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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Open Letter To Marietta and Columnist Dick Yarbrough

Originally, this post was going to be titled "An Open Letter of Apology to Marietta," but when I woke up this morning, my first thoughts stirred me to change it. Part of this post will be an apology, but the second part will be a "You've Got A Lot of Nerve" message. This is what happens when what someone has written grates on my nerves so that it gets me out of my nice toasty bed at 7:30 on a Sunday.

You may be wondering why I care so much, and why you should care. The reason you should care is that Mike Sabbagh is a city council member and one of mayoral candidate Kelly Kautz's staunchest supporters. You can expect more negative press like this for the city as a return on your "investment" if you vote for Kelly Kautz.

Here is what Dick Yarbrough wrote in his Marietta Daily Journal column:

"If it wasn’t bad enough that outsiders are trying to talk us into paying for a rail system to Malfunction Junction where the sewers don’t work and neither do a number of its citizens, now we have a city council member from Snellville (insert joke here) threatening the Marietta City Council that if they don’t allow Waleed “Lee” Jaraysi to finish his wedding hall on South Marietta Parkway near Interstate 75, he is just liable to sic al-Jazeera, the Arabic network, on the city."

"Fact: The Snellville council member, Michael Sabbagh, who recently appeared before the Marietta City Council and tossed around al-Jazeera’s name like a beach ball claimed to be a Southern Poly professor. Fact: SPSU says he hasn’t been associated with the institution for five years.

Fact: Sabbagh told the council that Jaraysi had the money to finish the building but Councilman Jim King said Sabbagh had promised to put the money in an escrow account for him to look at, but had failed to live up to that promise. Sabbagh seems not to have put up much of an argument over King’s comments."

Dear Mr. Yarbrough:

Please accept a heartfelt apology from numerous Snellvillians, who, like myself, were aghast that a Snellville City Council Member would go to another city during a council meeting, identify himself as our council member (official namebadge included) and throw his weight around with what your reporter (and many of us here) interpreted as threats. It may be codependent of me to say that this action embarrassed me. I don't think any of our citizens voted for Mike Sabbagh to do this.[VIDEO]

I like your city, even admire it. Recently, I've made two lovely trips to Marietta's downtown area. We like to go to the Earl Smith Strand Theater and enjoy silent films. Sitting in the theater an reading the donation plaques on the backs of seats there, I realized what people could do to support a non-profit entity like that if they put their hearts and minds to the job. The theater and the park on the downtown square are beautiful, and as we enjoyed the park on a recent Sunday, I realized that we could have something as lovely in Snellville someday, if people here will believe in the possibilities of the Towne Center plan. We also have a non-profit theatre here called the New London Theatre, that is under threat of closure because of financial woes caused by lack of community support.

I know nothing of Marietta politics. I just think you have a beautiful city. It's not our style to go to other cities and tell them what to do. From what I can see, Marietta is doing just fine. Marietta is an inspiration. So we're sorry that this happened. Mr. Sabbagh in retrospect, is probably also sorry it happened. I think he kind of got carried away. You know how every family has that one "interesting" relative?

Anyway, sorry about that. Really, really sorry about that. We know it wasn't cool.

Now for Part 2:

"Maybe promises mean something differently in Snellville than they do in Marietta."

" we have a city council member from Snellville (insert joke here)"

Excuse me? Just what joke were you going to insert? Go ahead and have the chutzpah to put it there. I would have more respect for you if you did. The part about promises is just outright insulting.

"Let me suggest that Mr. Jaraysi get a U-Haul and move his eyesore from Marietta to Snellville, preferably smack dab in the middle of Mr. Sabbagh’s district. That would undoubtedly improve the quality of life in both cities."

Now you're just being hateful, Dick.

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