As a supporter of the 2008 Parks Bond initiative since day one and having heard the proposed 2017 budget discussions of Aug. 23 and no response to public comment on the matter at the Sept. 13 Board of Commissioners meeting, I am concerned about the lack of results in putting Cobb County voters’ authorization of November 2008 back on track. As you understand better than I, this is mighty “late in the game” of finalizing the 2017 budget, having nothing to show for all that’s been written and said about making good on county leadership’s commitment established by the 2008 referendum decision.
Unless I am mistaken, only two commissioners have expressed any real support for finding the solution in 2017. As I understand the others’ views: A do-over on the referendum is not right; packaging it into a SPLOST initiative that can’t be voted on before March next year and then actually resourced many months later is nearly as wrong as the idea of starting all over; and then leaving it entirely for the next chairman to deal with ... what is up with that?
In a way, it’s unfortunate that the recreation board’s effort you directed won’t be complete before late October. But that’s not to say that you can’t commit funding in the 2017 budget to act on their findings and recommendations. And God forbid that another cycle of volunteer citizen effort of this scale at your behest could be wasted.
As I pointed out earlier, the decision was made in 2008: $40 million. A millage rate increase to cover it is not anathema to me and surely a majority of Cobb taxpayers would share that view if that’s what it were to come to. Wouldn’t you go for it rather than cut a different line on the budget to accommodate it? The only question remaining should be which properties to save from development.
So I wrap this up with a plea to make the $40 million dollar green space acquisition happen without further delay and a thank you in advance. I am confident you will come up with the right answer. Thank you for your time.