Thompson touts experience on job
by Geoff Folsom
August 16, 2012 12:57 AM | 3135 views | 9 9 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Woody Thompson says he’s running on his record and points to improvements that have been made in his district or are in the works. <br> Photo by Laura Moon
Woody Thompson says he’s running on his record and points to improvements that have been made in his district or are in the works.
Photo by Laura Moon
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SOUTHWEST COBB — Southwest Cobb Commissioner Woody Thompson, who is vying to hang on to his seat in Tuesday’s runoff, admits his fight for a fourth term is the toughest of his career. On July 31, he placed a distant second in a six-person field, trailing political newcomer Lisa Cupid.

“It’s going to be an uphill climb, but I think we can do it,” Thompson said of his race against Cupid.

In the July 31 Democratic primary, Cupid won 40 percent of the vote, while Thompson took just 27 percent. There are no Republican candidates on the November ballot, so the runoff winner is likely to be the one taking office in January.

Thompson said he is running on his record and improvements that are in the works for south Cobb in coming years.

Forthcoming changes include long-awaited upgrades to Floyd Road in Mableton and 2011 SPLOST-funded work on Six Flags Drive and Six Flags Parkway.

Already, Six Flags Drive has the county’s first HAWK crosswalk signal, a crossing signal that can be activated by pedestrians in places where a full stoplight is not needed.

“As long as that strip is — I think it’s pretty close to a mile — I think we’ll have to put another one there,” he said.

Thompson said he supports both Sheriff Neil Warren’s 287(g) program, which gives local governments access to a federal immigration database, as well as the county’s IMAGE agreement with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Under IMAGE, which commissioners approved 5-0 on May 22, the county agreed to open its employee records for inspection by federal officials to ensure there are no illegal immigrants on the county payroll.

“Everybody knows that the federal government has really been dragging their feet on the immigration issue,” Thompson said. “We’ve got to do what we can on the state and local level to at least see if we can enforce what we’ve already got there.”

Thompson said he supports expanding the IMAGE program to include companies that do work for the county.

“There may be some downside to that,” Thompson said. “(Tim Lee) was a little bit hesitant remarking on that, but I think, basically, we need to go ahead and pursue that.”

Thompson said that in his next term, he would like to see plans for the Mableton, River Line and Six Flags areas come together.

In Mableton, a new elementary school is an improvement that is already visible, Thompson said. The county looks to use its new form-based codes to help develop around a planned town green.

Along Riverview Road, Thompson said Green Street Properties has been cleaning up the area. The Atlanta company has a planned $300 million mixed-use development on 82 acres on the Chattahoochee River. Thompson said the project could take seven years to complete.

“We went down there for a festival one Saturday and we actually walked right down to the river,” Thompson said. “I don’t remember the last time you could do that in that part of Cobb County.”

Around Six Flags, the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority is looking at buying and razing dilapidated apartments.

“The redevelopment authority will possibly land-bank the land until we can get some private money coming in,” Thompson said. “It used to be a nasty word, but I don’t think it is now — I was talking to some folks this morning about a (tax allocation district), which would be a real shot in the arm. This would be using that tool in an area that certainly needs it, whereas before it was taken advantage of.”

Amid the overwhelming rejection of the proposed regional transportation sales tax, which would have paid for nearly a billion dollars of transit and road upgrades for the county, Thompson said how the county will address future transportation needs is uncertain.

“Quite frankly, I don’t know what we’re going to do,” he said. “We’re going to get less money from the state and probably less money from the federal government.”

Thompson said experience is the key difference between him and Cupid.

“She’s about 35 years old, I’m 65, so I’ve been around for a while,” Thompson said. “And then, obviously, of course, the almost 12 years I’ve had as a county commissioner. As I’ve told people many times, four years on that board is kind of like getting another degree, because you’re exposed to so many disciplines that you ordinarily don’t know anything about.”

Thompson also questioned whether Cupid, a married mother of two young children, would have time to dedicate to the job.

Thompson also acknowledged that race is a factor in the district, where 42 percent of the voting-age population is black, he said. Thompson is white, and Cupid is black.

“You have to consider race in a political situation, just because of human nature,” Thompson said. “That’s not good or bad, it just is.”

The incumbent said that since July 31, he’s raised about $15,000 and spent most of it on mailings.

He said he sent out two mailers in the late stages of the campaign and has used a phone bank — with live people, not robocalls — to get out supporters.

“I put up my last two signs (Monday) night,” he said.

Runoff candidates have until Friday to file their campaign-finance reports, and as of Wednesday, his was not yet posted online.

