Cupid plans “Pass the Buck” meeting on Dobbins debacle
President Harry Truman famously had a sign on his desk in 1945 that read, “The Buck Stops Here”. This saying was attributed to his leadership and his ability to take responsibility for the decisions he made on behalf of the U.S. as our country’s elected leader. In his farewell address in January 1953, Truman referred to this concept very specifically in asserting that, “The President–whoever he is–has to decide. He can’t pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That’s his job.”
Fast forward to 2021 in Cobb County government and the sign on Cobb Chair Lisa Cupid’s desk reads, “Pass the Buck to anyone else except me.” Elected to make the tough decisions, Cupid is showing that she is clearly not equipped to do so, and the buck stops anywhere except at her desk. This week, Cupid is assembling a hodgepodge of associates who she will attempt to make responsible for the Dobbins debacle, a problem Cupid created with her vote that she alone should be dealing with.
When Cupid ran for Chair, she adamantly represented herself as someone who could make good decisions for Cobb if given the chance. Here she is on the job, planning to host a town hall meeting with elected officials and business leaders of Cobb, to pass decision-making responsibilities to others so they can carry the blame for the debacle Cupid caused.
We all know that passing the buck is a way of life in large bureaucracies. We can point to many instances through the history of government where “political buck passing” has occurred, but what is going on in Cobb under Cupid is ridiculous as it plays out in full view of citizens. Some say for Cupid to pass the buck, she needs to be in possession of the buck. They point to her taking no responsibility, as commissioner for the South Cobb community, on issues that mattered, such as the development of Magnolia Crossing. Many say voters were unaware of Cupid’s naivety and her lack of accountability as they unknowingly cast their ballots for her. Over the past eight months, they are getting a bird’s eye view of her inexperience for the top job in Cobb, and they are not happy with her performance.
We all recall several months ago when Cupid foolishly led a vote to allow her favorite lawyer, Garvis Sams, (who represented one of his builder clients) to get approval in a 3 to 2 vote to build condos in a no-fly zone near Dobbins. Cupid’s love for everything Sams does in the county and her poor decision-making placed Dobbins, Lockheed, and others in this key area in jeopardy. Cupid didn’t know or didn’t care about the billion-dollar economic engine that these entities represented or how she was driving us over a cliff with her vote. Elected leaders and business advocates tried to point out Cupid’s missteps to her during a commission meeting, but the fur was flying as she lit into them for daring to have an opinion that conflicted with hers.
After bad press on the subject and the possibility of Dobbins being placed on a base closure list, Cupid dug in her heels like a spoiled child being pulled off an amusement ride. Incensed by her posturing on the subject, Senator Raphael Warnock sought out a meeting with Cupid to give her a lesson on business and government. Rumors floated around that she refused to meet with the good Senator. Cupid allegedly sent a surrogate to meet with him instead. Again, so much for leadership from Chair Cupid.
Around that same time, SPOTLIGHT was forwarded a tip in the form of a copy of an email dated June 28, 2021, at 4:23:01 PM from Jennifer DeVault to a laundry list of names that read:
“On behalf of Chairwoman Lisa Cupid, Good afternoon: Please help in saving the date of Tuesday, August 10th at 2:00 pm for us to have a community stakeholder discussion regarding “Dobbins Air Force Base and Surrounding Communities”.
The email went on to say:
In response to recent development decisions around the base and the joint land use interests of area stakeholders, it is important for us to come together to see how we can best work together.
Many have wondered what the purpose of Cupid’s powwow. They say Cupid was elected to lead the county, not officials from other local, state, and federal offices. They suggested to SPOTLIGHT that this meeting is Cupid’s attempt to blame anyone but herself for her poor decision making relative to Dobbins. Instead of being willing to say she made a mistake and course correcting on her poor judgment, Cupid is bringing others together to hash it out. She is attempting to delegate decisions and avoid having to accept responsibility or blame for her Dobbins vote. Cupid’s plan is to bring everyone together for a meeting, allow for a few hours of commentary on the subject, then exist from that powwow proclaiming that a solution was jointly developed by those assembled, a land swap. There is only one problem with her big plan, the cat is already out of the bag on the land swap. Cupid’s powwow is for “show only” to send the media and community in a different direction. Cupid’s plan will not be one that is devised by the group, but one Cupid cooked up at the secret meetings she has been having around town with certain elected and nonelected bodies, right under our noses.
Cupid is a pro at passing the buck. A few years ago, the community came to a commission meeting on a new park in Mableton and demanded that the park reflect diversity and not be named for anything to do with the civil war, a war fought to keep blacks enslaved. Cupid tasked a Mableton group (notorious for going to the commission to say they have community support on an issue when they only have support from the few people who are members) with working with preservationist. Together, they came up with a name that was a nod to the civil war. Cupid knew the diverse community’s position on this issue but chose to fake naivety. She said she didn’t make the decision, it was the community’s decision to name our park in honor of the civil war.
Another thing to be mindful regarding Cupid’s upcoming meeting is who was invited and who was not. Cupid is known to silence her critics by excluding them and blocking them from participating in government. I invite the community to join me in doing an ORR to get a list of invitees, a list of those who attended, and info on her secret land swap. We can no longer trust Cupid to tell us the truth about what is going on in our government, so the only way to understand what government is up to is to file ORR’s.
“With great power comes great responsibility” are revered words echoed through the years in numerous situations, Spiderman even echoed it during one of his movies.
Cobb’s elected chair is supposed to shoulder the responsibilities for making decisions that will have profound implications for many in our community. Citizens of Cobb expected Cupid to be an effective leader who takes responsibility and makes the tough decisions, not cede responsibility and blame, while hiding behind a delegation of others to avoid difficult choices.
After seven months on the job, Cupid continues to show that she was never ready for the role of Chair of Cobb. We anxiously await the outcome of her powwow, more info on her plans for a land swap, and who she passes the buck to this time.