‘Old’ name, yes, but next senator will be new to elective office
by Joe Kirby, Otis A. Brumby III and Lee B. Garrett, - Around Town Columnists
August 12, 2014 04:00 AM | 4881 views | 1 1 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
POLITICS: Regardless of who wins the coming election for U.S. Senate, it will be the first time since Mack Mattingly in 1980 that Georgia has elected a senator with no prior experience in elective office.

This year’s race is the first for both Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn and Republican nominee David Perdue. Both of those last names are familiar to Georgia voters, however, thanks to Nunn’s father, former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, and Perdue’s cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Incumbent Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring, spent four years in the U.S. House before his election, and Johnny Isakson spent six years in the House and before that, 19 years in the Gold Dome. Sam Nunn, Wyche Fowler, the late Paul Coverdell, Max Cleland and Zell Miller, who represented Georgia in the Senate between 1980 and the elections of Chambliss and Isakson, had held a variety of national, state and local-level elective jobs before they reached the Senate.


THE COBB TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION will hold an organizational meeting to strategize ways to defeat the upcoming SPLOST from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the East Cobb Library, 4880 Lower Roswell Road in Marietta.

“A continuation of this tax, which is fraught with waste and open-ended items which would give the county a blank check to spend taxpayer money in whatever ways they see fit, is the wrong prescription for Cobb County,” said Lance Lamberton, President and founder of CTA. “On the contrary, the best approach towards economic recovery is to reduce the tax burden so that individuals and businesses will have more money to save, spend and invest in the private sector.”

Lamberton plans to show a PowerPoint presentation at the meeting making the CTA’s case for defeating the SPLOST.

For more about the CTA, go to: www.cobbtaxpayer.com.


PEOPLE: Pebblebrook High grad Billy Tighe, who has been starring in the Broadway production of the musical “Pippin” since last year, was recently cast as the lead in the national tour of the show that will include a stop next year at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

But he turned the tour down, even though his wife, Kristine, was cast as the female lead for the same show. Why? We’ll let his former teacher, newly retired Strand Theatre executive director Earl Reece, tell the story: “Billy received an offer he could not refuse — the lead role of Elder Price in the Tony winning show ‘The Book of Mormon’ — in London.”

Tighe debuted in London July 29.

“Without a doubt, Billy is one of the most talented young men I have ever directed,” said Reece, who long headed the county magnet school for the performing arts at Pebblebrook.

Reece also told AT that Tighe reminds him of Zach Seabaugh, son of Devan and Beth Seabaugh, who performed the lead role in “High School Musical Jr.” this summer at the Strand.

“Billy and Zach could be brothers — the way they look, the way they act, the way they sing and the way they perform. Hopefully, Zach will follow in Billy’s footsteps. I predict it will happen.”


EVENTS: Don’t forget Martinis & Music from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art. It’s free for members and $10 for guests. Music will be by Keltic Kudzu. Museum director Sally Macaulay also reminds that 45 artists from all over the country will descend on the city Oct. 11 and 12 for Marietta ChalkFest. ...

Cobb Executive Women will host Aimee Copeland as speaker at their 5:30-7:30 p.m. meeting Aug. 19 at the Mansour Center. Copeland fell victim to flesh-eating bacteria several years ago, an attack that resulted in the amputations of a leg, foot and both hands. Go to Cobbchamber.org to register for the event. ...

Jaime and Mary Anne Latimer will host a Low Country Boil from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 6 at their home in Marietta to benefit The Extension. For details, go to www.theextension.org/LCB.


RETIRED Wheeler High custodian and groundskeeper Charles Roper, who passed away last week, is being fondly recalled by those who knew him, including Carole Kell, whose late husband, Carlton “Corky” Kell, was head football coach at Wheeler and served later as athletics director for the Cobb School District.

“When Corky and I moved to Cobb in 1965, the first person we met was Charles Roper,” she told Around Town on Monday. “Charlie loved Corky, and he loved Wheeler High School and Wheeler football better than anything. The field was his pride and joy and he mowed it fervently. No one else could do it to satisfy him. He fed it, watered it and watched over it. Not only that, but he carried the chains at the games, drove the bus when needed, washed practice gear and anything else Corky wanted him to do. This went on till Corky left Wheeler to become athletic director. Their devotion to each other never ended. There should be a Charlie Roper at every school.”

Roper’s dedication to Wheeler led to his induction in 2009 to the Wheeler High Athletic Hall of Fame. He was introduced that night by Kell’s son, Cobb Superior Court Judge Tain Kell. At Roper’s prior request, that induction speech was read again by the minister at Roper’s funeral.

“When it came to football, no job was too unimportant or outside his job description,” Judge Kell wrote. “He drove a tractor to make sure the grass got cut on the field just right for Friday night; set up and moved and removed those old rainbird sprinklers a million times to make sure the grass got watered; lined the fields if no one else was available; repaired the divots and holes; and manicured and nurtured every blade to make sure it was just so. He was there for every game, home and away, helped with the kids, the equipment and anything else that would make the program successful. And I truly believe, with all my heart, that had my dad ever said, ‘Charlie, we really need a middle linebacker,’ he would have not hesitated to grab a helmet.

“Mr. Roper drove the bus for the teams and the cheerleaders. He kept the score for the baseball team and pulled the chains for the football team. You see, if there was a position of trust, Charles Roper was the man you wanted to do the job.”

Kell said his dad and Roper had much in common: “First, they liked greasy food. Second, they both loved seeing kids grow into men through hard work and determination. Third, they both loved football — a lot. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, they shared a common philosophy that deep down, soccer was and is a communist sport, and that those soccer players have no business messing up a perfectly good football field. And they also felt sort of the same way about the marching band, but they got over it.”


THOSE who made a point to buy the Atlanta newspaper on Sunday in the expectation it would contain a hard-hitting story about Cobb County — then couldn’t find the story anywhere in the news paper or online — weren’t imagining things.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a prominent ad in its Friday edition touting a “Watchdog” story coming Sunday involving Cobb Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Lee and a “questionable partnership” with a corporate attorney.

That prompted the MDJ to run a story in its Saturday edition that said the AJC story would focus on the fact Cobb County had hired Cobb Development Authority attorney Dan McRae to work on issues related to the Atlanta Braves stadium deal.

Charles Gay, deputy managing editor at the AJC, told the MDJ on Monday his paper decided to hold its story because it wasn’t ready.

“I regret that we told readers we were going to do something on Sunday and then we didn’t, but I think, given the choice of a story, that I didn’t feel good about … just running something because we promoted it, I’ll always err on the side of responsible journalism,” Gay said.

Gay did not say when the story would be published.

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August 18, 2014
Lamb-erton is still the leader of the anti-Splost group?

Sometimes I wonder if the Chamber of Commerce pays him a salary to "lead" the opposition.
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