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Even in Cityhood pursuit, Mableton in South Cobb left behind as others advance at Capitol


A week after the Georgia House of Representatives voted to allow East Cobb residents to form a city of their own, two more proposed Cobb cities received approval from a key legislative panel on Wednesday. 

Vining’s and Lost Mountain join East Cobb in watching their cityhood efforts work their way through the capitol, but what happened to Mableton? The South Cobb community’s name has barely been mentioned as others see their efforts advance.

One measure would create the city of Lost Mountain in west Cobb, an area of 75,000 people that would surpass Marietta and Smyrna immediately in being the county’s most populous city. Vinings, a community of about 7,000 people, sits between I-285 and the Chattahoochee River. It is the third community seeking to incorporate a city government.  But what happened to the fourth Cobb community on the list?

Many citizens in South Cobb watching other Cobb communities advance in their efforts to become a city are left asking “what happened to Mableton’s cityhood? Others say it is business as usual and Mableton and South Cobb have left in the rear-view mirror yet again. 

Mableton was one of the first communities seeking cityhood. It raised funds for a feasibility study that said the city was viable, yet Mableton now finds itself left behind as others advance. Some say that the advocates for Mableton cityhood have since had their ‘wings clipped, and mouths taped shut’ by Cobb Chair Lisa Cupid. They say Cupid is throwing everything she can come up with at these communities to block their desire to govern themselves.

Political watchers in South Cobb feel that shutting down efforts for the City of Mableton is part of her agenda and she has people at the capitol working to stop Mableton from moving forward. 

In addition, they say Cupid is recklessly spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to stop cityhood communities from succeeding under a phony premise that she is trying to educate the public. 

Cupid has engaged a former county chairman and his partner and is paying each in excess of $10,000 to go to the capital and find ways to shut these efforts down.

When Cupid was a commissioner, she had nothing to say about cityhood. Now that she is chair and citizens want to form their own government, she has concerns and thinks these adults cannot be trusted to make this decision for themselves.  

While the East Cobb measure awaits its first hearing in the state Senate, both Vinings and Lost Mountain bills have advanced to the House floor. If the measures pass both chambers and are signed into law, voters of the three areas would be asked in a May election to vote on whether the new city governments should be formed. 

Cupid and followers are saying the cityhood proposals have been brought by Republicans over the opposition of the county’s Democratic-led delegation, but not so fast. Democrats led Mableton Cityhood’s initial efforts, they raised the funds for a study, and they filed the paperwork at the capitol. Those watching this play out in our community say it is unfortunate that these people who were originally behind this effort are not independent enough to refuse Cupid’s demands to stand down on Cityhood in Mableton.

Backers of the cityhood movements say they want local control over issues that matter most to them and don’t see political motives behind their push. Parks, planning, sanitation, code enforcement, and zoning are areas cityhood proponents say they want to provide to their citizens once they become a city. 

People we spoke with in South Cobb say these Cobb communities seeking cityhood are no different from recently formed cities in the metro area. Brookhaven and Stonecrest sought cityhood in DeKalb County and the City of South Fulton sought to separate from Fulton County. Their efforts were not driven by political party or race but by a desire for self-governance. 

Cupid and others are pushing back against the Cobb cityhood proposals and the May election date, saying it is too soon. Cobb County officials say they want to educate the public about what the cityhood movements would cost residents and how their services would be affected. Some we spoke to say the county’s sole concern is the loss of its tax base, regardless of how they try to suggest that it is not.

If efforts to move Mableton cityhood are being slow-walked or intentionally stalled, interested citizens must find allies at the capitol and form a workaround for these detractors. We must reject those who would hold our community back from participating in this process like the other communities of Cobb County.

Follow the cityhood process, stay aware, and stay involved.


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