East Cobb Cityhood Committee demands county cease ‘awareness campaign’
Many have long thought that Cobb Chair Lisa Cupid’s stated position against cityhood efforts underway by several communities in Cobb immediately disqualified her from using county staff, resources, and taxpayer dollars in her education campaign to make citizens aware of cityhood. Cityhood proponents in East Cobb have been watching and have had enough. In a letter to Cupid this week, the committee is demanding that Cupid and Cobb County cease its “public awareness campaign.”
The committee alleges that Cobb has violated state law by advocating against the May 24 referendum, under the guise of education. The letter says the actions by county officials have contained “implicit and explicit bias” and that Cupid, county commissioners, and staff stepped over the line of neutrality.
Pointing to the county’s statement that the formation of four new cities would cost the county $45 million in revenue has the group seeing red. Addressing this issue in their letter, the group says, “This is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts by the county with the intent to dissuade voters. The county has disclosed it intends to redeploy these funds for other roles not currently filled having nothing to do with the Cityhood efforts.”
Other statements they believe are misleading claims are also included in the letter to the county. The group is also concerned about misleading claims from Cupid regarding lawyers the county hired. Three Dentons attorneys, including former Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, were allegedly brought on to lobby on the county’s behalf during the legislative session. The lawyers were present in multiple cityhood bill hearings at the capitol, though Cupid insisted they did not work on the cityhood efforts. Comments later from Cupid contradicted that initial statement, saying the lobbyists’ work “did include cityhood.”
The letter from the group concludes with a slate of demands, including:
- An immediate end to county staff and officials addressing the public on the cityhood matters;
- A section in the county’s awareness materials for cityhood committees to respond to public concerns;
- The disclosure of the county’s calculations for its cityhood financial impact figures;
- The disclosure to the cityhood committees of all questions and answers it intends to discuss during public events;
- The commission of a cityhood impact study by a third-party university.
The letter concludes with a demand for an immediate response from the County. It does not speak about any actions the group may take if no response is received. Some political watchers in Cobb suggest that the group could sue Cupid and the County. With recent lawsuits challenging Cityhood for two of the four cities, many suggest that lawsuits will be part of the fabric of Cobb County.