A variable in Cobb’s 2020 commission chairman race is no more, as Chairman Mike Boyce has decided on his plans on a possible second term.
Boyce tells the MDJ that he will indeed seek re-election next year to the county government’s highest elected position. His current term ends in December 2020.
His decision on the matter, Boyce said, was made late last month following the conclusion of the annual Cobb Chamber Gala Jan. 25 at the Cobb Galleria.
“I was at the Cobb Gala. I was parked right next to (U.S.) Congressman (David) Scott (D-Atlanta). ... I went over to say hi to him and say thank you — this is in the parking lot next to his car — and he says, ‘You know, Mike, I see where you say that you’re “probably going to run.” There’s no probably — you either tell people you’re going to run (or not),’” Boyce said. “I just looked at him and said, ‘OK, I’ll run.’ I’m a man of my word, so I’m going to run.”
A second term would keep Boyce at the helm of the county as it heads toward a possible vote on the creation of an up to 1-percent sales tax that could be put toward expansion of transit and transportation projects. Such a sales tax would be made possible by last year’s enactment of House Bill 930, signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal in May.
HB 930 includes a special provision for Cobb that gives county commissioners the option of deciding whether to call for up to a 1-percent countywide sales tax or a special district sales tax for transit. A decision on whether to create the transit district and where to draw the district’s boundaries ultimately rests with a committee comprised of all county commissioners and the 21 state lawmakers whose districts include parts of Cobb.
However, the bill only gives that committee until the end of this year to make that decision. Boyce and other commissioners have expressed a desire for lawmakers to amend the law and give the committee until the end of 2021 to make a decision, though tabled last month a resolution to formally ask for an extension.
Boyce has said he has not decided on whether he favors a countywide tax or a special district, saying he wants the public to weigh in on that issue during a series of town halls that will be held across the county starting in March.
Boyce is the first Republican to announce his intention in the chairman’s race. Playing a part in his decision, Boyce said, was Cobb’s Democratic congressman.
“I looked at a man who had been very successful in being able to truly work both sides of the aisle to benefit this county, and if I don’t take his wisdom, then there must be something wrong with me. In for a nickel, in for a dime,” Boyce said.
“You can blame it on Congressman Scott,” he added, chuckling.