It all started when Joseph Pond was fined for keeping chickens in his backyard because, according to county code, his property was too small.
Now, the plumber from East Cobb is running as a write-in candidate for the District 3 commission seat to get partisanship out of local politics and “reel in” what he sees as over-regulation of private property.
“I think party politics are lethal,” said Pond, who ran for the same seat as a Republican in 2014 but said recently he considers himself independent. “I wanted to give people a choice.”
Pond faces incumbent Republican JoAnn Birrell and Democrat Caroline Holko in the November general election.
Pond said he, like many Americans, doesn’t fit neatly into the categories of Right or Left. He’s a proud union member with conservative views on spending and regulation who also supports mass transit.
“If Cobb is going to compete, it has to come up with some form of convenient mass transit merged with the city of Atlanta,” he said.
Pond said he decided to enter the race this summer after his preferred candidate, Tom Cheek, threw his support behind Birrell after losing the primary to her.
Pond says Birrell isn’t responsive to all her constituents and doesn’t represent the blue collar residents of her district.
In response, Birrell said she is “inclusive of all citizens” and that her record speaks for itself.
If elected, Pond said he would like to make county commission seats non-partisan, pare down county code and “cut the fat” in the budget to make Cobb more efficient.
He’s also against tax breaks he characterized as “corporate welfare” for companies like the Atlanta Braves and Thyssenkrupp, the German elevator giant that is receiving generous incentives to locate its headquarters in Cobb.
"Cobb County needs to stop giving its taxpayers' money away," Pond said.