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Braves stadium critic: “Constitution … like a speed bump”

July 8, 2014 --
July 8, 2014 — A Cobb County judge will decide by the end of the month whether Cobb County can sell revenue bonds to finance a new stadium for the Atlanta Braves. Cobb’s lawyers say it’s all perfectly legal, while critics accuse the county of making an end-run around the Georgia Constitution. “We’ve treated the Constitution as an obstacle,” said one, software developer Chris Peters, “just like a speed bump that we can just climb over.”
Here are links to my latest story and my other recent posts on the topic for Atlanta Magazine’s Daily Agenda:

Money, transparency questions linger over Braves’ move

February 26, 2014 --

As Cobb County proceeds with plans to subsidize a $672 million stadium for the Atlanta Braves, questions continue to surface about the transparency of county leaders’ deliberations and the accuracy of the projected public benefit and cost to taxpayers. Here’s what I’ve written on the subject recently in  for Atlanta Magazine’s Daily Agenda:

Proposed law could cloud spending details on Braves, Falcons stadiums
What Cobb businesses might be taxed to help cover Braves stadium costs?

Did Cobb commissioners’ briefings on Braves violate Open Meetings Act?

Braves may seek even more millions in public assistance

Who knew about Tim Lee’s ties to turf company before Braves deal?

Summerhill non-profit sues founder after IRS audit

Summerhill non-profit sues founder after IRS audit
September 6, 2010 --

Infighting and tax troubles threaten the future of a citizens’ group founded to improve the Summerhill community near Turner Field. The Summerhill Neighborhood Development Corp. has sued its founder, former state Rep. Douglas Dean, alleging he secretly pledged the nonprofit’s property to back $2.4 million in bank loans — now in default — to benefit a private developer. The non-profit, according to the suit, “now faces the very real possibility of losing substantially all of its real property assets.” In addition, federal tax records list $470,000 in unsecured, interest-free loans from the non-profit to Dean and his wife, and $50,000 to the group’s new CEO. Dean says those payments were reimbursements of money he loaned the non-profit over the years. IRS auditors could find little or no documentation for those debts.

Will ATL fans take maglev train to Braves games?

September 16, 2009 --

Ever wonder why MARTA’s rail line doesn’t run near the Atlanta baseball stadium where tens of thousands of fans gather 81 times a year? Me too. Now, as my pals at Atlanta Unsheltered reported yesterday, MARTA is in early discussions with a private firm about using magnetic levitation trains to shuttle Braves fans to home games.