Chairman Lee leading Cobb group to Seoul
by Jon Gillooly
September 21, 2012 01:03 AM | 2621 views | 7 7 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee (MDJ File Photo)
Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee (MDJ File Photo)
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MARIETTA — County Chairman Tim Lee and other community leaders are preparing for another trip to Seoul, South Korea, to strengthen education and economic ties between the “sister cities.”

Lee said the group will leave Oct. 12 and return the following Thursday.

County spokesman Robert Quigley said among those in attendance will be Cobb Chamber of Commerce Chairman Tony Britton; Walton High School principal Judy McNeill; Marietta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Emily Lembeck; county economic development director Michael Hughes; Sunny Park, president of the America Korea Friendship Society; Dr. Robin Dorff, dean of the Kennesaw State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences; and Dr. Carolyn Dorff, a music instructor at KSU.

Cobb County and Seongdong-gu, a district in Seoul, have had a sister-city relationship since 2007.

The relationship began when former Chairman Sam Olens and an acquaintance of his, businessman and Korea native Sunny Parks, discussed creating a partnership with the two governments. With support from community leaders, the collaboration was born.

Lee said this will be his second visit.

“It’s a two-pronged trip,” Lee said. “You have an educational factor and an economic development factor and a tourism factor, so Monday morning we will meet with the mayor and the Chamber of Commerce, and the convention bureau I think is on Tuesday.”

Lee said Cobb will be signing an agreement with the South Korean district’s Chamber of Commerce to make it an official extension of the Cobb Chamber, “to be able to communicate with the businesses looking to expand in the United States.”

Lee will also meet with half a dozen South Korean companies planning to expand to the U.S.

“We’re going to meet with companies and tell our story as to why we’d like for them to come to Cobb primarily, but Georgia significantly,” he said.

Lee said he doesn’t know of any jobs created as a result of the sister city program.

Lembeck said she visited the South Korea district in 2010. For the last three years, students from the Seongdong-gu School District have attended summer school programs at Marietta High, she said.

“I’ll be going there to sign an official memorandum of understanding with the Seongdong-gu School District so that we can formalize a partnership which will enable us not only to maintain the current relationship that we have with the summer program but would help us to expand it so that in the future it is possible that their students would come to Marietta and our students would come to Seongdong-gu while school was actually in session,” she said.

Quigley said the only expense to the county for the trip is about $1,500 for Hughes' airfare. Everyone else’s plane tickets will be paid for by the attendee or the organization they represent, and host officials will be paying for the group’s room and board.

“This type of global exchange is important not just for students now because it’s an enriching experience, but I think it will also enable students to be better prepared for economic relationships in their future,” Lembeck said. “The world is smaller. In fact, one of the benefits of now having a more formalized program with them is that our students even when they’re not together will be able to keep up through the use of technology.”
Comments
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Tax Payer
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September 23, 2012
Instead of spending her time traveling half way around the world, to sign a memorandum of understanding, the superintendent of Marietta City Schools should focus on the issues at home. If the superintendent insists on travelling, she should concentrate south of the borders, which are the countries of origin for many of MCS students. She would at least bring from home to the classroom expectations and a better understanding about education and provide the schools system strategies to increase the Hispanic students’ level of comfort at school. Hispanics are one the largest ethnic groups in MCS. Please Ms. Superintendent, stop looking for political gains and focus more on engaging the families to help improve CRCT test scores. We should all express our dissatisfaction with such frivolous trips and demand that the superintendent stop wasting her time on non-MCS productive activities.
Marietta taxpayer
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September 23, 2012
Instead of spending her time traveling half way around the world, to sign a memorandum of understanding, the superintendent of Marietta City Schools should focus on the issues at home. If the superintendent insists on travelling, she should concentrate south of the borders, which are the countries of origin for many of MCS students. She would at least bring from home to the classroom expectations and a better understanding about education and provide the schools system strategies to increase the Hispanic students’ level of comfort at school. Hispanics are one the largest ethnic groups in MCS. Please Ms. Superintendent, stop looking for political gains and focus more on engaging the families to help improve CRCT test scores. We should all express our dissatisfaction with such frivolous trips and demand that the superintendent stop wasting her time on non-MCS productive activities.
Connie Mack Jr
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September 21, 2012
No doubt this group of 1% Cobb county Pols think they are a Maro Polo's on a quest to bring back Silk KIA autos into the free market of corporate greed..Reality is not their strong point and they are bought locked, stock, and barrel by corporate fascism....Stay home dudes and do something for the unemploymed,masses of America and their lost homes by the greedy bankgangters of Wall Street
TIC
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September 21, 2012
How many trips have been taken?

How many Korean companies have located in Cobb?

Just curious as to what is being accomplished on these junkets.
anonymous
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September 21, 2012
Lee learned his lesson well from the President. Enjoy your tax payer funded vacation!
CobbResident
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September 21, 2012
clearly you didn't make it to the end of the article:

"Quigley said the only expense to the county for the trip is about $1,500 for Hughes' airfare. Everyone else’s plane tickets will be paid for by the attendee or the organization they represent, and host officials will be paying for the group’s room and board."

Joseph Pond
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September 21, 2012
“It’s a two-pronged trip,” Lee said. “You have an educational factor and an economic development factor and a tourism factor."

He could stay home, legalize poultry, and accomplish the SAME THING! Raising poultry is very educational, and would develop some nice economic benefits with the sale of feed and coops, not to mention the number of people that move TO Cobb County, instead of AWAY from Cobb County, because of their pets~

*sighs* maybe if I was had contributed to his campaigns like my poultry hating neighbor he would consider my views...
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