The pay-cut threat, he said, “absolutely makes no sense,” he said.
“My issues have always been with the management of EMC, not with the employees of EMC. I’ve always felt it was very important for us to keep the employees happy as much as we can.”
He’s also no tree-hugger.
“I’m the farthest thing from that, actually. As I remind everybody, our lawsuit had nothing to do with the coal plant,” he said. “My concerns with Cobb EMC have nothing to do with environmental causes. My concerns are purely on the corruption that has existed and trying to put Cobb EMC into a position where we can move forward and get back to the basics of providing power to members at lowest possible cost. That’s the whole idea of a co-op. We’re supposed to be the cheapest source of power.”
The rank-and-file employees of Cobb EMC, he said, are some of the best in the business.
“Customer service has never been an issue with Cobb EMC, in the past or present,” Sharp said.
SHARP SAID the rumors remind him of the early days in the 2007 lawsuit, when then-CEO Dwight Brown tried to scare employees by insisting the plaintiffs only wanted control of the utility so they could sell it off.
“You know, we had a lot of choices in our lawsuit,” he said. “We were warned, just prior to settlement, that if we didn’t settle and put these things in place, Cobb Energy was going to be bankrupt and all the assets were going to go into bankruptcy, and our EMC as we know it would be gone, and that would affect the 500 employees of Cobb EMC. I put myself in those employees’ shoes. It’s not their fault that Dwight Brown made these decisions. It’s not their fault the management is running the company the way they are. I thought it was important for us to work out a plan that would allow the company to continue on, and protect those employees. They are good people. The employees that I know over there are some of the best people I’ve ever met.”
Sharp will face off against Charles Sevier in Saturday’s runoff to represent area 5. A second runoff will occur for the Area 4 seat between Jim Hudson and David McClellan. Voting will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Piedmont Church, 570 Piedmont Road.
Sharp and Hudson are backed by three of the plaintiffs (Dianne Brackin, Jim Gladstone and Skip Smith), while Sevier and McClellan are endorsed by the EMC Owners Association and plaintiffs Butch Thompson and Bo Pounds.
RETIRED Kennesaw State University President Dr. Betty Siegel was named this year’s recipient of the Eldridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award at the Georgia Board of Regents’ recent Salute to Education at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Dr. Siegel helmed KSU from 1981 to 2006 and was the first woman to head an institution in the 35-unit University System of Georgia. Past recipients of the award include Chic-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, Gov. Sonny Perdue, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Gov. Zell Miller.
Also at the event, Dr. Thomas Pusateri, professor of psychology at KSU, was one of five educators named as Felton Jenkins Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award winners and one of two to receive the Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award.
MEMBERS of the Marietta Tree Keepers and the Marietta Rotary Club planted a 14-foot elm tree on the western grounds of Marietta High School Wednesday in memory of Spencer Owens, son of Glenn and Elsie Owens. Digging for the new tree was performed by five members of the MHS wresting team, which Owens once captained. Among those present were Owens’ former coach/present Marietta Athletics Director Paul Hall, Rotary President Will Goodman, Rotarians Cobb Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs and Superior Court Judge Ruben Green, and Tree Keepers head Holly Walquist. …
DON’T FORGET the Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society’s annual Root House Spring Plant Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 27 and 28. Proceeds will benefit the Society’s noted efforts to preserve the county’s historic heritage. Offerings will include a range of perennials and shrubs, hydrangeas and conifers. In addition to professionally grown plants, there will be “pass along plants” donated by members of Cobb Landmarks and the Cobb Master Gardeners.
“One group of plants that have been promised are off sets of camellias that have lived in a Marietta garden for at least 60 years,” reports the event’s publicity chair, Cathy Brown.
For more info, contact Sue Burgess at (770) 953-3309. …
DAVIS WALKER, who passed away Monday at age 87 of complications from a recent fall, was a true “O.M.” (“Old Mariettan”) in the best sense of the term. A graduate of Marietta High School, he and his late brother, Johnny, until their retirements owned and operated Johnny Walker’s, which for decades was the premier men’s clothing store in Cobb and was opened on the west side of Marietta Square in 1924 by their father.
Davis carved a reputation as one of the best golfers at the Marietta Country Club and remained active there and in the Marietta Kiwanis Club until the end. In fact, Walker had compiled 61 years of perfect attendance at the club. But he told the MDJ’s Bill Kinney after attending the club’s meeting two weeks ago that he did not plan to return because getting there had become such a strain.
Walker’s passing means that E.W. Chastain is now the lone World War II veteran in that club.
COBB SCHOOL BOARD member David Banks stole the limelight for nearly 30 minutes during Wednesday’s work session when he decided to go off on his second tangent of the year about how the district has more money than Chief Financial Officer Mike Addison says it has. Amid his rant about how the board should dip into the $99 million reserve to fix the FY13 $62.4 million deficit, Chair Scott Sweeney chimed in to try and let other board members ask questions, but Banks wasn’t having it.
“Mr. Chairman, I still have the floor and I have not finished my questions. I have the floor. You gave me the floor when I started. I’d appreciate you letting me finish. You’re monopolizing. I would like to finish making my points. I object on a parliamentary basis. I think you’re out of order. I’ll ask (board attorney) Mr. (Clem) Doyle if I am correct or not correct.”
In response, Doyle did in fact give the floor back to Banks, adding, “If that’s OK with the chair,” and Sweeney responded with a sarcastic, “Please proceed.”
After about seven more minutes of questions and assertions about the budget, Banks finally ended with, “I will relinquish my time, Mr. Sweeney.”
The board follows Robert’s Rules of Order regarding how they do business and according to www.robertsrules.org, board members must be recognized by the chair before speaking, so Sweeney technically had the authority to muffle Banks but didn’t.
POLITICS: Will and Michelle Goodman will host a “meet the candidate” from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at their home, “Oakton,” on Kennesaw Avenue, for Marietta Ward 4 City Council candidate Patti Pearlberg. … U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) is back from leading a delegation of House members to the Middle East, where they met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Turkish President Abdullah Gül and King Abdullah II of Jordan