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Season tickets for new stadium available soon

 

Season tickets for the Atlanta Braves new SunTrust Park in Cobb will go on sale next month at an office near the new stadium.Click here for the good news. #IloveCobb

 

SunTrust Park business outreach event is Tuesday

Businesses interested in being subcontractors on aspects of the SunTrust Park, being built in Cobb County, are invited to attend the business outreach event to get information on the types of contractors needed and the process for being considered.

6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 10
Cobb County Senior Wellness Center
1150 Powder Springs St, Marietta.

To RSVP, go to www.AmericanBuilders2017.com.

 

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Braves move to Cobb: Oral Argument at Supreme Court of Georgia

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The planned stadium in Cobb County for the Atlanta Braves has had a bit of controversy. For months various public figures have described any opposition to the stadium as misguided and have denigrated anyone who has questioned the project. I am one of those people and ask for a couple of minutes of your time to read this and understand the issues.
Current status: In July, Cobb County Superior Court held a hearing to”Validate” the bonds for financing the stadium. This is a legally-mandated process that assures bond investors that the bonds were properly issued under the law. Several people “intervened” in the validation process. Intervention is allowed in the law for anyone who has reason to oppose the validation. The Court dismissed all the objections and issued an order validating the bonds. Three Interveners appealed the ruling of the Cobb Court. By law, appeals of bond validation go directly to the Supreme Court of Georgia. Briefs were submitted by the three Appellants and by the attorneys for the government parties (Cobb County and the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority) in November and December. On Tuesday, February 3, oral arguments were heard in the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Video of the oral arguments in the stadium bonds case at the Supreme Court can be seen here.

This is a very abbreviated view of the case against the bond debt.
The new stadium for the Atlanta Braves requires Cobb County to incur debt. Revenue bonds are to be issued in the amount of $397,000,000. The bonds are to be issued by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority.
The Georgia Constitution states clearly that a referendum is required to acquire “the assent of the voters”  for a local government to incur debt. This was not done despite there being elections already scheduled in April and November of 2014. There are also other limitations in the Constitution that are applicable to revenue bond debt.
Cobb County and the Coliseum Authority have entered into an “Intergovernmental Agreement” (IGA). This is a specialized form of contracts for units of state and local governments. Under this agreement the Authority will issue the bonds and the County will make payments to the Authority sufficient to meet the obligations for principal and interest on the bonds, as well as expenses of the Authority. This is in addition to rent payments by the Braves of $6.1 million per year. The County’s payments will run about $19 million per year, for thirty years. These terms were approved by the Cobb County Commissioners, not by a referendum of the public.
The government (County and Authority) contends that they are not subject to the limitations on debt, including the referendum requirement, found in the Constitution because they have an Intergovernmental Agreement. The constitutional origin for the IGA is not the basis for that claim as it says nothing about that subject. The claim that the government is immune to the debt limitations of the Constitution is derived from a court decision in 1952.
Several issues were raised in the appeal to the Supreme Court. The most important objections before the Court are these:
  • The 1952 Court decision has for years provided the legal authority for local governments to dodge the debt limits of the Constitution. It is a seriously flawed decision. In short, the conclusion of the Court in 1952 is completely wrong and should be overturned by the current Supreme Court. With that, the government would not have a claim of immunity and would absolutely be required to conform to the limitations of the Constitution, including the referendum requirement.
  • The Intergovernmental Agreement between the County and the Coliseum Authority is not valid. It does not contain the essential elements of an Intergovernmental Agreement that the Court has required in all prior cases.
  • The government does not have Constitutional authority to build a stadium for the exclusive use of a professional sports team. The government claims its Constitutional Authority is from the Supplemental Powers Clause which allows for “parks” as a government function.
Why does it matter?
The use of Intergovernmental Agreements between units of government has been a growing trend around the state for years. It allows a local government and one of the MANY “Authorities” that have power to issue revenue bonds to cooperate in a way that bypasses the voters and enters the taxpayers into long-term debt obligations for virtually anything the county commissioners or city councils want to do. The stadium project in Cobb County takes it to the final step in that the stadium itself stretches the constitutional authority of “parks” to the maximum. The Intergovernmental Agreement says nothing more than “Party A will issue the bonds and Party B will provide money to make the payments”, with the money coming from taxpayers. This agreement can be replicated at any time by any local government in the state. If it is found to be acceptable, revenue bond debt will be available to any city or county in the state at any time with no vote and no limits.
All of this is contrary to clearly stated terms of the state Constitution and defies good judgement. What could be more dangerous than local politicians with unlimited access to credit?
One last word: Cobb County has approved a series of new taxes to pay for the stadium debt. Much of it falls on hotels, rental cars and property near the stadium. I have doubts about the legality of those taxes but no one has challenged them.
The bonds to be issued for financing the stadium ($397,000,000) include  a statement of “Security”. This is what assures investors that the bonds will absolutely be paid. The Security for these bonds is the absolute assurance that Cobb County will tax all the property in Cobb County at whatever rate is necessary to meet its obligations for this debt.
(Written by Larry Savage)

