Dissatisfied citizens demand to be de-annexed from new city of Mableton
As the newly minted city of Mableton seeks to get underway, the city finds itself at a proverbial fork in the road. As dozens filed papers this week to run for Mayor and council seats for the new government, a standing room only crowd was meeting on Tuesday evening at the Police in Austell to demand their portions of the new city be de-annexed.
Yes, they want out before the new city gets going. Some claim concerns regarding increased taxes while others suggest that the motivations are racial in nature, suggesting those wanting to be de-annexed do not want to be associated with South Cobb – which some point to as the minority leaning area of the county.
Some request that they be annexed into Smyrna instead, which would still mean increased taxes, but they don’t care. They simply don’t want to be known as living in Mableton.
Claiming they were annexed without their knowledge, among other things, the crowd gave Rep. David Wilkerson an earful. Although he is not the state representative for the areas in question, Wilkerson hosted the event reportedly because his office was inundated with concerns about being wrongly included in the new city.
To say this was a pro de-annexation crowd would be an understatement. As the microphone was being passed through the room, those complaining about being annexed into the new city were applauded, while the few in attendance that were brave enough to speak in a manner that seemed in support of the new city were hissed at and heckled as they asked questions or made comments.
Many in attendance of the meeting that were for de-annexation from Mableton expressed concerns afterwards regarding ‘the overall tone the meeting took.’ Others in the community we spoke to who are supportive of the new city, but did not attend the meeting, stated they stayed away because ‘no good was going to come from attending the meeting’.
On November 8, the majority of the community approved the new city, to the delight of many and the dismay of others as they gathered now demanding to be removed and were looking for Wilkerson to plot the course for them to do so.
Wilkerson said he plans to introduce legislation to remove those portions from the Mableton city boundary that voted overwhelmingly against cityhood. There is no indication that his legislation will have support from others in Cobb or from the rest of the governing body at the capitol.
Concerns have been raised on how this action will impact other communities in Cobb that are planning to again seek cityhood approval including East Cobb, Lost Mountain and Vinings. Others point to the impact Wilkersons planned legislation could have on other matters that come before the general assembly that are similar in nature. They also point to a losing side being unhappy with the outcome of a lawful election and seeking legislators to undo the vote cast in a lawful election.
Those who want to run for mayor and city council filed by the Friday qualifying deadline. The next step for the people supporting Mableton cityhood is a special election set for March 21.
For those wanting annexation, the General Assembly will get to make that determination and from this view, the possibility seems bleak.