Mableton subdivisions flee to Smyrna to avoid cityhood movement
With the recent defeat of Cityhood for three communities of Cobb now in our rearview mirror, and discussions of the City of Mableton coming into focus, at least two Smyrna subdivisions are taking no chances as they are asking to be annexed by the City of Smyrna.
The Smyrna City Council took the first step on July 18 when it unanimously approved the annexation requests of two subdivisions in unincorporated Cobb County, 36-home Vinings Brooke, and 57-home Heritage Mill.
More than 65% of Heritage Mill households and more than 80% of Vinings Brooke households agreed to the annexation. Residents in these communities say the city of Mableton’s proposal drove residents of both to pursue becoming part of Smyrna.
The primary concern among residents was how Mableton would service the neighborhood, which is about four miles northeast of the heart of Mableton.
Additionally, residents were concerned about home values saying, “a Mableton address wouldn’t be as desirable as a Smyrna address.” Others were worried about the possibility of being rezoned into a different school in the Cobb County School District if their subdivision became part of Mableton. They also pointed to access to Smyrna emergency services as a reason their subdivision requested annexation.
Supporters of the city of Mableton suggest that having its own elected governing body will benefit the citizens in the area because it brings the government closer to the people.
Up in the air is still the delivery of services as well as new taxes which becomes a game of hide and seek when pursuing an answer on taxes going up. Other residents of the Mableton and South Cobb areas are resistant to the push by some to become a city and say the actions are self-serving moves at citizens’ expense.
They point to the dysfunction that ensued in other new cities after electing people “who should not be elected” and say this is the future if cityhood is passed. Enough to stop anyone in their tracks are stories of the City of Stonecrest, whose founding Mayor Jason Lary, is headed off to prison for theft.
Some may point to the non-stop feuding going on in the City of South Fulton involving the new mayor and the city council, with accusations of malfeasance as well as votes of no confidence reported nightly on the evening news. Residents also question the motives of the South Cobb Alliance and its pushes for Mableton cityhood. The push for cityhood regained steam in early 2021 and was pushed through the legislature by disgraced South Cobb Rep Erica Thomas.
With Thomas finally packing her bags and leaving the legislature, many are in fear that she would become the leader of this new city with the help of those at the South Cobb Alliance (SCA). Some believe that SCA is already vetting candidates and holding meetings on how to run for office.
These subdivisions are not taking any chances and are actively getting out of the way of Mableton Cityhood. Smyrna will conduct a public hearing scheduled for August 15, after which the council will take a final vote on the annexations. If approved, they take effect Sept. 1, according to the city.
Following Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature of the bill to create a new city of Mableton in May, the stage is now set for a November referendum on whether to incorporate the south Cobb city. With the defeat of the other three cityhood efforts and the departure of these subdivisions, the City of Mableton – which would encompass the southernmost part of the county between Austell and Smyrna – remains a question mark until the election on November 8th.