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Gov. Kemp says no to Mableton transition committee


On November 6, 2018, Brian Kemp was elected to become the 83rd Governor of Georgia. A few days later, on November 19, 2018, Kemp announced his transition team during a press conference saying, “I’m prepared to do what it takes to ensure a smooth and successful transition.”

Mableton residents lawfully voted on November 8, 2022 for various local, state and federal candidates as well as on a referendum to become a city. Once the votes were counted, Mableton became a city after it received the majority of the votes cast, similar to Gov. Brian Kemp, who was on the ballot and was re-elected governor after receiving the majority of the votes in the race.  

The citizens of Mableton are eagerly waiting for the city to take shape and were waiting for Kemp to appoint a transition committee for the new city to handle preliminary discussions with the county and guide the new city’s elected officials on the transition of services from the county to the city. However, Kemp dealt the citizens a blow when he announced last week that he has no plans to appoint a transition team. The governor offered no explanation for this harsh and rigid position. Kemp, who acted quickly to appoint his own transition team, is leaving Mableton in the middle of the ocean, without a ‘transition paddle’, to sink or swim.

Former Gov. Nathan Deal appointed a transition team for Stonecrest and the City of South Fulton, which was tasked with working with county governments and other entities to ensure a smooth start to the new cities. Kemp is willing to allow the new city of Mableton and its citizens float in an ocean of uncertainty until they figure it out themselves, or drown trying, said one person well versed on this issue who asked to remain anonymous. Either way, the Governor of the state has shown that he does not care what happens to Mableton, which is now the largest city in Cobb.

What would motivate a sitting Governor to refuse to appoint a transition team for Mableton, the newest city in the state of George. Many in the community are perplexed and scratching their heads, while others point to politics as usual as Kemp does not feel he owes our community anything because he did not receive the lion’s share of his votes from the democratic leaning communities of South Cobb. Others say it should not make a difference; Kemp has a job to do and saying no to a transition committee for Mableton is tantamount to falling down on the job.

Regardless of votes or party affiliations, Kemp has a professional duty and moral obligation to assist Mableton instead of turning his back on the community. They point to Kemp’s promises to be the governor for all Georgians, calling them broken promises by a career politician. They say Kemp’s actions show he is not willing to keep campaign promises that came from his mouth for South Cobb and the new city of Mableton. 

Those well versed in government leadership on a local, state, and federal level say Mableton will survive regardless of the “political diss” from Kemp. They point to organizations and institutions that can assist the new leadership of the newly minted city launch itself correctly. Organizations such as the Georgia Municipal Association have historically assisted local governments in their governance of their communities. Also available to Mableton once elected leadership is chosen on March 21 are public policy think tanks at Georgia colleges and universities that have government rich scholars that would jump at the chance to help the new city. They include Carl Vincent Institute of Government at the University of Georgia; the Andrew Young School of Public Policy at Georgia State University, and Clark Atlanta University’s Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy (soon to be renamed the W.E.B. DuBois Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy). 

All are highly ranked nationally and can provide the tools and support to get Mableton, which is now the largest city in Cobb, moving in the right direction once the Mayor and City Council Members are elected. Many may be writing Mableton’s eulogy, but as the older folks in the community often say, “we ain’t dead yet”.

Early voting starts Feb. 27 for the election for mayor and the six council districts. Council members will be elected by the residents of the district they are running to represent, while the mayor will be elected citywide.

With no transition committee, Cobb County Manager Dr. Jackie McMorris will work with the new city of Mableton.


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