While Cobb County residents just saw a pay cut thanks to the payroll tax increase, Chairman Lee is considering asking the state legislature for a pay raise for Cobb elected officials. This pay raise would not apply to the state legislators, but would apply to County officials including, but not limited to, the Chairman, Commissioners, Tax Commissioner, Judges and Clerks. Many of these officials just took office this month or were just recently reelected to office.
Call and email the Cobb Delegation today (contact info here) and let them know the Cobb Elected Officials have not significantly cut spending, have not rolled back the millage rate increase of 2011 and should not get a pay raise.
The Marietta Daily Journal quoted Chairman Lee in a recent article:
“I have not talked to anyone individually about what their feelings are for the 3 percent,” Lee said Friday.
Lee said he hasn’t heard any opposition to the raises from local residents.
I am certain the reason that Chairman Lee hasn’t heard any negative feedback is because this was the first we have heard of this nonsense. However, it appears that Chairman Lee found a way to slide it into a Commission vote in November 2012, without anyone noticing.
The article went on to say that the decision may be made by the end of the month:
State Sen. Judson Hill (R-East Cobb), who was elected chairman of the legislative delegation on Thursday, said he hoped to have a decision on raises by the end of the month.
Yes, The Cobb Board of Commissioners DID Vote For This Raise
Some of you may remember the November 27, 2012 Commission vote to raise the pay for County Employees by 3%. That vote was 4-1, with District 2 Commissioner Bob Ott being the lone dissenting vote. What many don’t realize is that hidden in that vote, Chairman Lee included a statement that allows him to ask for a pay raise for himself. I attended that Commission meeting and spoke in favor of a one time bonus with the possibility of a pay raise in the future for County employees because of the uncertainty and possibility of the raise being unsustainable.
During the entire public hearing, it was not made clear that they were also discussing a pay raise for the themselves. It was slipped in when Chairman Lee quickly read his recommendation to the Board at the beginning of the discussion:
“The Board of Commissioners approve a 3% pay increase for Cobb County employees with a service period one year or greater and a prorated 3% pay increase for employees hired within past 12 months to become effective with pay period beginning December 9, 2012, authorize the corresponding budget transactions, and further authorize the Chairman to proceed with actions necessary to include 3% pay increases for any positions whose salary must be set by the legislature.” [emphasis added]
The portion regarding salaries set by the legislature was never brought up again by the board during this entire discussion or prior to the vote and the focus remained on the employee raise. I for one did not realize they were in effect voting to ask the legislature for a raise for themselves as well. Although it was never mentioned again by any of the Commissioners, this language is included on page 16 of the Agenda as a part of the motion.
Taxes, Taxes and More Taxes
On July 26, 2011, just months after the March SPLOST vote that narrowly passed, the Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to raise the millage rate by 1.51 mills. District 2 Commissioner Bob Ott and District 3 Commissioner JoAnn Birrell voted against the increase to 11.11 mills. The raise was due to a budget deficit that supposedly came out of nowhere, since it wasn’t there during the SPLOST discussion. Remember how the proponents said the SPLOST would save Cobb County from Economic Disaster? I remember the “Vote Yes for Low Taxes” Signs. What a joke they were.
Again on July 24, 2012, the Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to keep the millage increase that was implemented in 2011. Once again, Commissioners Ott and Birrell dissented.
On March 19, 2013, Cobb voters will go to the polls again for yet another ESPLOST. This one appears to be heavily weighted towards sports and recreation and less towards actual education.
With all of this money flying around, when do the taxpayers get a break?
Shades of Washington?
Taxes going up, out of control spending and elected officials looking for a pay raise. Does any of this sound like Washington to you? This is just politics as usual: Fat Cat Cronies looking out for themselves and forgetting about the Poor Lil’ Cobb County Taxpayer. I urge all of the “Poor Lil’ Cobb County Taxpayers” out there to email your state legislators and tell them not to approve this pay raise! We are tired of getting stuck with the bill for the excessive spending in Cobb County.
Below is a list of the Cobb Delegation contact information. Call or email your legislators, better yet, call AND email ALL of the Cobb Delegation. If you don’t know who your legislators are, you can find out here. I have complied a list of the current Cobb Delegation and their contact information as of January 2013:
Cobb State Senators:
Senator Hunter Hill (R-6) (404) 463-2518 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Barry Loudermilk (R-14) (404) 656-0034 email@example.com
Senator Judson Hill (R-32) (404) 656-0150 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Senator Steve Thompson (D-33) (404) 656-0083 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Lindsey Tippins (R-37) (404) 657-0406 email@example.com
Senator Horacena Tate (D-38) (404) 463-8053 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cobb State Representatives:
Representative Charles Gregory (R-34) (404)656-0220 email@example.com
Representative Ed Setzler (R-35) (404) 656-0178 firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Earl Ehrhart (R-36) (404) 463-2247 email@example.com
Representative Sam Teasley (R-37) (404) 656-0177 firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative David Wilkerson (D-38) (404)656-0116 email@example.com
Representative Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-39) (404)656-0109 firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Rich Golick (R-40) (404) 656-5943 email@example.com
Representative Michael Smith (D-41) (404)656-0265 firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Stacey Evans (D-42) (404)656-6372 email@example.com
Representative Sharon Cooper (R-43) (404) 656-5069 firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Don Parsons (R-44) (404) 656-9198 email@example.com
Representative Matt Dollar (R-45) (404) 656-0254 firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative John Carson (R-46) (404) 656-0287 email@example.com
Representative Sheila Jones (D-53) (404)656-0314 firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Roger Bruce (D-61) (404)656-0314 email@example.com