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Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

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JoAnn Birrell & Cobb County: The Proof Is In The Pudding

by Bill Simon

A few weeks ago, I opined on this blog that I thought JoAnn Birrell would not be a very good choice for our Cobb County District 3 commission seat. I detailed all that here.

Since then, The Marietta Daily Journal ran a little piece regarding the PV issue/post that addressed my issue of District 3 candidate for commissioner JoAnn Birrell. Here is a link to the online MDJ article.

In that article, Birrell addressed the PV comments in this fashion: “…most of the statements are just downright false. And it’s a shame they have sunk to that level.”

Then…that same Friday (June 25, 2010), there was a luncheon at the monthly meeting of the Cobb County Republican Women’s Club where there was a debate held for the three District 3 commission candidates. AND…everything was hunky-dory until Birrell got to the end of the forum, and decided to attack the statements made by the PV that were printed in the MDJ article. This is what she said to the room (and to the MDJ reporter in the room)

“My opponents or politicians that are printing false accusations I guess have nothing else to talk about, so they’re talking about me, and it’s really quite flattering, even if it’s negative. But you all know me, and you know my history, and you know my track record. I’ve been involved in this community and with this organization alone for the past six years, so I think they’re just desperate attacks, and there’s no truth in the statements, so thank you for bringing it to my attention.”

Huh…so, there’s “no truth in the statements…”, eh?

A friend pointed out to me that she was calling me a liar with that statement. And, you know what? My friend was right. She was calling me a liar.

So…I filed an Open Records Act request with Cobb County to request the opportunity to inspect all current contracts the county had with Waste Management, Inc. I knew there was at least one contract in force because of an MDJ article printed last October about the Cobb Parks Department contracting with Waste Management.

And, so, I received a PDF last Tuesday morning…and in it are 6 pages of confirmation letter contracts between Waste Management and the County, as well as Waste Management and the Cobb County School Board. As it was explained to me, Waste Management negotiated a better price for both the County and the School Board if they would sign in unison. Not a problem with that. I understand bulk sales. It’s good for the County, and it’s good for the School Board.

What is NOT good for the County is the fact that JoAnn Birrell is the designated contractor on these contracts AND she is running to be a county commissioner. That, again, is a BIG freaking problem.

Oh…and, in case no one believes me about what I say, here is a link to the PDF copies of these contracts. Note that on the 2nd page, it is a May 12, 2010 contract letter addressed to JoAnn Birrell.

But, as far as the rest goes, puh-leeze…the PDFs of the contracts with HER name on them should prove my case quite enough about JoAnn Birrell. As an elected commissioner AND a vendor to the County, she would be in the unique position to get the staff to write RFPs that favor Waste Management (e.g., “Any vendor responding to this RFP must have Green-and-White Dumpsters to supply the county”), or just seek ways to screw over WM’s competition.

JoAnn Birrell said my statements were false and baseless. Anyone want to still take her side on this? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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Today's Deep Thought

If I was the head of a country that lost a war, and I had to sign a peace treaty, just as I was signing, I'd glance over the treaty and then suddenly act surprised. 'Wait a minute! I thought we won!'


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