The Reed Administration's Response to John Eaves' False Statements Regarding His Role in Philips Arena Transformation
Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Anne Torres, Director
Jenna Garland, Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 18, 2017
The Reed Administration's Response to John Eaves' False Statements Regarding His Role in the
Philips Arena Transformation
Statement from Communications Director Anne Torres
ATLANTA – “Tell the truth: John Eaves is launching his losing campaign with a lie. He played no role in the city's $142.5M funding of the Phillips Arena transformation - which keeps the Hawks in Atlanta for 30 years - he is merely helping the Atlanta Hawks finance their portion of the debt. The Fulton Commission voted to enter into negotiations with the Hawks, but has not completed the transaction yet. If he qualifies, Eaves will not sit on the Commission during these negotiations and for the final vote. For someone who claims to care about this team, it's awfully surprising that he did not even attend the press conference to unveil transformation plans and publicly commit to keeping the Hawks downtown.
He played absolutely no role in the new $1.5B Mercedes-Benz stadium, which keeps the Falcons in downtown Atlanta for the next 30 years and helped us win the 2018 College Football Championship, the 2019 Super Bowl, the 2020 NCAA Final Four and the 22nd MLS Franchise, Atlanta United, to the City of Atlanta. Atlanta United now leads the league in season ticket sales, average attendance and merchandise sales.
Atlantans are fortunate that John Eaves was not involved in the Atlanta Braves negotiations because he would have caved to the Braves’ demand to receive 70 acres of prime taxpayer owned real estate at no cost. Eaves would have given away $400M in taxpayer funds to prevent the team from moving 12 miles. Notably, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners just rejected a proposed tax hike by a 3-2 vote last month. Though Turner Field sits in Fulton County, Eaves likewise played no role in working with Georgia State, Carter and community members to redevelop this property and bring $250M - $400M in new investment to stadium neighborhoods.
What we know is that John Eaves cut funding for deadly Zika and West Nike virus prevention in half, and planned to close voting precincts in minority communities until voting rights activists, the ACLU and I demanded that he change his decision. He was also responsible for the Fulton County property tax increase fiasco, which sent shock waves through family budgets and living rooms across Atlanta and Fulton County.
I would compare him to Michael Lomax, another Fulton County Chair who sought the office of Mayor unsuccessfully, but that would be too great an insult to Michael Lomax. In fact, Eaves failed to win his bid for Atlanta City Council in 2005. His current position as Chair has served as a consolation prize after that defeat. Atlantans rejected Eaves for an Atlanta City Council seat then and they are rejecting him now as he currently sits at four percent among all Mayoral candidates.
The best part about him quitting his job as the quasi-leader of Fulton County is that he will no longer be involved in public service once he loses his ill-fated race for Mayor of Atlanta."
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