Live with Commissioner Goreham
The District 1 Cobb County commissioner is holding a town-hall meeting, and Patch is there.
Cobb County Commissioner Helen Goreham of District 1, covering Northwest Cobb, is holding a town-hall meeting tonight at 7, two days after the Board of Commissioners approved an amended budget for the rest of this fiscal year that orders departments to cut 10 percent across the board and forces all employees to take five furlough days. The vote for that plan was 4-1, with Goreham casting the no vote. Goreham also cast one of three no votes that blocked the nomination of former Commissioner Thea Powell to the new Citizens Oversight Committee.
Those topics and more could come up tonight at 1890 County Services Pkwy. in Marietta. You can follow the action live on Twitter (@KennesawPatch) as Kennesaw Patch editor Gaetana Pipia covers the action. We'll compile her tweets and any tweeted responses here within minutes of their posting so you can mull over what is said and post comments and questions.
8:11 p.m. Goreham thanks the audience for coming out, and the meeting comes to a close.
8:10 p.m. An Animal Control employee encourages people to volunteer, especially with the upcoming budget cuts (they go into effect May 1).
8:08 p.m. Answer: Wednesday mornings at 9 in the commissioners building, 100 Cherokee St. Public attendance is encouraged.
8:06 p.m. Audience member: When does the Citizens Oversight Committee meet and where?
7:54 p.m. Goreham: The tax digest is projected to go down nearly 7 percent this year. Not headed in the right direction. (One of the reasons the county could balance the budget for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, is that the decline in the tax digest is projected to be less than 7 percent now instead of the 9 percent to 10 percent previously predicted. But the decline in the value of the county's taxable property is expected to continue for two more years.)
7:50 p.m. An audience member thanks Goreham for voting against the budget plan.
7:49 p.m. Answer: The 911 center is unique because it is already understaffed. That might entail keeping vacancies in staff rather than furloughs.
7:47 p.m. Question: How will the 911 center be affected?
7:45 p.m. Goreham says she was uncomfortable voting on something she had very little time to examine.
7:43 p.m. Question from the audience: Did Cobb look at other counties that have furloughed in the past but later reversed that decision?
7:37 p.m. An audience member's comment: Shouldn't other departments besides public safety take a bigger cut?
7:36 p.m. A police representative says he encourages members of the public to educate themselves about furloughs, especially in regards to public safety officials.
7:30 p.m. An audience member asks what this money would be spent on if Cobb received the grant.
7:28 p.m. Answer: The county is trying to increase the adoption rate to help the chance of winning money for the shelter, which is currently No. 17 in the nation.
7:27 p.m. Audience comment: There is a $100,000 grant program that could be available to the Cobb County Animal Shelter. Can you help get the word out?
7:16 p.m. A Cobb DOT representative responds that there are sidewalks planned in 2011 SPLOST, but specific projects have not yet been prioritized.
7:13 p.m. Question: Are there sidewalks planned for John Ward Road?
7:09 p.m. Answer: We should have a vet by May 31. Spaying and neutering will soon be mandatory.
7:09 p.m. Question: We were budgeted money for a full-time vet at the Cobb Animal Shelter. How far along is that process?
7:06 p.m. Goreham opens up the floor to questions and comments.
6:54 p.m. We are live from tonight's town hall meeting with Commissioner Helen Goreham. So far, about 40 people in attendance.