Signed by Gov. Kemp, Cityhood for East Cobb, Lost Mountain, and Vinings to go before voters May 24, Mableton remains in the rearview mirror
Cityhood bills for East Cobb, Lost Mountain, and now Vinings have all been signed into law by Governor Kemp. All three have secured the opportunity for residents to vote on creating their own city this spring with a referendum scheduled for May 24. Meanwhile, South Cobb’s Mableton is nowhere in sight and citizens are unsure if it will make it out of the legislature before the session closes.
More than 200,000 people—nearly a quarter of Cobb’s population—live inside the proposed new cities. If approved by the voters, the proposed city of East Cobb would have roughly 60,000 people in a 25-square-mile area centered along Johnson Ferry Road, from Shallowford Road south to the Chattahoochee River and from the Fulton County line west to a line roughly along Murdock Road and Old Canton Road.
For the proposed City of Lost Mountain, with nearly 75,000 residents, advocates point to the desire for local control, which has become the rallying call for all of the proposed cities. Supporters want better representation and a sense of community, which they cannot get from the County government.
Vinings has roughly 7,000 people who live within its borders. The proposed city is an enclave between Smyrna and Atlanta.
Bringing up the rear is the proposed city of Mableton, with a population of 78,000 that covers most of South Cobb between Powder Springs and Austell to the west, Smyrna to the east, and just past the East-West Connector in the north.
If Mableton ever makes it out of the legislative process and is signed by Kemp, our community could join the other Cobb communities for a May referendum as well, but that is a big if.
These communities are well on their way to becoming cities, but one roadblock that stands in the way is Lisa Cupid, the chair of Cobb County, who has decided that the people of these incorporated areas should remain under her rule instead of their own.
To emphasize this, Cupid elected to spend taxpayer dollars, to the tune of over $25,000 for each of the lawyers she has engaged, to stop the cityhood from happening. Cupid calls it her “information campaign” while others call it “misinformation.” Cupid claims to not have an opinion on cityhood, but her efforts to stop it say otherwise. She has also had Cobb staff devise numbers to say how much Cobb County could lose if these areas were allowed to become cities.
Advocates for cityhood call Cupid’s numbers voodoo math and say the county has rushed an analysis while many vital details of actual costs have not been disclosed by the county. They say the county had a year to analyze this properly and failed to do so. Also, they point out that Commissioner Lisa Cupid did not care about cityhood until she became Chair Cupid.
Should voters approve incorporation in May, each new city will be able to elect local leaders in November including a mayor and city council members. Services that the cities propose to offer to their residents vary based on the community but will include some combination of planning and zoning, code enforcement, public safety, and possibly parks and recreation and sanitation.
If successful, the four would join other cities that comprise Cobb including Marietta, Smyrna, Acworth, Kennesaw, Austell, and Powder Springs.