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Don’t You Just Love Cobb County?

I love Cobb County. We all have a lot of reasons to love Cobb County!

That was the essence of my State of Cobb County address last month (which can be viewed on TV23:
Video On Demand: Special Presentation) at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. That’s because in Cobb, we
have every right to feel very good about a number of accomplishments, from our rare, Triple-A rating (now going on 18 consecutive years), to our strong school system. Everything our 4,500 county employees do, every day, is done to provide the best services possible to our citizens and visitors. They do what they do so you get your money’s worth from the taxes you pay – still among the lowest in metro Atlanta, by the way – and so you can, frankly, brag to others about where you live!

Here’s what you, as a Cobb County resident or business owner, have to brag about:

• a citizenry invested in the county’s future
• excellent quality of life
• low cost of living and/or doing business
• low taxes
• strong employment
• effective public safety
• excellent educational opportunities
• ongoing improvements in transportation
• local commitment to parks and recreation
• a county with 18 years of Triple-A ratings from all three credit-rating agencies
• a water system also with a triple, Triple-A rating
• a fiscally conservative government with a healthy budget surplus
• favorable and competitive business conditions
• steady local leadership
• a county with strong relationships with its cities.

That’s a pretty impressive list, don’t you think?

These are on the wish lists for most anyone searching for a place to live or a place to do business. It’s normal; people want to a local government that’s working on their behalf. They want a government that empowers them – through its own efficiency and responsiveness – to accomplish anything they set their mind to.

Cobb County does that. Our employees do a phenomenal job executing beyond expectations and  delivering more for less. Their accomplishments are many, but the rewards are ours.

I love that.

If you love it too, then please tweet #iLoveCobb.

(Reprinted from Commissioner Tim Lee’s e-newsletter 1/19/2015)

 

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Make plans to attend chairman’s town hall in District Two

Open communication is one of the fundamental elements of good government and town hall meetings serve as excellent opportunities to share information, ideas and input.

Chairman Tim Lee is hosting a town hall meeting in each of the four commission districts this year. The next meeting will be held in District Two 6:30-8 p.m., Monday, Feb. 23, at East Cobb Regional Library, 4880 Lower Roswell Road.

Other scheduled town halls are planned March 19 at East Cobb Senior Center in District Three andApril 29 at South Cobb Community Center in District Four. For more information, call 770-528-3305 or visit cobbcounty.org/lee.

 

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Cobb Chairman Tim Lee Hires a Deputy Chief

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Kellie Anne Brownlow

 

 

Cobb Chairman Tim Lee announced last month that he will hire Kellie Anne Brownlow to serve as deputy chief to the chairman. At an annual salary of $105,000, Brownlow will manage and coordinate activities for designated projects with county staff, state and local government partners and various boards, commissions and committees to ensure Cobb County’s goals and objectives are accomplished.

She will research and coordinate special projects, media inquiries and Open Records requests received in the Chairman’s Office, respond to public inquiries and represent the Chairman’s Office at various meetings, committees and speaking engagements. Brownlow began her new position on Monday, January 12.

“Our growing role in the region and constant focus on expanding Cobb’s economy demands more and more of my attention,” Lee said. “Adding Kellie to the team and having her expertise in local government  as well as experience with economic development will be a key component in accomplishing more for our county.”

Brownlow brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in economic development, government relations and project management to Cobb County. For the past three years, Brownlow has served as the economic development director for the Gwinnett Chamber and Partnership Gwinnett. In this role, she led the implementation of business recruitment, expansion and retention strategies across five target industries.

Brownlow also has more than 11 years of experience working for the Atlanta Regional Commission; her most recent role as division chief of local government services. At ARC, she was responsible for managing relationships with elected officials, providing services and customized training for cities  and counties in the Atlanta region. Brownlow’s team implemented the Regional Leadership Institute and LINK programs and provided consulting services to local governments in the areas of human  resources, management and operations and comprehensive planning. During her tenure with the ARC, she managed the development of the first comprehensive regional economic development strategy.

Brownlow earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhode Island College. She is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Gwinnett and  also a Regional Leadership Institute graduate.

 

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Lee to hold town hall meetings in each district

Open communication is one of the fundamental elements of good government and town hall meetings serve as excellent opportunities to share information, ideas and input. Chairman Tim Lee will host a town hall meeting in each of the four commission districts this year.

  • District One
    6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29
    North Cobb Senior Center, 4100 Highway 293, Acworth
  • District Two
    6:30-8 p.m., Monday, Feb. 23
    East Cobb Regional Library, 4880 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta
  • District Three
    6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, March 19
    East Cobb Senior Center, 3332 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta
  • District Four
    6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, April 23
    South Cobb Recreation Center, 875 Six Flags Road, Austell

For more information, call the Chairman’s Office at 770-528-3305.

