There’s an analogy that keeps popping-up in my mind with regards to the Cobb County Commission and the Atlanta Braves deal, so bear with me a moment while I appear to go off on a tangent (but trust me, there’s a purpose in this little story).
I recall an episode of Seinfeld in which Cosmo Kramer went to the movies with a large cup of hot coffee jammed into his pants. Sure enough, he slipped, fell, and burned his nether regions. He got a lawyer to take his case to sue the maker of the coffee for making it too hot. When it came time to a settlement being offered by the Big Deep-Pockets Corporation (the “BDPC”), the scene before the lawyer and Kramer step into the room is that BDPC will offer $50,000 and free coffee to Kramer for life.
First thing out of the mouth of the BDPC side was “We are prepared to offer you free coffee at any of our stores in America for life…PLUS…” and right after the “PLUS”, Kramer jumps up and says “I’ll take it!”…thus not bothering to 1) hear the entire offer, and 2) negotiate a better deal.
Well, in this Cobb-Braves deal, Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee is this county’s Cosmo Kramer. I’m going to lay 5:1 odds that the moment State Rep. Earl Ehrhart called Tim Lee to introduce him to the Braves’ team that Tim Lee’s instant thought in his head was “YES! Whatever they want, we’ll agree to it!”
And, so, as more of the talks occurred, and Tim Lee got more and more excited, he was ready to agree to ANYTHING to get the Braves to come to his county, regardless of the cost to the residents and stakeholders of the county and state.
Two people I know have written some very good pieces regarding both the traffic issues and the financing of the deal: Ron Sifen has a piece in the Marietta Daily Journal that objectively looks at several of the traffic issues. Hopefully, the other 4 members of the county commission will read it with a thoughtful eye to the issues he brings-up.
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