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Atlanta Braves releases four new conceptual renderings

 

The team also announced Atlanta-based architectural design firm Wakefield Beasley & Associates as the lead designer of the mixed-used development. The company has designed mixed-use developments throughout the southeast, including The Forum in Norcross, Ga., Town Center at Atlantic Station and Avalon in Alpharetta, Ga.

The new renderings provide additional architectural detail, highlight the massing of proposed buildings, showcase the interaction of SunTrust Park and various elements of the mixed-use project, and demonstrate the integration of the project with the surrounding area.

Both the ballpark and mixed-use development will open in April 2017. To view or download these renderings go to www.braves.com/suntrustpark

(Source: Cobbline)

 

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Meeting to share information on Braves’ SunTrust Park

Cobb County staff and Braves staff will host a public information meeting 3-7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 9. There will be no formal presentation, so people may drop in any time during the allotted hours. The open house format will feature displays from the Atlanta Braves, Cobb Department of Public Safety, Cobb Department of Transportation and Cobb Community Development. Stop by each display, converse with staff and gain a greater understanding of all the measures being taken in preparation for the opening of SunTrust Park. The meeting will be held in the BOC Room on the second floor of 100 Cherokee St., Marietta.

 

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Meetings to share information on Braves’ SunTrust Park

Residents and the business community are invited to two upcoming informational meetings on the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park.

American Builders 2017 will host a SunTrust Park Business Outreach meeting 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the Cobb Senior Wellness Center. Those interested in attending should RSVP atamericanbuilders2017.com. The Senior Wellness Center is located at 1150 Powder Springs St., Marietta.

Cobb County staff will host a public information meeting 3-7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 9. There will be no formal presentation, so people may drop in any time during the allotted hours. The open house format will feature displays from the Atlanta Braves, Cobb Department of Public Safety, Cobb Department of Transportation and Cobb Community Development. Stop by each display, converse with staff and gain a greater understanding of all the measures being taken in preparation for the opening of SunTrust Park. The meeting will be held in the BOC Room on the second floor of 100 Cherokee St., Marietta.

 

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Arson hotline offers $10K reward for information on fire in East Cobb Braves critic’s yard

A screenshot from surveillance video around Susan McCoy’s house shows her front yard bursting into flame, after she says a man is seen running away from the scene. Courtesy of Susan McCoy

 

A Georgia hotline for arson complaints is offering up to $10,000 as a reward for information about a fire last week at the home of a woman who criticized the county’s role in the deal to bring the Braves stadium to Cobb County.

The reward is funded by insurance companies based in Georgia who donate to the Georgia Arson Control Hotline, and it is only given to people who can give information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of someone responsible for the arson, said Sam Heaton, Cobb’s public safety director.

Heaton said fire investigators declared the fire at the home of Susan McCoy, an east Cobb attorney, was arson this week.

