Cobb County board overseeing development could see shake-up

The property is at right, bordered by Cobb Galleria Parkway (in front). The Cobb Energy Center is visible at left. A proposed $100 million condo/office project in Cobb County has turned an otherwise routine bond approval by the local development authority into a battlefront over tax incentives and their cost to the school system. The project was delayed a month while the authority worked out differences with school board over lost tax revenue. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

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The property is at right, bordered by Cobb Galleria Parkway (in front). The Cobb Energy Center is visible at left. A proposed $100 million condo/office project in Cobb County has turned an otherwise routine bond approval by the local development authority into a battlefront over tax incentives and their cost to the school system. The project was delayed a month while the authority worked out differences with school board over lost tax revenue. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

The Development Authority of Cobb County, one of the county’s most powerful boards, could see up to three of its seven members replaced this year.

The development board is charged with promoting trade, commerce, industry, and employment on behalf of the public, which often includes providing tax breaks to corporations who remain in or relocate to the county.

The county commission nominates and approves the authority board members to four-year terms. They must be taxpayers of the county but not county officers or employees. Three authority board members’ terms expired on March 13, but they can continue serving unless they are replaced.

The expirations come just after voters in November put three new county commissioners in office.

Before the commission’s March 9 meeting, Commissioner Keli Gambrill tried to replace longtime Development Authority Chair Clark Hungerford, who has served on the authority since 1999.

Gambrill withdrew her request for the commission to approve her nomination after commissioners said they wanted to ensure members had an equal voice in nominating and approving appointments to the authority board.

Commissioners plan to discuss development authority board appointments at their meeting next week.