Board of Commissioners
FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Cobb Commission Chairman
This has proved to be a historic year. Cobb County’s financial picture has continued to improve even as we helped secure an array of benefits for both taxpayers and visitors.
We are steadily reducing the millage rate as part of a five year plan to bring taxes to what they were before the recession hit. Even as our population grows, we provide quality services while charging taxpayers less. This year our rate was 10.91 and it is expected to be 10.71 mills in 2014. Our tax digest, after several years of declining numbers, has started to level out and we expect it to improve next year.
Meanwhile, this marks the 17th consecutive year that the nation’s top bond rating agencies each recognized us with their “Triple A” ratings, keeping us in the top 1 percent of counties nationwide. These accomplishments are enhanced by our conservative policies and investments by the business community. Our partnership in the EDGE program demonstrates our commitment to job creation and economic development.
The recent 30-year agreement to help build a $672 million stadium for the Atlanta Braves in the Cumberland area is clearly the biggest example of our progress. By itself, this deal will bring $400 million of investment to Cobb for the creation of a mixed-used entertainment district on the site, thousands of construction jobs and millions in revenues coming to county government and schools.
Our commitment to the best quality of life in Georgia remains unchanged. We understand the importance of benefits such as public greenspace, public libraries and public safety. To this end, we have rigorously provided top-tier services while maintaining budget discipline.
The necessity to provide more with less will pay off in a big way for Cobb County as the community benefits from our improved fortunes. If a rising tide lifts all boats, we can expect Cobb to be riding high in the near future.
District One Commissioner
I have been honored to serve as your District One representative on the Cobb County Board of Commissioners for 11 years. It is, therefore, with mixed feelings that I have decided to retire at the end of 2014. The confidence voters placed in me is humbling and I have taken with utmost seriousness the responsibility of this position. My efforts have always been aimed at smart growth in the community, improving essential government services and keeping costs at an absolute minimum. The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax has helped us with numerous road projects that alleviated congestion throughout the district. County workers have kept a tight belt on expenses and still provided a quality of life unmatched in metro Atlanta. The return of economic progress in our area has set the stage for a bright future. And I look forward to my own future here as I will remain an active and involved resident of Cobb County. Thank you all for your trust.
Commissioner Bob Ott
District Two Commissioner
It has been another exciting year in District Two. Besides the news of the new stadium and entertainment area for the Braves, the Cumberland area has also seen a significant amount of new development. This includes both businesses and over 1,100 new residential units. In addition, major Department Of Transportation projects were completed or are close to coming on line. In late October, east Cobb celebrated the opening of the new bridge over Sope Creek which was completed on time and under budget. DOT has also been busy working on the Lower Roswell Road project which includes both a multi-use trail and a roundabout at Timber Ridge which should be finished this spring. In 2014 DOT will continue the right-of-way acquisition for the Interstate 285/Atlanta Road interchange project and work will continue on the Windy Hill East and West project along with the diverging diamond interchange. This past year renovations began at Fullers, Sewell and Rhyne Parks. Also, studies are underway to finalize the plans for the restoration of many of the buildings at Hyde Farm. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as your commissioner and look forward to a prosperous 2014.
Jo Ann Birrell
District Three Commissioner
It has been an exciting and successful year in District Three. Our business community experienced phenomenal growth. We have two new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets, the Movie Tavern opened and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta opened a radiology facility. Additional businesses have opened within the Canton Road Redevelopment Corridor including the Wash Barn, HVAC Facility and other retail establishments in the district. The Cobb County Purchasing Department, in partnership with Keep it in Cobb Committee, expanded the "How to do Business with Cobb" from two seminars each previous year to five in 2013, bringing in about 55 local vendors to each event. The final seminar of 2013 was held in conjunction with the Cobb County School District. We broke ground for the $17.8 million Skip Spann Connector project, which is expected to reduce daily traffic on adjacent Chastain Road by as much as 19 percent. In addition, residents received new neighbors. In 2013 alone, we have more than 20 new subdivisions in the District. These are just a few of our many accomplishments. None of this would have been possible without the support of county staff, fellow commissioners and the businesses and residents of Cobb County. I am grateful for the progress we made in 2013 and look forward to 2014 with renewed vigor. I am inspired for what is in store for Cobb County.
District Four Commissioner
It has been rewarding to serve as the District Four commissioner this past year, working to improve the area and county processes on behalf of residents. It is important to evaluate the needs of our district, and not just through numbers. To that end, I have sought public input through town hall meetings, discussions with constituents and stressed the importance of agencies engaging our community as part of the decision-making process. I have served as an advocate for a strong strategic plan, boosted support of the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority and modified the future land use map for Austell Road. I have supported and encouraged agency community activities in the district as well as community partnerships. Through these efforts, we have had successes. We attracted a new developer and property management to the Six Flags area. We developed a zoning guide for the district and we are identifying nodes for branding and development. Progress will always take commitment and dedication. Together, we can make it happen.