Kennesaw State University economist J.C. Bradbury has been nominated for a seat on the Development Authority of Cobb County. SPECIAL TO AJC

Braves stadium critic faces difficult nomination to development agency

A Kennesaw State University economist who has been critical of the public financing deal that brought the Atlanta Braves to Cobb was nominated to sit on the county’s economic development board, but it’s unclear if his nomination has sufficient support to pass.

County commissioners will vote Tuesday whether to approve J.C. Bradbury as the newest addition to the Development Authority of Cobb County, which influences the tax breaks businesses are offered to stay or relocate in the county.

Bradbury was nominated by Commissioner Keli Gambrill of west Cobb. Generally, each commissioner nominates a representative to the authority and such appointments are easily approved.

But the vote on Bradbury, originally scheduled for two weeks ago, was delayed after Chairman Mike Boyce indicated that he would be the swing vote and wanted more time to make his decision. That prompted an angry reaction from Gambrill.

“To me, this is coming across as pure patronage and politics at its worst,” Gambrill said.

On Monday, Boyce declined to say how he will vote.

“Any consideration would reasonably include all past actions and statements,” he said in response to whether his hesitation had anything to do with Bradbury’s comments on the Braves stadium.

Bradbury, a sports economist, has been outspoken in his opposition to roughly $400 million in public funding for the ballpark, saying there is no evidence such subsidies benefit taxpayers.

“I met with Chairman Boyce and several other commissioners last week,” Bradbury said Monday. “The meetings were cordial and I appreciated the opportunity to meet and speak with them.”

Commissioners Bob Ott, Lisa Cupid and Gambrill did not respond to requests for comment by press time. Commissioner JoAnn Birrell declined to say how she will vote. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the county government building on Marietta Square.

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