Thompson plans to watch election returns Tuesday night at Paco’s Mexican Restaurant, near his home in Mableton.
Comments
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Disgusted Withit All
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August 17, 2012
Woody Thompson voted to increase my taxes and will

do it again. I cannot vote for Woody this time.
Cobb Watcher
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August 16, 2012
Thompson voted to increase our taxes and must be

replaced before he has an opportunity to do it

again. I'm voting for Lisa Cupid.
mk- economy 101
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August 16, 2012
To compete, you must be competitive. If wooing quality business and industry w/ incentives, is what it takes, I applaud their effort.

FYI,..it's working!!

Along w/ the businesses they give incentives to, will be the piling on of more businesses wanting in to a county that's friendly to business. Along w/ that comes the new educated work force, the mixed use developments, shopping, resturants , infrastructure and entertainment attractions.

Or you can sit around in Cobb, believing that one of these days, the companies will come here, to enjoy the empty shopping centers, ghost towns and gang violence.

Gwinnetts corruption is being exposed and weeded out. Cobb's just hasn't found the light of day, and continues to fester.

Gwinnett citizens are the winners!
Just Wait
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August 16, 2012
Before you elevate Gwinnett to shining star status, you need to see how much tax income they have exempted to get all these businesses. Who's to think they wont move again when the tax breaks expire. More importantly, with all the corruption in Gwinnett government, I am pleased that none of our commissioners are under criminal investigation. Including Woody.
Concerned Citizen
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August 16, 2012
In moving to Cobb County 14 months ago and viewing the leadership in South Cobb, I refused to believe that the leadership was as narrow-minded and absent as they were being portrayed by others. I really wanted to give Woody an opportunity so I attended forums and read his literature. This article makes me realize now more than ever that Woody is even more narrow-minded and out-of-touch than I could have ever imagined. Who in this day and age honestly believes that a woman could not properly and effectively do a job because they are a mother. Oh and we are not even going to comment on the age and race issues that he mentioned as well.
mk woody asleep
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August 16, 2012
You can't run a whole county, w/out agressively scouting out new businesses!

Gwinnett has accomplished this very well.

Research all the manufacturing, world headquarters and high-tech businesses flocking to Gwinnett.

The cronies in Cobb have failed! Failed!

There is now nothing in 1/2 of Cobb, but poverty, illegals and rundown , declining conditions.

The elected officials are a reflection of this.

PS, Woody, go audit Baldwin Paving,.. I'll bet they have a pick-up truck at the day labor sites, daily!! Walk the walk, if ya gonna talk the talk!!
mk- cobb troubles
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August 16, 2012
The problem in Cobb is there is no, and has been no vision, no leadership.

From Olens, Lee, Bacon, Thompson, Stoner, etc., - bunch of deceptive cronies.

While Cobb becomes more rundown, outdated, and overrun w/ poverty & illegals,.. Gwinnett is bringing in big business, manufacturing and high tech jobs. With no job growth, Cobb will decline.

(and Woody, I don't mean jobs for illegals, building housing developments!!)

Look at Gwinnett, Woody,.. if you never get out of Cobb, take a drive!

The I-85 corridor is very nice, including all the cities, Norcross, Duluth & Suwanee's solid business & town square districts.

The Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center (outside of Buford), state of the art learning, education center.

The groundbreaking of the 70,000 sq. foot 12Stone Church Leadership Center on Sugarloaf in Duluth.

Mitshubishi Electric World headquarters in Suwanee.

Nano Lumens World Headquarters expansion in Norcross.

OLI(Wamgroup subsidery), North American assembly & testing operations Headquarters, breaking ground.

Encompass Supply Chain Solutions Divisional Headquarters, grand opening, Lawrenceville.

Gwinnett had a vision for the WHOLE county, to grow & thrive!

Cobb latches on to Buckhead w/ the (CID) & Vinings

and Roswell, w/ East Cobb.

Go back to sleep, Woody!

imeanwhatever
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August 16, 2012
Lisa has massive support from both sides of the aisle. And its not because she tries to please everyone (I disagree with her on some issues, and I am a conservative). Rather, its because she can see through the bull, engineer a plan, and execute on that plan.

While Thompson touts his experience as being a plus, I would say to him, "so, since you have been here for so long, why has that part of Cobb County gone downhill while the rest is improving, including other areas with a large percentage of minorities and immigrants?"

Also, I am not sure that being a mother with two kids has anything to do with anything. I thought we, as a country, were beyond that type of thinking. Thompson starts out with the assumption that she is incapable of balancing work and life, while the educated world starts out with the assumption that she COULD. And quite frankly, I want a politician to go home, look their kids in their eyes, and be emotionally accountable to them as the future.

Lisa is the real deal. A lot of learn about great leaders in history and think about where they started and what it must be like. Well, I honestly believe you are seeing the beginning of another one of those. She is a Kennedy democrat, socially responsible, fiscally smart, God-loving mother.
Pat H
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August 16, 2012
The Feds are not the only ones dragging their feet, Thompson voted to stall the IMAGE program until after the election.
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