Mike Boyce, sworn in Friday as Cobb commission chairman, promised transparency and to prioritize greenspace and county employee raises during his term.
“I seek to lead a board that achieves the trust of all people through our openness, transparency and, above all, accountability,” Boyce told a crowd of 1,600 gathered at the Cobb Civic Center. “I’m here today because the American people have asked for change.”
Boyce, a retired Marine colonel, beat incumbent Tim Lee, who brought the Atlanta Braves to Cobb, in a Republican Party primary runoff over the summer. No Democrat entered the race to challenge him, and he was officially elected on Nov. 8.
Despite going after Lee on the campaign trail because of the secrecy of the Braves deal, Boyce thanked the outgoing chair for ensuring a smooth transition at Friday’s event.
County Commissioner Bob Ott, who supported Boyce in the election, said he was encouraged by the new chairman. He added that the top priority for the board next year will be making sure “everything works as flawlessly as possible” on opening day at the new stadium in April.
Rosemary Wachtel, a social worker from East Cobb who was at the ceremony, attends Mount Bethel United Methodist Church with Boyce and his wife, Judy.
“He’s a good man. He’s a Christian, and he’s very concerned about the direction things were going in,” Wachtel said. “We were not happy with Lee’s decisions made without input from the voters.”
The East Cobber also brought her daughter, Mandy Wachtel, a student at the University of Georgia, who said she has taken a greater interest in local politics at her mother’s urging.
“I just want (Boyce) to be more transparent,” the younger Wachtel said. “I don’t like when things are done behind closed doors, especially when it’s my community that’s affected.”
Not everyone was as happy to see Lee go.
“There was a lot of negative perception about Tim Lee, justified or not,” said David Banks, a Cobb School Board member.