Politics

Cobb Commission Chair Mike Boyce on Braves Stadium, Budget Shortfall And More

Cobb County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce, during a conversation with Morning Edition host Denis O'Hayer at the WABE studios on February 6, 2018.
Cobb County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce, during a conversation with Morning Edition host Denis O'Hayer at the WABE studios on February 6, 2018.
Credit Sam Whitehead / WABE
Audio version of this story here.

Just over a year ago, Mike Boyce became chairman of the Cobb County Commission.  His 2016 election win over incumbent Tim Lee was fueled in part by voter anger over the process that brought the Atlanta Braves’ new stadium to Cobb.

A year after Boyce took office, the county is facing an estimated $30-45 million budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year.  Boyce says the costs of the Braves stadium deal are just a part of that; other factors include health care and pension costs, and improvements to the county courts.

After years of what he calls one-time fixes to plug the gap, Boyce is proposing an increase in the property tax rate for fiscal 2019.  He’s also considering fee increases for senior services (among other things), and possible closings and consolidations in the county’s library system.

Boyce is promising to hold town hall meetings as the budget process continues.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Denis O’Hayer on “Morning Edition,” Boyce talked about the tax increase proposal; future costs of the Braves stadium; manpower shortages in public safety; and the chances of Cobb joining a proposed regional transportation system.