During his campaign for Chairman of the Cobb County Commission, Mike Boyce would periodically declare, “I’m a Marine,” by which he presumably intended to remind his audience that he had spent a good portion of his adult life living up to the revered Marine motto, “Semper Fidelis,” Latin for “always faithful.”
It was therefore gratifying to find his adherence to this august creed demonstrated on the editorial page of the March 26 edition of the Marietta Daily Journal.
It turns out that, during the negotiations leading to the agreement between the Braves and Cobb County for the construction of SunTrust Park and related projects, Cobb County had promised to spend $14 million on unspecified transportation improvements. The county then tried to count projects begun prior to the signing of the contract as fulfillment of its obligation. The Braves cried foul.
After reviewing the situation, Chairman Boyce agreed with the Braves. In explaining his decision to the MDJ interviewer, he said: “A deal is a deal. Your word is your word ... I can’t have people saying, ‘These are people you can’t trust’ ... the longer we waited, the more this would be a stain on our reputation...”
Right on! These words are music to the ears of the 67 percent of Cobb County taxpayers and voters who supported the 2008 Parks Bond referendum, which promised to spend $40 million to acquire land for parks. Chairman Boyce has already taken a step in the right direction by finally getting the bond issued in the reduced amount of $24.7 million, the maximum possible until some legal issues regarding the repayment schedule can be resolved.
Cobb County voters have a right to expect an additional $15.3 million dollars to be dedicated to acquiring land for parks, thus fulfilling the 2008 mandate for $40 million to be so dedicated. A deal is a deal!
What greater accomplishment could be claimed by any Commission Chairman than to have restored public trust in county government? How wonderful it would be if Cobb County government could be thought worthy by its employers (the citizens) of the Marine motto, “always faithful.”
Norman D. Fagge