If my sainted father, a blunt speaking Irishman from County Clare, could read Justin O’Dell’s guest column in last Tuesday’s MDJ, he would label it “mealy-mouthed treacle.”
Though I do not doubt Mr. O’Dell’s sincerity, I do find it a stretch of credibility to say that this was not all pre-planned and orchestrated to exclude dissent. In fact, O’Dell himself alludes to the plot with these words, “only the 12 of us selected got in line to speak.” Does anybody really believe that had someone from the opposition requested a space they would have gotten it?
As to abiding by the rules, how about the fact that the agenda for the meeting and all action taken on that agenda was in violation of the Commission’s own rules? BOC Rules of Procedure, Section 1.07. AGENDA — “An agenda for the meetings will be prepared by the county manager with the advice of the chairman and commissioners and will be available to the commissioners in advance (at least five (5) days) of the regular meeting.”
Since the bond issue was added after business hours Friday, and was voted on Tuesday, it does not pass the five-day test.
The rules also allow, with a vote of four commissioners, for suspension of the rules for the public speaking, both in number of slots and in the time allotted. So, Chairman Tim Lee did have a choice. He chose the low road.
Finally, O’Dell makes the mistake of painting all the opposition as foes of the Braves move to Cobb County. That is ludicrous, since many of us are not opposed to that move, but are opposed to the chicanery, half-truths and deceit accompanying it. Example: With no public discussion, and only four days’ notice, the amount of the bond issue was upped by $29 million dollars. Is this transparency? I think not.
Finally, I must challenge O’Dell on his assertion the Braves are “the most revered sports team in all of Georgia and perhaps the entire country.” I think most folks would agree that title belongs to the UGA Bulldogs, at least in Georgia.
I wish I had attended the fantasy meeting that O’Dell describes. Unfortunately, I attended the one last Tuesday.
Nettie Helen Stemm