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Save the date: Chairman to host town hall meetings

Open communication is one of the fundamental elements of good government and town hall meetings serve as excellent opportunities to share information, ideas and input. Chairman Tim Lee will host a town hall meeting in each of the four commission districts this year.

  • District One
    6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29
    North Cobb Senior Center, 4100 Highway 293, Acworth
  • District Two
    6:30-8 p.m., Monday, Feb. 23
    East Cobb Regional Library, 4880 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta
  • District Three
    6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, March 19
    East Cobb Senior Center, 3332 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta
  • District Four
    6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, April 23
    South Cobb Recreation Center, 875 Six Flags Road, Austell

For more information, call the Chairman’s Office at 770-528-3305.

 

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Attend the January ECCA meeting

The East Cobb Civic Association Monthly Meeting is Wednesday, January 28, 7pm, East Cobb Government Center – 4400 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta.

The speaker for this month’s meeting is Cobb County Commission Chariman Tim Lee. Chairman Lee will deliver his remarks on the State of the County and entertain questions. Following the speaker, the regular monthly meeting of the Association will be held, which is open to members only.

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Deputy chief selected to serve in Chairman’s Office

Tim Lee

Cobb Chairman Tim Lee announced this week that he will hire Kellie Anne Brownlow to serve as deputy chief to the chairman. Brownlow brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in economic development, government relations and project management to Cobb County.

“Our growing role in the region and constant focus on expanding Cobb’s economy demands more and more of my attention,” Lee said. “Adding Kellie to the team and having her expertise in local government as well as experience with economic development will be a key component in accomplishing more for our county.”

For the past three years, Brownlow has served as the economic development director for the Gwinnett Chamber and Partnership Gwinnett. In this role, she led the implementation of business recruitment, expansion and retention strategies across five target industries.

Brownlow also has more than 11 years of experience working for the Atlanta Regional Commission; her most recent role as division chief of local government services. At ARC, she was responsible for managing relationships with elected officials, providing services and customized training for cities and counties in the Atlanta region. Brownlow’s team implemented the Regional Leadership Institute and LINK programs and provided consulting services to local governments in the areas of human resources, management and operations and comprehensive planning. During her tenure with the ARC, she managed the development of the first comprehensive regional economic development strategy.

Brownlow earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhode Island College. She is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Gwinnett and also a Regional Leadership Institute graduate.

In her new position, Brownlow will manage and coordinate activities for designated projects with county staff, state and local government partners and various boards, commissions and committees to ensure Cobb County’s goals and objectives are accomplished. She will research and coordinate special projects, media inquiries and Open Records requests received in the Chairman’s Office, respond to public inquiries and represent the Chairman’s Office at various meetings, committees and speaking engagements. Brownlow will report to Chairman Lee and begin her new position on Monday, Jan. 12.

 

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Registration open for State of the County address

 

Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee will present the annual State of the County address 7:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 12, at the Cobb Galleria Centre. The event will be hosted by Cobb Chamber of Commerce staff and online registration closes at noon Thursday, Jan. 8.

Cobb Galleria is located at Two Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. To register online, click here, or visitcobbchamber.org.

The State of the County address will also be replayed on Government Access Channel TV23 and available via Video On Demand on the county’s Web site, www.cobbcounty.org.

 
 

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Cobb development by another name is expansion

 

A good customer service rep is one who says, “We know you had other choices, and we’re glad that you chose to do business with us.” In Cobb County, we’re getting the chance to say that quite a bit as we see our plans for long-term economic expansion working.

Notice I didn’t say “economic development,” which typically focuses largely on the quantity of new-business contributions to a region’s economy. I mean expansion, where you also focus on the quality of growth.

In September, I told the Council for Quality Growth that we need to shift our way of thinking from exclusively economic development to that of expanding opportunities. I define it as creating the kind of jobs that will attract today’s youth who are getting their education now so they won’t see the need to move out of Cobb County when they start their careers.

Local students graduating from area technical colleges might be intrigued, for example, with opportunities at companies such as Greenway Health, a Carrollton-based company that just announced a new office here for software development. Greenway is starting in Cobb with 150 new jobs that pay, on average, another 50% more than the county’s average wage.

Other options might include companies like the German metal-components manufacturer, citim AM, who is investing $9 million in its move next year to Kennesaw. Or, Vonage, the phone company that in July announced plans to move into the Cumberland area from Atlanta.

Most recently, Genuine Parts announced it would accelerate the consolidation of its corporate headquarters with another of its facilities, which is located just across I-75 at Wildwood Office Park. The 1.7-mile move could have, instead, been to another county or state, but Genuine Parts cited a wonderful relationship with Cobb County and an eagerness to stay here and plan for the company’s own expected growth.

We’re excited about all this expansion, and hope that you’ll latch onto that word when you tell people you know about all the great things happening in Cobb County.

(Reprinted Commissioner Tim Lee’s e-newsletter)

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.)