Cobb Chair Cupid’s Quid Pro Quo
When then South Cobb District 4 Commissioner Lisa Cupid placed her name on the dotted line to run for Chair of Cobb in the 2020 race, she made a plethora of promises to the voters.
If they elected her to this higher role in our County, Cupid promised she would be able to efficiently lead the county; she would work effectively with all members of the commission and the community for the betterment of Cobb; and she would be able to make the tough decisions that someone at that level will be required and expected to make.
Fast forward to now, 12 months under Cupid’s leadership, and many are asking if the County is any better with her at the helm. Many say the answer is a resounding NO as they shared their concerns with SPOTLIGHT. They pointed to a number of issues under Cupid’s leadership that they say are not leadership skills at all.
This includes Cupid’s temperament and prickly attitude since becoming Chair; Cupid and her staff not showing up to work; Cupid’s ethics and her conflicts of interest; Cupid placing Cobb’s economic engines Dobbins and Lockheed in jeopardy for a land deal for her favorite zoning attorney; Cupid’s disastrous working relationship with the business community; and Cupid’s abuse of Cobb citizens that do not agree with her at community meetings, among other things.
As recently as a few days ago, a State Representative took Cupid and the Commissioners to task for failing to work effectively for Cobb citizens on issues saying, “No one from the county commission office has reached out to me about anything to do with the legislative agenda, transportation or anything. I’m on the transportation committee for the state House. We’ve got major transportation items on here. I would appreciate you reaching out to me as a legislator in Cobb County with having a direct impact on transportation in the state House.” Seabaugh reminded Cupid that it was important to work together, to which Cupid rolled her eyes, which she is known for doing when she does not agree with something being said.
The latest complaint to come to us is one concerning the American Rescue Plan Act funds. Cobb County will receive nearly $148 million in federal aid as part of the $1.9 trillion ARPA bill that President Joe Biden signed into law in March. Cobb got its first $73.8 million installment May 15. This is a lot of money that could go to a number of uses in our community, but there are problems that are already presenting themselves and it falls under the header of Quid Pro Quo.
It was flagged to SPOTLIGHT that Cupid and her “votes on the board of Commission” approved paying an outside company million to tell them how to spend the funds the federal government has provided to Cobb County. This use of funds in that direction is shocking to many in Cobb.
They say they are disappointed that Cupid was incapable of figuring this out on her own or leading the county and its resources to do so. The consultant is supposedly conducting a community survey to gather input and help shape how Cobb prioritizes its spending, something that should be in the county’s capabilities.
Many in the community are asking why Chair Cupid, members of the Commission, and the vast resources of Cobb County’s various departments could not be collectively tasked to engage the community themselves – why are they not able to conduct meetings with citizens, gather information, come up with how to spend the millions that have been awarded, and discuss proposals with the citizens, while keeping millions of consulting dollars in Cobb’s bank account.
Those we spoke with said this is what Cupid’s job is supposed to entail, leadership, but she is incapable of leading. Spending these funds in that direction is not leadership, says others. Instead of promised leadership, Cupid pushed her tainted suggestion that this is the ‘best use of millions of dollars’ – to have someone else tell her what to do. The bottom line is Cupid and others asked voters to elect them to office so they can outsource their jobs.
With many within our community desperately needing housing and renters looking for help to keep a roof over their family’s head, Cupid pushes past the optics of foolishly spending funds in the direction of a consultant. As she pushes millions in the direction of this company and others, Cupid is not telling the whole truth to citizens of Cobb.
Cupid allegedly already had a relationship with this company that she did not disclose to the public. When she took over the reins as chair, it was reported to SPOTLIGHT that Cupid and others accepted free consulting services from this company that included professional training to Cupid. This was training that would have cost a hefty price tag attached to it that she received for free. Several months later, this company was allegedly awarded a contract by Cobb County. If the allegations are true, Cupid and others from the commission who received anything from this company of value, including training, were required to disclose this conflict to the public and recuse themselves for voting on this matter.
Webster’s Dictionary describes quid pro quo as: something that is given to you or done for you in return for something you have given to or done for someone else.
We see other cities, such as Stonecrest and its elected leader, coming under fire for misuse of their federal funds. Is Cobb next? Our community is counting on the honest hardworking employees at Cobb County to hold Cupid, the commissioners, and the county accountable to the citizens.
This is just the tip of this story. Stay engaged with SPOTLIGHT for future updates. If you know of any irregularities occurring within Cobb government, contact SPOTLIGHT.