ATLANTA -- Mayor Maynard Jackson announced Friday the formation of a non-profit company, the Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta, to manage the Olympic related redevelopment of the city for the 1996 Summer Games.
Jackson said the corporation would be the focal point for all Olympic related projects.
'I believe that the structure we are proposing today will help us to reach our goal, to uplift the people of Atlanta,' said Jackson. 'This cannot be done by city government alone.'
'CODA's mission will be to prepare the city for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games -- from the city's point of view,' he said. 'This is about brick and mortar and physical development, housing, infrastructure, the improvement of our quality of life from a physical point of view.'
Jackson said CODA will be incorporated under Georgia state law and will have redevelopment powers authorized by Atlanta City Council and by the state -- including the authority to finance bonds to raise money and the power of eminent domain for the redevelopment of blighted areas.
The mayor estimated there are about 200 Olympic related improvement projects and said those areas not officially considered blighted could also be addressed by CODA's powers.
'We believe that there are areas of the city where redevelopment and where improvements will be required which will not be identified or classified as blighted,' said Jackson. 'Therefore, we do not anticipate that CODA's powers will be limited to the redevelopment powers of Atlanta.'
Jackson said he will serve as co-chairman of the corporation, and is currently looking into the possibility of getting the chief operating officer of a local company to also serve as a co-chairman. While he would not mention any names, he did say he has talked with several local executives.
He said there would be 21 members of CODA's board of directors, including members of the city council, the state legislature and civic, business and neighborhood leaders. Billy Payne, the head of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, will serve on the board, as well as George Berry, the head of the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority, which oversees ACOG activities, and Stewart Acuff, president of the Atlanta Labor Council.
Jackson said while Gov. Zell Miller has pledged the state's support for CODA, he declined to appoint a department head to serve on the board of directors because the governor felt it would be improper to serve on a local board. However, Jackson said Georgia Commissioner of Transportation Wayne Shackelford will attend board meetings.
The mayor said the board will hire a president, who in turn will hire a staff, to oversee CODA's day to day operation. The actual formation of CODA's staff and board of directors must be approved by the city council following a public hearing, said Jackson.
He said while CODA will start out with no funds of its own, a number of fund raising strategies are already under consideration.
In proposing CODA, Jackson rejected an offer from MAOGA to perform essentially the same role. He said MAOGA has its hands full monitoring ACOG activities in the actual planning and staging of the 1996 Olympic Games.