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CITYHOOD on the minds of Cobb citizens


Instead of “Georgia being on their minds” citizens across Cobb wanting to control their own destiny are humming a different tune… Cityhood…which seems to be the melody that has tongues wagging and Cobb County citizens taking opposite positions on this hotly debated topic.

With this years’ general assembly ending with a thud and no real deliverables obtained for the benefit of Cobb citizens, it seems that resolutions for Cityhood have shown new life and a new push. This contentious topic continues to divide neighbors, with some being pro and others being con, on this subject for the unincorporated areas of Cobb County. An unincorporated area is defined as one that is not governed by a local municipality, which describes numerous areas across the county. Some of the benefits being touted for Cityhood are community control over land use planning, annexation and home values.

Many have suggested that the rush to form cities across Cobb has been brought on by the lack of confidence in leadership currently in Cobb government. Current elected officials have come out on both sides of this issue. Those who have expressed opposition have been called out by citizens for not providing the services need within their community. Just like everything in our country, this has been labeled as a partisan issue with some lawmakers calling out others for their hypocrisy on the issue.

A humorous message circulated by those opposing cityhood likens the efforts of proponents for cityhood to the movie Jaws 2. Labeling them sharks, they suggest that the people involved in pushing cityhood are the same developers and questionable parties seeking a paycheck, a job, or both in the form of a new city. They have also pointed to the dysfunction occurring in other newly formed cities and the infighting of those new governments. Lastly, they have pointed to the misinformation relative to increased taxes for the unincorporated areas once they become a new city as some have erroneously suggested that no new taxes would occur once a new city is formed.

As these areas seek to become their own government, they have several things in common. They all have suggested creating a governing board that consists of a mayor and council positions and have suggested that they provide certain “city lite” services such as zoning, parks, and recreation, while relying on Cobb County to continue to provide others such as water, sewer, police and fire. Some have even mentioned creating their own municipal court. To become a city, Georgia requires that proposed new governments provide a minimum of three services to the citizens.

One of the communities seeking Cityhood, Vinings, released talking points in support of their push saying there are many reasons to support cityhood including:

  • Planning and Zoning: to curb runaway development, while allowing for responsible development.
  • SPLOST: to receive our fair share of SPLOST dollars. Currently, the county determines the money we are allocated based on the projects that they think we need.
  • Traffic and Crime: to stop the high-density development that is causing traffic and crime to rise.
  • Green Space: to create more community green space. Vinings currently has only one park, and no other green space land has been set aside.

Cityhood is a two-year legislative process with bills being introduced in year one before being considered in year two, with a referendum to be voted on by citizens in the boundaries of the proposed city.

As the debate rages on, SPOTLIGHT will continue to provide you with updates.


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