On Tuesday night, Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee was handed a landslide defeat by challenger Mike Boyce in a runoff election that was expected to be the end of the road for a man who brought the Atlanta Braves to the county under shady circumstances.
Adding hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to county residents without asking is essentially a death sentence in the largely Republican county. But it’s hard for me, a 29-year resident of Cobb County, to be all that mad about what Lee did. I mean, he brought the Atlanta freaking Braves to our county.
Yes, he could have done a better job in that transaction. There’s no shortage of in-town publications that’ll tell you that. There’s little doubt that the county’s residents would have voted “yes” to all the taxes we’ve been levied in the last year or so. We would’ve signed off on getting the Braves to Marietta, if only we’d have been told ahead of time.
We would’ve done this because, no matter what you’ve read, this is nothing but a win for Cobb County. We’re going to make an awful lot of money off of this partnership.
Lee leaves behind a county that has one of the highest credit ratings in the nation for two decades running. A county that has landed more big business during his time in office, including, yes, the Atlanta freaking Braves.
Taking over is a man who has no political experience. Boyce, 66, a former Marine who has worked as a budgeter at the Pentagon, ran mostly on a platform that the Braves deal was bad and somebody should replace Lee. Boyce refused to debate Lee and ran a grassroots campaign that seemed to focus mostly on the Braves deal. On his website, Boyce’s platform focuses heavily on transparency but offers few promises other than that.
Time will tell if this was a smart idea for Cobb County, but for all that has been said about the Braves deal, Lee will leave office having balanced the budget and having lowered taxes almost everywhere – except for that one colossal deal that so angered the county.
Hopefully, Cobb County voters didn’t just cut off their nose to spite their face.
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