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Cobb Mayors Blame Cupid for Mediation over Service Delivery, Issue Statement


Days after the announcement that Cobb County and six of its cities will soon begin official mediation over the highly contested service delivery strategy (SDS) agreements, Cobb’s mayors are pointing the finger at Chair Lisa Cupid and her paid consultants/advisor for the unprecedented legal battle in which they find themselves in, as they try to protect citizens in their respective cities from double taxation.

Mayors of six of Cobb’s seven cities – Acworth, Austell, Kennesaw, Marietta, Powder Springs, and Smyrna – continue their criticism of the unprecedented actions taken by Chair Lisa Cupid and the county government to zero out service 489 agreements.

Placing the blame on Cupid and the county, the mayors issued a unified statement saying: “The cities want to emphasize to constituents that we’re not in this fix because of procrastination,” said Powder Springs Mayor Al Thurman. “We worked in good faith long before the deadline.” 

The 489 agreements outline how much the county reimburses each city for essential services they provide — like police, fire, and water — to ensure there is no “double taxation” of citizens.

Expressing their frustration and disappointment in Cupid and her decision-making, the mayors are taking a proactive approach by seeking legal counsel and remaining united on the issue. On the sideline watching this play out is the new city of Mableton, which is not involved as it is still in the midst of transitioning services from the County to the City, but they are paying close attention to the positions taken by fellow mayors to ensure citizens are not double-taxed.

Spotlight reported months ago that the mayors found Cupid’s proposal of zero dollars reimbursement as “insulting,” “very offensive,” and an act of “bad faith.” Cupid’s position, fueled by her consultant, has been a non-starter for the mayors, which has led to mediation.

The county and six of its seven cities have until Oct. 31 to reach an agreement about the value of those services. But after nearly two years of discussion, the zero-dollar proposal from the county has pushed the cities to seek legal representation to find a middle ground before time runs out.

Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood said, “The cities are simply looking to continue a fair-to-all, time-tested and proven method that has worked for decades in Cobb County. Cobb city residents pay county taxes at the same rate as those who live in unincorporated areas, and the county and cities have long agreed that the county would offset the cost of services to prevent city residents from getting double-taxed on services such as police departments, which are a huge portion of our city budgets.”

The county is attempting to blame the mayors for the delay as reflected in their statement.  The reason for the standstill, according to the county, is that six of Cobb’s seven cities — are asking that Cobb “pay them substantially more money.”


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