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Cupid’s State of Cobb County turns into ‘State of Contention Address’


“I got more important things to do than to sit here and read a gossip column about what people think the (Board of Commissioners) is doing, or to get my panties in a bunch when people come to criticize us during public comment,” said Chairwoman Lisa Cupid’s as she gave the State of the County speech at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre inside the Cobb County Civic Center last week.

State of County addresses are normally an annual address given by the chair of the Board of County Commissioners to share with the community a recap of the past year in Cobb County, discuss key successes and initiatives, and share a vision for moving Cobb forward. Last week’s state of the county abandoned that norm as media headlines the next day read “Lisa Cupid Comes Out Swinging.”

The bravado in Cupid’s speech had tongues wagging after the Chairwoman went after everything that she finds wrong with being Chairwoman. Yes, she enjoys the power, prestige, and salary that being chair offers, but she never signed up for some of the other stuff she has to suffer through on behalf of Cobb County.

During her address to a half-filled room, Cupid bemoaned the ills to her life for having to spend time sitting on the dais listening to citizens from the community complain during public speaking periods at commission meetings. How dare these peasants come before her with complaints about their government or what is not happening within the community to improve the quality of life for citizens. In an unprecedented move, Cupid asked people to attend the commission meetings to dispute her critics, which is truly a first. Which meetings and what topics should she be defended on, or should it be a blindness defense? Also, we should forget the move Cupid tried to make to end or reduce public comment, which saw a huge outcry by citizens of her efforts to eliminate these irritants to her role as Chair. 

Cupid also took issue with having to read unflattering press, which usually follows her unflattering decision making. At the top of the list is spending millions of taxpayer dollars for consultants to tell Cupid how to do her job. When she campaigned for the job Cupid said she would be able to make decisions by using the resources and talented staff that the county employs to do the people’s work. Choosing the latest consultant and paying them top dollar is not work, it’s relegating your responsibilities to others. Anyone can do that, and it is suspected that many will test that theory when Cupid comes back up for re-election next year. Many wonder what she will run on this time and suggest “being able to hire the most consultants” has a ring to it. Others say she has a lot of explaining to do.

Pointing out her issues with Republican Commissioners also took center stage at the state of the county. Cupid’s actions to remove them from the dais may be the cause of that, but she will never acknowledge that she contributed to the friction. The Republicans have 2 votes to the Democratic 3 votes, so why are there problems that keep Cupid from being able to effectively manage the county. There is a math problem in that argument. Also, when she tossed them off the dais earlier this year and threatened them with law enforcement, Cupid disenfranchised the people that voted for them and the communities they represent in their areas of the county. “Political polarization” is being home cooked by Cupid and clearly shows she is incapable of bringing people together despite claims to the contrary.

In addition, Cupid’s utilization of home rule to keep a commissioner from losing her seat has ruffled feathers for members of the board and the community. Seeing Cupid easily tap into the power of home rule, some of the people commenting at commission meetings have begged Cupid to do the same for them. They have asked that home rule be used to address the substandard housing and inferior quality of life that they are subjected to in the apartments on Riverside Drive in South Cobb. Unfortunately, Cupid is tone deaf to the plight of the less fortunate and people who she lived near for several years before she moved on up to the east side, (an homage to the Jeffersons). 

During the address Cupid said, “I’ve never seen prior boards of commissioners be treated the way that we do,” but that is not true. If you have lived long enough in Cobb, you have seen fights and disagreements including many infamous ones witnessed between Cupid and the late Chairman Tim Lee. We do not know why Cupid thought things would be different once she became chair. Similarly, to how she challenged Lee and the late Chairman Mike Boyce, Cupid is being challenged by the board and getting a taste of her own medicine.

Cupid claims she is an advocate for affordable housing, but this also falls on deaf ears. People in South Cobb are very familiar with Cupid’s efforts to block habitat housing and her failure to develop Magnolia Crossing, a 50-acre hole in the ground, which now sits in the new city of Mableton. Our hope is that with a new city and new leadership, that hole in the ground will turn into an economic development windfall for the community.

During her speech, Cupid mentioned Mableton, but everyone in South Cobb knows Cupid did not support cityhood because it diluted her power. Citizens wanted Mableton cityhood because they were not getting what they needed from the county. Since cityhood passed in November 2022, Cupid has done little to nothing in support of the new city. During recent elections for the mayor and city council, Cupid failed to use her role as chair to encourage citizens to go out and vote. She was mum, which contributed in part to an already expected low turnout. 

Cupid mentioned that a personal goal of hers this year would be addressing homelessness, which is striking. The question for many is what was happening all the previous years you were Commissioner and the years as chair?

An evening with Cupid would not be complete unless she introduced race to defend or complain about whatever is going on with her. This time it was credited for the unfair criticism she gets on her leadership. The chairwoman said the attacks on her administration were unprecedented and implied they were racially motivated. 

Despite spending the better part of a two-hour meeting complaining, Cupid says she wants to move the county forward and to be more connected in the region. One reader suggests her time would be better served connecting with the people of Cobb.

Contentious swipes at the media, at residents who speak at Board of Commissioners meetings, and her fellow commissioners is what people walked away with from Cupid’s State of the County Address. This address showed that when it comes to collaboration and coalition-building with citizens, or even with her fellow commissioners in the county, Cupid gets an F as she also pointed to the need to hire more consultants to do her job during her address.

As Cupid said, she has far more important things to do instead of getting her panties in a bunch about Cobb County. Her words, not ours. 

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