Cobb Commission chairman Tim Lee said he had heard enough debate on the county’s plan to build the Atlanta Braves a new stadium — so much that he didn’t feel obligated to prolong the decision any longer when it came time to cement nearly $400 million in public financing Tuesday night.
Lee told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that he made the right call in deciding to have police physically remove vocal critics of the deal, denying them a chance to speak before the commission’s votes.
A couple of his fellow commissioners disagree, although they did not act on their opinion during the meeting.
The spectacle Tuesday night has brought unwanted national attention and rained criticism down on the commission. It was the culmination of a seven-month stadium approval process, during which the commission has been repeatedly criticized for a lack of transparency and failure to include the public at key points along the way.
“We have rules,” Lee said after the meeting. “We follow those rules. Consistency is very important in the way we manage our meetings. Not only tonight, but night to night.”
But Lee had already veered from commission rules that night by allowing all 12 pro-stadium speakers to address the commission at the beginning of the meeting. The rules call for up to six speakers at the beginning, and up to six at the end of meetings.