Public Safety Cuts Headline Birrell Town Hall Meeting
Police, fire officials to detail impact of furloughs later this month.
The protests by public library interests might have gotten the most attention during the recent Cobb Board of Commissioners budget cuts, but reductions in the county's public safety budget have also raised plenty of concerns as well.
That will be the topic of a June 30 Town Hall meeting by East and Northeast Cobb commissioner JoAnn Birrell at the Mountain View Community Center, 3400 Sandy Plains Road. Cobb Fire and Public Safety Director Sam Heaton and Police Chief John Houser will talk about how the cuts and furloughs are affecting services.
Cobb DOT officials also will be available to talk about local road and transportation subjects, and the Friends of Mabry Park will be on hand with information about the recently-approved Master Plan.
The Town Hall meeting takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
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Northeast Cobb Rep. Bobby Franklin, who's already had an eventful year gaining national attention for all the wrong reasons, apparently couldn't help himself even over the Memorial Day weekend.
In her Monday column in The Marietta Daily Journal, Laura Armstrong was up in arms over the opening of a statement Franklin issued to honor veterans:
" . . . as we remember the brave souls who sacrificed their lives for the sake of spreading Empire during their invasion and occupations of foreign lands while tyranny advanced here at home under the name of Freedom."
Armstrong, who noted that her father was killed in action during the Vietnam War, was appalled, especially as he finished the remark with a hot dog reference, and suggested that Franklin heed the prose of former president Ronald Reagan, especially during the 40th anniversary of the D-Day invasions in 1984.
But neither is she holding out much hope that will happen:
"I'm frankly embarrassed for the people who continue to put him into public office."
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Former Cobb commission chairman Bill Byrne announced on Monday that he has registered a political action committee for his campaign to reclaim his old seat.
Byrne, who announced in March that he would run in the Republican primary against incumbent Tim Lee, has designated former Smyrna State Rep. Bill Atkins as his campaign manager, with CPA Dan Post serving as treasurer.
Byrne served as chairman from 1992 to 2002, when he resigned to wage an unsuccessful campaign for Georgia governor. He cited financial reasons for not running against then-commission chairman Sam Olens in 2008.
Byrne's new campaign is centered around restoring public safety as the first priority for Cobb, restoring financial credibility to the budget process and encouraging small business growth and economic development.
He accused Lee of poor management as the Cobb commission has struggled to cut $51 million from the budget in the last year, and is facing a $15 million deficit to start fiscal year 2012.
Earlier this month, Lee laid out the scenario to the East Cobb Civic Association, citing a dwindling county tax digest for the red ink.
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The Cobb Democratic Party will hold its monthly breakfast Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Piccadilly Cafeteria, 536 Cobb Parkway, Marietta. This month's featured guest is State. Rep. David Wilkerson, in his first term representing District 33 in Austell.