Quick message from Matt: Hey everyone! In case you haven’t heard, I have been hit with an ethics complaint in an attempt to silence me and our advocacy efforts. For full transparency, here’s the complaint. Thank you to everyone who has reached out and shared a word of support or encouragement. It means a lot.

This gives me a great opportunity to grant this platform to others, so you’ll be seeing guest writers on here for awhile.

The first Guest Writer is Tyler Bigler. Tyler is a US Air Force Veteran who lived in Europe for years and in the past few years, became an urbanist and diehard fan of Strong Towns and Not Just Bikes. He’s active in our advocacy with transit, safe streets, and land use & zoning. Take it away, Tyler!

Hey everybody, Tyler here! I’m filling in for Matt this week. As usual, there’s been a lot of activity these last few weeks across the county.

On March 7th, a number of us attended the Noonday Creek Trail Extension Project Open House. This event was an opportunity for the community, and particularly homeowners near the planned extension, to see details of the new trail options, and discuss ideas and options with the representatives from Gresham Smith (GS), the consultants for the design/planning, and county employees. To be honest, I went in expecting a lot of vocal opposition. Thankfully, there was actually a lot of support – especially with many of the nearby homeowners. There were at least 30 people in attendance so it was a great turnout for such a localized project. The GS reps were very knowledgeable on the project, the geography, etc. The county reps were also up for questions and I participated in and heard many good discussions going on. The most vocal opposition I heard was from a family that was upset about a “loss of privacy” when the trail is built near(ish) to their backyard. The project survey & plan will end sometime in Summer 2023 so there’s still time to continue to advocate for the project.

That same week, MyGreenEarth (led by Bethany Mashini) and A Better Cobb hosted “Climate & Cocktails” at The Third Door in downtown Marietta. The goal was to network and discuss different ways to approach sustainability across the community and at home. There was an excellent turnout, and riveting conversation around advocacy, technology, composting, and more. A big thanks to The Third Door for sponsoring raffle prizes and hosting our community!

In other news, Matt recently learned that an ethics complaint was filed against him with the Cobb County Board of Ethics. The summary of the complaint is that the submitter thinks that Matt’s involvement with Cobb4Transit – an advocacy group for expanding public transit in Cobb, and part of the A Better Cobb family, is a conflict of interest while Matt is also serving on the Cobb County Transit Advisory Board. I likely don’t need to expound upon the absurdity of this complaint. At this time we don’t know the next steps. The intent of this complaint seems to be an attempt at attacking public transit advocates and feels quite similar to the recent ethics complaint against Jerica Richardson which was dismissed. Some people in Cobb County seem to think that advocating for things, rather than against them, should be discouraged, and will do whatever it takes to block progress.

Commissioners Meeting Review/Preview

Last Tuesday, the Commissioners had the first of two monthly Board of Commissioners meetings. Here are some highlights:

Next Tuesday, March 28th, the Board of Commissioners will have their 2nd monthly meeting.

I highly recommend you join us in attendance at the meeting, even if there’s not many items related to our advocacy efforts.

Here’s a quick preview:

  • Presentations (5 items) including ceremonial checks to ARPA fund recipients, highlight two local basketball coaches, Designating March as Red Cross Month, presenting certificates of recognition to multiple people for their volunteer service with the Water System, and designating April 2nd as Education and Sharing Day
  • 2 Public Hearings: 1 for consultant fees for the Pearl of East Cobb Detention Pond Dam/Wall Failure Repair and the other for consultant fees for Glenleigh Park Detention Pond Wall
  • Public Comment (up to 6)
  • Consent Agenda Highlights
    • Item no. 8 (District Attorney): Authorizes an application for a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Grant
    • Items no. 10 and 11 authorizes acceptance of emergency grant funds for the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court & DUI Court
    • Item no. 17 continues the lease agreement for the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art
    • Items no. 25 and 26 are grants for CobbWorks
  • Regular Agenda highlights:
    • Item no. 30 is the purchase of 30 Cardiac Monitors/Defibrillators from ARPA funds
    • Transportation items are related to a couple of sidewalks projects and a drainage system repair

It seems as if Tuesday’s meeting will be pretty straightforward, but as always, these evening meetings are fun just for the public comments. We highly recommend checking it out.

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