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Watch as opponents of the Braves new stadium are removed from a county commission meeting

Jun 2, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT

We talked about this last week, but here’s the video of the opponents of the new Braves ballpark being refused the floor and then removed from the county commission meeting approving the funding.

As I said last week, it makes no practical difference as the measure was going to pass and the ballpark was going to be built. But given its inevitability and, I would assume, popularity, it makes shutting out those who want to get on record opposing it all even more important, not less.

In any event, if in a couple of years the ballpark turns out like many other publicly funded stadiums which end up being a hinderance for the community as opposed to a boon, do not let the politicians who supported claim that no one was opposed to it or that everything was done transparently and honorably and, welp, sometimes that’s how the ball bounces.

  1. padraighansen - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    I would love to know – just for the sake of morbid, stupid, insane curiosity – what the political affiliation breakdown is of the Cobb County Commission. How many Democrats, Republicans, & Tea Partiers comprise that commission?

    I don’t know what the stats are, but I’ll say this: How this has been handled….does not seem right.

    • bravojawja - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:32 AM

      It’s 4-1 GOP, but the vote was 5-0.

      • padraighansen - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        Cool. Thanks for the heads up, Bravo.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      I say this as a partisan and liberal Democrat, but land use (in my experience) rarely falls on party lines.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        Pretty much. Seems like when it comes to enticing new businesses, both parties just want to throw money at the new company(ies).

      • padraighansen - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        I agree, to a point. Depends on where, and what the land will be used for. Certain places are much more lax with regard to land use and development laws than others.

        The question I have – that may have already been answered somewhere – is did this violate the open meetings act?

  2. rocketsteadman - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Were there even any Braves representatives at this meeting? Just wondering based on the comment that can be heard at the end, ‘The Braves are going to love the publicity.’

    Really, are they? Especially when you linked to the version with the sad music compared to the version with no music

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    This reminds me of the song from Bernstein’s Candide:

    Once one dismisses
    The rest of all possible worlds
    One finds that this is
    The best of all possible worlds!

  4. youngwomanscreek - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    As someone who works in local government, I am not surprised but definitely disappointed by the way they handled this. This isn’t a public process, it isn’t transparent, and it certainly isn’t the way things are supposed to be handled. Negotiations and the decision being made behind closed doors is by far worse in reality, but what was captured on video here is far worse in the court of public perception. At this piont in the process, what would it have cost the commissioners to allow some dissenters to have their 2 or 5 minutes to speak? They hid behind process to deny dissenting opinion. Terrible.

  5. jm91rs - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    If local government wants something, they’ll get it with or without the support of their voters. I don’t see the downside to Cobb County voting for the new stadium. If things don’t work out will just cost them Police / Fire Fighters / improvement projects. This kind of thing only hurts your budgets for 30-40 years though, no big deal.

    • jm91rs - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      On a side note, it’s sad when the old man at the end puts his hand behind his back like he’s being arrested. I’m sure those cops wanted nothing to do with that but they had a job to do. You see older folks here petitioning for a chance to speak, and in reality it’s not their problem for too long as the problems caused by huge stadium fund deficits won’t creep up for another 5-10 years. It’s good to see people that still care about their communities enough to get thrown out of a corrupt meeting.

    • mornelithe - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      “I don’t see the downside to Cobb County voting for the new stadium.”

      When all you’re presented with is one side of the argument, it is indeed difficult to see the downside. That’s precisely the issue, those gentlemen may have had absolutely no effect on the proceedings, however their voices deserved to be heard.

      • jm91rs - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:32 AM

        I’m guessing my sarcasm font was broken, but pretty much all I see is a downside. I’m from Southern Ohio, my tax bills every year are a reminder of the downside to paying for a Billionaires’ stadium.

