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Why are Cobb Taxpayers Paying for MAVEN E-mail Lists?

Posted by on February 21, 2012
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I received an e-mail from Cobb County staff on February 20th that I believe was inappropriate.  Here it is:

To: Undisclosed Recipients
Date: Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM
Subject: Information request

 I have been asked by the Department of Transportation Director to include you on a mailing list for the Metro Atlanta Voter Education Network (M.A.V.E.N.) in their efforts to educate individuals about the upcoming Regional Transportation Referendum vote in July. I did not feel that it was appropriate to share your information with them without your consent. Please let me know if you are OK with me sharing your contact information. Those that do not reply, I will assume do not consent. Thank you for your time.

Best regards,
Dana R. Johnson, AICP
Planning Division Manager
Community Development Agency
Cobb County Government
PO Box 649
Marietta, GA 30061

Cobb County…Expect The Best

The biggest problem I have with this e-mail is that it was sent out using taxpayer money.  Whenever a County employee does something using County resources, employee time and County email lists, it is using Taxpayer funds.  It makes you wonder what else County employees are being asked to do on our dime.

From the wording I believe that the Director of Cobb DOT, Faye DiMassimo, is the one that ordered this e-mail.*  Her previous actions relative to the Cobb Alternative Analysis are evidence that she is squarely on board with TSPLOST and Rail in Cobb.  At this point it will take an action from the Cobb BOC to derail her actions.  Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening.

The County is not allowed to advocate for or against TIA2012/TSPLOST.  Why is the County asking certain residents if they can pass their e-mail addresses along to MAVEN so they can send out Pro-TSPLOST propaganda?  The Letter to the Editor printed in the Marietta Daily Journal from Michael Paris of MAVEN is clearly advocating FOR TSPLOST.  So I also take issue with MAVEN’s impartial “claim”.  With the Millions of dollars (I’ve heard well over $10 Million) being spent by special interest groups to pass TSPLOST, I suggest they use their own money to buy a few e-mail lists and stop trying to get e-mail addresses at taxpayer expense.   It’s not like they are short on funds….

As this was done for one group, I wonder what the response will be if an ANTI-TSPLOST group asks for the same information?  If they provide the information to one, they should provide it to others.  More importantly, it should have never been done in the first place.

Tricia Clements

*I want to make sure that my post was perfectly clear.  I believe that it is the Director of Cobb DOT, not Dana Johnson, that is to blame for misusing County resources by requesting this email be sent.

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