De-annexers file Lawsuit against Mableton Citizens
True to their threats, the de-annexer led group has filed a lawsuit against Mableton and is trying to stop the newly formed city from moving forward.
After weeks of securing thousands of dollars from anonymous donors, who elected to hide in the shadows, the de-annexer group struck. Like the Grinch that Stole Christmas, the group and their supporters filed the lawsuit to stop and overturn everything that has happened thus far for the new city, including the election of two of their own candidates who are now serving as members of the new City Council for Mableton.
Last week, the Mayor and Council were sworn into office and held their first City Council meeting that included a standing room only crowd that witnessed the hiring of the interim city attorney and city clerk. A few days later, over 500 citizens came together to support the new government during the Inaugural Swearing-In Ceremony that was held for the community at one of the local high schools. And, at the start of a new week, the city was handed this lawsuit.
The newly filed legal challenge was sent to SPOTLIGHT and we quickly alerted community advocates of this latest act by this de-annexer group that has attempted for months to disrupt Mableton. Since losing their ‘No Mableton’ vote at the ballot box in the November 2022 elections, de-annexers have been relentless in their actions to stop Mableton, all the way up to the election of a mayor and city council last month. Seeing their de-annexer candidate lose his bid to become mayor, the group made good on their threats to file a lawsuit after they did not get their de-annexation demands met at the general assembly.
The comments and questions raised by those we contacted in the community about the lawsuit should have everyone in the Mableton community concerned because this lawsuit now puts every citizen of the new City of Mableton on the hook for defending the latest temper tantrum by a group of adults who cannot accept the fact that they lost at the ballot box.
Now that the city is formed and operating, every citizen that voted for the city may see their vote invalidated and the city harmed if the de-annexers get their wish with this lawsuit. Some say this latest action by the de-annexers is an attempt to disenfranchise Black voters, plain and simple and they are disgusted that some of the plaintiffs are Black. They pointed out the fact that it would not be the first time in history that Black people were used to harm other Black people. They suggest that citizens supportive of Mableton should contact the ACLU and other groups for help. Others say the de-annexers have placed every citizen of Mableton in harm’s way including themselves. They wondered if Mableton citizens could sue each of the plaintiffs personally for disrupting the city and causing a tax burden on them. With their claim to fame chant of ‘no new taxes,’ de-annexers have just placed payment for defending the lawsuit on the backs of every Mableton citizen, including themselves. Some describe this as a textbook example of cutting off their noses to spite their faces to get out of Mableton. Others say the whole ordeal is unnecessary and will now pit neighbor against neighbor in a city that is attempting to find its way forward.
Conspicuously, Christie Lynn, the self-described leader of the de-annexer group, was not listed as a Plaintiff. Commenters describe this as a cult-like moment where blind followers have been sent out to do the dirty work of the group as Lynn keeps her hands clean. Now that they have taken this action, they are all responsible for what happens next and if the petitioners ‘aka de-annexers’ are sued by Mableton citizens, Lynn’s name should be at the top of that lawsuit.
After an initial review of the de-annexer lawsuit, their latest demand to overturn the city does not mention de-annexation but focuses on two questions that were combined into one on the ballot, the formation of the city and the creation of a CID. Some we talked to said de-annexers knew this for months and planned this as their nuclear option if the general assembly did not meet their demands to de-annex them. However, with this process having been scrutinized by lawmakers at the General Assembly before coming to the citizens to be voted upon, some believe that an administrative fix can be instituted that would correct any language concerns in the document that formed the city that may now be called into question. They also question what the position of the Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State will be in defending Mableton.
Although the de-annexer lawyer cited a number of cases in their lawsuit against Mableton, he failed to list any precedence that would prevent an administrative fix to items he claims are defective. Further, the lawyer reveals his hand and the ultimate goal of the de-annexers which is to force Mableton to meet their de-annexation demands when he says, “Petitioners will work with counsel Respondent as it is appropriately organized and formed.” In layman terms, this means the de-annexers will drop their lawsuit if Mableton meets their de-annexation demands.
One member of the community told SPOTLIGHT, “The de-annexers keep trying to say that our yes votes for Mableton do not matter as they continue to undermine election results that did not favor what a certain group wanted. They are willing to hurt all of us in the process to get what they want.”