K – 7:30am; 1K walk/run – 8:30am; Tot Trot (ages 5 and under) – 8:45am. 5K/1K: $30. Phantom Runner: $25. Start and finish Marietta Square Marietta. Packet pickup 12-8pm, 5/21/15 at American Legion Post 28, 921 Gresham Road, Marietta.
More info: Gary Jenkins, 678-214-5294 or gary@georgiarunner.com.

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This Tuesday and Wednesday: Loren Spivack, “The Free Market Warrior”

 

The Cobb County Republican Party and The Georgia Tea Party invite the community to attend a FREE 2-evening seminar featuring Loren Spivack, who is returning after his successful “Economic Literacy” seminar in 2011. Seminar topic is “Getting There From Here; A Practical Guide For Restoring America.”

The seminar will be held on Tuesday, May 19 and Wednesday, May 20, from 6-9:30 pm each night at Cobb GOP Headquarters, 799 Roswell Street, Marietta.

Although tickets are FREE, seating is limited. To sign up and print your FREE ticket for each night, click HERE.

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Town hall scheduled this Tuesday

 

Commissioner Bob Ott will hold another town hall public meeting 7-8:30 pm on Tuesday, May 12, at Mt. Bethel UMC, 4385 Lower Roswell Road in East Cobb. Town hall meetings provide residents a chance to hear up-to-date information about their district and share concerns.

For more information, call 770-528-3316.

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