      • mornelithe - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        Blech, sorry hard to keep up with everyone here, with regards to the silent sarcasm font protests (lol, not pointing the finger at you, I’ve seen the issue for years though).
        :)

    • jm91rs - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      I was a citizen of Hamilton County in Ohio when tax payers voted on a new deal for stadiums in the mid 90s. I was unable to vote at that age but I vividly remember thinking we needed to vote for the deal to keep the Bengals in town, so I would have definitely voted on it given the PR campaigns I remember. Today, the stadium deal takes up almost 20% of the county budget, and there’s a gigantic shortfall in the stadium budget. On my second home purchase I was house shopping in a community where Hamilton and a neighboring county meet, so I was able to pick which county I wanted to live in. I chose against Hamilton, specifically because of the Stadium deal. When it comes time to expand my business, I will be looking outside of Hamilton county specifically because they’re withholding property tax roll backs that were promised to me when I bought the building (the roll backs should have happened long ago, but because of the stadium budget shortfall they’re being withheld).
      The bottom line is that these deals don’t always work out and when they don’t there’s a ripple effect that lasts for decades. At least in our case we were allowed to make the stupid decision to vote for the stadiums, the residents of Cobb county aren’t even getting that chance.

  6. ud1951 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    So Craig, so long as say, a debt ceiling increase, is going to pass, you have no problem with people who want the nation to prioritize and cut spending so they can cut borrowing, have their say?

    I think we mostly all agree that more debate and sound, logical arguments prevailing are two very important principles in government. We do see a lot of folks who espouse this while campaigning for office, but once in power, seem intent on silencing dissent. We even have legislative initiatives to silence some sectors of the population. Don’t call out the Cobb County Commission on this unless you are willing to call out other governmental bodies that are trying to silence dissent as well.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      There is a huge difference between the federal gov’t and a local gov’t. Just see jm91rs’s post right above yours. The citizens of Hamilton county just had to sell a hospital in order to make their bill payments.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/ohio-county-stadium-debts-cincinnati-bengals-reds_n_1347733.html

      • ud1951 - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:44 PM

        What do you reckon the federal government would have to sell to pay off their $17T debt?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 2, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        Nothing. Why do they need to pay off their debt?

    • skids003 - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      You’re right, this is right out of the current federal government’s playbook.

    • bravojawja - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      This is a baseball blog, not a political blog. When the two intersect, then there’ll be a post about it. Don’t call out a baseball blogger for not talking about debt ceilings or manufactured traffic jams or whatever.

      • ud1951 - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        We agree on that, but Craig fairly regularly adds his political opinions to posts about baseball. I think his political opinions are fair game in the comment section, he opened the can of worms.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      Wrong site.

  7. crashdavis99 - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    For all you kids at home, that’s know as “Democracy in action”.

    • tved12 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      You’re close, but this is actually the actions of a “Republic.”

      Meaning, in a strict democracy every issue is voted upon, no matter the size or impact. However in a strict republic the elected officials make all of the decisions. In this case you’ve got the elected officials making the decisions without even listening to both sides of the argument. I would classify that as a “Repblic in action.”

  8. senioreditor2 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    I bet Seattle will pay substantially more than what the Supersonics wanted, LA’s going to pay 4x what it would have cost for an NFL team, Cleveland paid way more than the Browns wanted originally………I could go on and on and on……….it’s not what makes sense, it’s an emotional investment and trying to make the widgets add up is a fools game.

  9. Robert - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Amazing, they are going to get great stadium in a great area, and they bitch and complain.

  10. Robert - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    ***a***

  11. doctorofsmuganomics - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    I guess the folds of Cobb County have fallen on some…HARD TIME(s)

  12. Henshaw - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Basically by not allowing the a few dissidents to speak Cobb County has created a PR mess. While people don’t support taxpayer funded stadiums very few people actually are outraged enough to do anything about it. Most people in Cobb are more exited about the new stadium than are emotional opposed.

    This is why the 12 speaking spots were positive. They got their early to speak. The people who were opposed got their later and then didn’t behave themselves when they realized they had been out organized.

    I think the stadium is a bad idea, but the press coverage of this is great example of sensational news coverage.

  13. kaspauf - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    I am a Cobb County resident and I am NOT happy about the new stadium at all. Sure property value may go up as a homeowner but your taxes and someone else in here made a great point about less money for improvement projects which Cobb needs in certain paces. Cobb County is pretty large while some parts are nice others are going down hill. I don’t know if I want to stay here when this stadium goes up, try to sell my house right before the 2017 season and let it be another persons problem.

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