Commissioner Cupid apologizes for not giving Braves stadium opponents speaking slots
by Sarah Westwood
June 11, 2014 04:00 AM | 3006 views | 5 5 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
 Cobb District 4 commissioner Lisa Cupid at Lions Park in Mableton on May 2. Cupid on Tuesday told opponents of Cobb’s future Braves stadium, “I am all for public comment, but I am not for disorder.”
Cupid was referring to the May 28 meeting where all 12 public comment slots were filled by Braves supporters. <br> Staff/Jeff Stanton
Cobb District 4 commissioner Lisa Cupid at Lions Park in Mableton on May 2. Cupid on Tuesday told opponents of Cobb’s future Braves stadium, “I am all for public comment, but I am not for disorder.” Cupid was referring to the May 28 meeting where all 12 public comment slots were filled by Braves supporters.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
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MARIETTA — Commissioner Lisa Cupid on Tuesday told opponents of Cobb’s future Braves stadium, “I am all for public comment, but I am not for disorder.”

Cupid was referring to the May 28 meeting where all 12 public comment slots were filled by Braves supporters.

A handful of critics, furious the slots had been filled, shouted at commissioners to be heard during the meeting. Chairman Tim Lee declined their request, saying they should have showed up earlier if they wanted to reserve a space to speak.

The same few men who have regularly turned out at commission meetings since last fall to oppose the move — Rich Pellegrino, Ben Williams and Gary Pelphrey —returned Tuesday to address the previous meeting’s events and raise further concerns regarding the Braves.

“The efforts to try and marginalize us as a fringe group means that those who do so are not paying attention to what a wide range of folks have been saying,” Williams said.

Yet Cupid, the sole vote against the memorandum of understanding between the Braves and county last fall, explained the process of the public forum that occurs in each meeting, noting there are limited numbers of speaking slots that are filled on a first come, first served basis. Each community member is given five minutes to air their concerns before the board, with six of the 12 slots set at the beginning of the meeting and six slated for the end.

Cupid said three commissioners had private talks about adding more speaking spots after witnessing the handful of critics waiting to speak at last month’s meeting, but ultimately decided to stick to the rules.

“I can’t fault anyone but myself,” Cupid said of her role in last month’s skirmish. “I would like to apologize for my contribution to those who tried to speak during the public comment slots.”

Pelphrey, who was among those ejected last month, offered an apology of his own during Tuesday’s meeting.

“I was not in custody for very long the other night,” he began. “I think I owe you an apology.”

Pelphrey went on to disparage the board’s handling of the move once again.

“I’m here to tell you that you’re on a path that is a dead end,” he said.

Yet Cupid called the opponents’ outburst last month “absolutely out of order” and encouraged the group to meet her in the middle.

“I have tried to work with people on all sides of this issue,” Cupid said. “I ask that you would at least work with me when I have put myself out there to work with you.”

Tuesday’s meeting also saw approval for the construction of a trench to remove harmful methane from a local landfill and for the transfer of McCollum Airfield’s management to a new company called Hawthorne Aviation, among other initiatives.

Comments
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Enough Already
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July 04, 2014
So typical of our elected officials to say the right things after the fact. It is puzzling to me how teachers haven't had a pay increase in almost a decade but we have money and resources to pay for a place to watch adults play a child's game. Proof that the rich keep getting richer at the expense of the average citizen. Term limits might help, too.
Jim Warren
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June 11, 2014
Very nicely done, Comissioner Cupid.
Just Wait
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June 11, 2014
Do not apologize. It is the same people who say the same thing at every commission meeting. They certainly know the rules and they have turned someone else's better planning into even more publicity for their beliefs.
Ben Twomey
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June 11, 2014
Better planning, my foot! It was an organized move to shut out any dissent, because, as they have already admitted, if the people are made aware of all the ramifications, they will revolt.
budgetyourtime
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June 11, 2014
Agreed! Rich Pellegrino (aka Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton) tries like heck to get his mug in the press at every opportunity. They were all late arrivals then threw an embarrassing temper tantrum when they saw the slots were filled. So Lisa Cupid, the one who publicly wanted to know what the Braves move would mean to HER district, (as opposed to COBB COUNTY) thinks they should be rewarded for their tardiness? What a joke!
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