Deal’s, Lee’s excuses don’t cut it
February 01, 2014 11:53 PM | 728 views | 6 6 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

From Cobb County to the State of Georgia, our most recent ice/snow storm is now being called “Snow Gate,” because no government entity or elected official is willing to accept responsibility for the lack of preparedness and contingency planning.

Gov. Nathan Deal stated that it was the Weather Service’s fault for an inaccurate weather forecast. Really! Don’t forget that on the governor’s inauguration day in January 2011 his celebration was spoiled because of uncleared snow on the roads. Deal fired the person in charge of the Georgia DOT for lack of preparedness. Deal does not need another DOT policy review. He supposedly did that three years ago, and now he dodges responsibility by placing blame on the Weather Service. This is not the kind of leadership we expect from a Georgia governor.

On a Cobb County level, Tim Lee and other County Commission members have the responsibility of ensuring that Cobb’s roads were cleared and safe from the approaching snowstorm. They all knew at 3:35 a.m. Tuesday morning with issuance of revised Weather Service forecast that the storm was bad and was coming our way, and they did not act in a responsible manner to ensure that Cobb citizens and children were safe on potentially dangerous roads.

There are reports that Gov. Deal, Atlanta Mayor Reed and Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee attended a luncheon meeting in Atlanta, and not attending that meeting because of an approaching snowstorm was a political gamble they were not willing to make. Public safety is their job, and the responsibility starts at the top.

There were no contracts with private companies to respond to the coming storm with prepositioned equipment and materials to ensure public safety. We must ask why they did not do their job, because what resulted was very dangerous to all, including our school children.

I don’t accept continued excuses of Cobb government or state government when other areas of Georgia were prepared. It is a matter of leadership. Perhaps they need to consult with Dalton Mayor (and gubernatorial candidate) David Pennington on how to prepare for this kind of winter weather. Dalton’s roads were clear. Proactive management is far better than a crisis response, and that is an example of “Good Government.”

Michael Opitz

President, Madison Forum

The Madison Forum
Comments
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Pro Middle Class
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February 03, 2014
One issue that is being missed is the change that has taken place in America. It takes two incomes to pay for what one did 40 years ago. Just the way Big Business wanted it to be. So when the school system screwed up and didn’t close for the day a problem was looming. Parents had to come home to get their children. One parent tried and became trapped and then other tried and became trapped. It looked like a scene out of the Walking Dead in East Cobb. I picked up one person that had walked 16 miles. Trust me they were not dressed appropriately for a hiking trip in the snow.

As to the comment about private contractors, that is a Big Business thought process if there ever was one. Of course there were no private contracts. No self respecting business person would spend the money necessary to have the equipment on hand for the kind of service that was needed. Not in this part of the world. They would lose their pants. That was a job that should have been handled by the local government. However the Tea Party, Republican, Big Business agenda, that Cobb has turned into has already outsourced many of the DOT jobs and the end result was a traffic jam.

The people in power and those that keep electing them desire all of these services at no cost. At one point Cobb cut taxes for 10 years straight, they have outsourced as much of the county as they can. They cannot keep employees due to the cuts the employees have taken to subsidize the Citizens.

This is quote from the report prepared by the Citizens Oversight Committee, “Citizens are enjoying the abundance of services with low or no associated fees.” The rest of the report was how to screw the employees so the Citizens pay even less.

The Citizens of Cobb need to take a minute and look at all the services that are provided and at what cost. Throw out the school taxes as it has nothing to do with County Services funding. You will find you do receive an abundance of services at little cost.

If the leaders of Cobb had spent more time funding services and less time with Big Business agendas or acting like a homeowners association, we wouldn’t have been trapped on the streets.

No I don’t work for Cobb County, but I have lived here my entire life. I am not real happy with the direction this county is going or has gone.

Kevin Foley
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February 03, 2014
Hilarious how the right wingers are trying to deflect blame onto Reed when it's Deal who screwed up by not taking action as the state's chief executive. Voters should be asking how Deal would respond (or, more aptly, not respond)in a worse crisis.

You get the government you deserve, folks, and last week you got it good and hard courtesy of the governor.

See me blog below for more.
Daal not Lee
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February 03, 2014
I can see where the complaint against Deal comes from but citing Lee seems inappropriate. The police and crews were out in Cobb and helped many of our citizens. Meanwhile the interstates and state roads were the ones causing most of the issues. I know you and your far out group are not fans of Mr. Lee and use every oppurtunity to criticze him, but Cobb did as well or better that surrounding counties on clearing our roads. While not a great job, appropriate given the situation.
Lib in Cobb
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February 03, 2014
@Daal: The roads in Cobb were a mess, please don't say the crews were out working. At 1:00 PM a good friend departed Life University, it took her three hours to arrive home, very close to the corner of Delk and 75. The police and crews were indeed helping stranded motorists but little road preparation was completed or even started for the storm which was widely predicted.

The officials and every other person is well aware of what kind of problems arise in this part of GA when we are hit with this type of storm.
Lib in Cobb
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February 03, 2014
Governor Deal has appointed a "Severe Weather Advisory Panel", I feel so much more secure. Deal and county government leaders had advance warnings and they answered those warnings with inactivity, risking the health and safety of tens of thousands people including small children.

Is this panel going to have the ability to dope slap every state and county official who is now looking to blame others for their inactivity and thin headed judgment?
just drivel
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February 02, 2014
Reed and Deal are doing anything they can to save themselves from political oblivion. Well, its too late. They both looked like totally incompetents on national tv. I am a dog walker, and I knew very early to get up and get my dog out before the usual time. If I was aware that it was going to snow, that the forecast had changed, why, pray tell, weren't the Governor and the Mayor aware? They, along with the lackadaisical Hinojosa were responsible for a very dangerous situation, especially for the school children. Fire them all!!
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