Stadium critics urge Cobb commissioners to change speaking policy

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Stadium critics urge Cobb commissioners to change speaking policy

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PHIL SKINNER / FOR THE AJC
Critics of the new Braves stadium implored the Cobb County Commission to adopt a new policy making it possible for more than 12 people to address the body before votes.

Three critics of Cobb County’s investment in a new Atlanta Braves stadium say the commission should adopt a new policy so that more than 12 people can address the commission before they vote on matters of great public interest.

The three speakers were shut out of the public speaking slots during a meeting two weeks ago, at which commissioners approved several key agreements necessary before stadium construction can begin. A pro-stadium group with ties to the Cobb Chamber of Commerce came to the meeting up to five hours early to take each of the 12 speaking slots and shut out opposing voices.

Rich Pellegrino, a member of the Cobb Citizens For Government Transparency, was one of three people removed from the meeting last month by police. He urged the commissioners to make a new policy that would allow for more public comment before important votes.

“I’m not fronted by the chamber or a billion dollar corporation,” Pellegrino said. “What I’m proposing is there be a rule change, so commissioners come up with something more equitable in terms of encouraging participation, especially when It’s packed.”

When asked if the commission would consider Pellegrino’s suggestion, Commission Chairman Tim Lee said “we’ll take a look at it.”

Comprehensive coverage of the Braves moving to Cobb County

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