“The (Georgia Arson Control Hotline) comes from a group of insurance companies that invest funds into this group.

If there is an arrest and conviction, the person that turns it in can be awarded up to $10,000,” Heaton said. “They have a board that oversees those cases.”

McCoy said if a person provides information about the case but doesn’t receive the full $10,000 reward, she personally guarantees the remainder.

The fire, which destroyed a portion of McCoy’s plastic white picket fence, as well as plants and grass in her front yard, took place about a week after she blasted the commissioners for favoring the interests of the Braves’ ownership over those of the county at a Board of Commissioners meeting.

At the meeting, McCoy criticized the board’s approval of using county money to finance the construction of SunTrust Park, the new Braves stadium to be built near Cumberland Mall.

McCoy said she has filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission asking the federal agency to investigate the bond issuance for “fraud or material misstatements.”

Since the fire, McCoy has said she believes it was an act of retaliation against her statements.

Although Tim Lee, chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, had previously agreed to meet with McCoy to discuss her complaints, he canceled the meeting after the fire.

Lee said he didn’t want to meet with McCoy until the investigation into the fire was resolved.

McCoy said a person can be seen pouring fuel on her yard and lighting it before running away early in the morning of Sept. 18 in video taken by cameras attached to her home.

“I handed over 24 hours of surveillance video (of that day) from the cameras that are installed all around my house to the investigators to examine what they could find,” McCoy said.

In the meantime, McCoy said she has been increasing the security around her home and practicing at the shooting range in case she should need to protect her husband and two boys, ages 11 and 13, in the future.

“I went to the shooting range this past weekend and brushed up on my shooting skills, so hopefully no one will think about coming back,” McCoy said.

McCoy said she hasn’t tried to fix the fence or plants that were burned in her yard yet because she’s been too busy. She said she doesn’t know how much the repairs will cost, but she won’t get any help from her insurance company to pay for the damage.

“I had a fire in 2009 for my house, and it was a huge fire with an air conditioning unit,” McCoy said.

“When we tried to make those claims it placed us into another category of risk (on the insurance policy). So, I am not capable of making another claim of a fire without it jeopardizing my home insurance.”

McCoy said her family had to leave their home for nine months while the previous damage was repaired. The experience scared her children, McCoy said.

“(The arsonist) just re-aggravated some older issues with my children,” McCoy said.

(Reprinted from The Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Hilary Butschek, September 27, 2014.) 

East Marietta players attend Braves groundbreaking

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The Atlanta Braves invited players from the East Marietta Little League to their recent groundbreaking. East Marietta players enjoyed the experience and even left some Sewell Park dirt on the field.

It was a great day for East Marietta baseball!

Groundbreaking set for Brave’s $672M stadium

The Atlanta Braves are on deck to break ground on the organization’s new $672 million ballpark during a ceremony Sept. 16 at 11 a.m.

Officials say the groundbreaking will begin the construction phase of the project, putting it on schedule to welcome fans for opening day in 2017.

The new ballpark at the intersection of I-75 and I-285 will feature three decks, 41,500 seats, 14 access points, a wide concourse and an overhang approximately three times larger than most ballparks.

“This new ballpark will be a world-class venue that will give Braves Country the ultimate fan experience, both inside the park and out,” said Terry McGuirk, Braves chairman and CEO. “We look forward to continuing to build great memories for our fans at this wonderful new location.”

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal, September 3, 2014. Click HERE for the original MDJ article.) 

 

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Braves ballpark builders to hold meeting on bidding opportunities

Atlanta Braves

Anyone interested in an opportunity to be a part of building the new Atlanta Braves ballpark is invited to join American Builders 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 11 at Riverside EpiCenter in Austell. At that meeting, interested parties will receive information on bidding opportunities for the project, learn more about American Builders 2017 and hear an overview of the project. RSVP at www.americanbuilders2017.com.

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by MDJ staff, July 30, 2014. View the original article HERE.)

 

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