Several Cobb Residents Challenge Bond Issuance for Braves Stadium

Jul 3, 2014

A member of a Cobb County watchdog organization filed a motion to intervene and object to the issuance of bonds for a new Atlanta Braves stadium. A court hearing Monday will determine whether the issuance of up to $397 million dollars in revenue bonds complies with state law.

Citizens for Governmental Transparency member Rich Pellegrino is among the Cobb residents who have filed an objection. Pellegrino says at least a half dozen residents plan to file before the hearing on Monday.

Rich Pellegrino stands with members of Citizens for Governmental Transparency outside the Cobb County Superior Courthouse.
Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News

“There’s many issues with the revenue bonds, but the main one is that there is no adequate legal or ethical method to pay it back.”

Pellegrino says one example is the county’s plan to use hotel-motel tax proceeds to repay the bonds. He says state law limits the rate of hotel-motel taxes a county can impose and Cobb County is maxed out. WABE contacted Cobb County officials, but did not receive a response by deadline.

Attorney John Moore represents the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, which will issue the bonds if they’re approved.

“We think we’ve complied in all respects with the statutory, constitutional and case law requirements for a bond of this nature.”

“The hearing will take place Monday before Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard. Leonard will take the place of Judge Tain Kell. Kell issued a recusal order Monday due to his service as a Board member of the Cobb County chamber of Commerce.