The City of Mableton holds meeting, votes yes on retreat for Mayor and Council
During the recent meeting of the Mableton City Council, several important topics were discussed including plans for an upcoming retreat scheduled to take place from September 14th to 16th at Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). During this retreat, the primary focus will be on creating a draft of the city’s inaugural budget and addressing details related to the hiring of an executive assistant.
Among the public comments at the start of the meeting, a citizen voiced their support for the Council to engage the community for assistance with their efforts to move the city forward. One also requested that the city establish a website as a means to enhance communication between citizens and the government. Mayor Owens announced later in the meeting that the Mableton.gov address had been approved, which is the precursor in their efforts to get the city’s communication system up and running.
Lisa Crossman, Deputy Director of the Cobb Douglas Public Health, provided a community update on public health matters related to COVID-19. In addition to sharing information, she distributed free Covid test kits and hand sanitizers to those in attendance and informed them about the availability of free testing services at the EpiCenter. Furthermore, she discussed the upcoming fall schedule for COVID-19 booster shots, indicating that details would be announced soon. Crossman also addressed the ongoing opioid epidemic and shared strategies and initiatives aimed at proactively addressing this crisis. She also highlighted the availability of various free services for other health issues within the community and encouraged residents to access additional information about these services by clicking HERE.
Further into the agenda, a spirited debate unfolded. The Mayor and council members engaged in discussions about the cost of the upcoming two-and-a-half-day retreat. The debate echoed previous discussions that occurred during a council meeting when some members expressed reservations about allocating funds for training purposes.
In this case, the debate revolved around the perceived cost and value of the retreat and its relevance to the council’s work and priorities. Also discussed was access by the public to the retreat. In the midst of the debate over the retreat and its associated costs, some members of the community observed that those who over-emphasized the importance of citizen involvement at this stage and questioned the expense may not fully grasp the purpose of a retreat in facilitating the progress and movement of a new city.
Historically, retreats serve as valuable opportunities for city officials and leaders to engage in focused discussions, strategic planning, and decision-making. They can be essential in establishing a shared vision, addressing critical issues, and fostering teamwork and collaboration among council members. While it’s essential to consider budgetary constraints and ensure transparency, supporters of the retreat agreed that the investment in the retreat will lead to more informed and effective governance, ultimately benefiting the entire community by helping the city move forward in a cohesive and strategic manner. In the end, Mayor Michael Owens said the retreat, which will not exceed $2,000 in cost, is a necessary step in getting Mableton to the point where it is a functioning city government.
In a 4 to 2 vote, the retreat was approved. Mayor Owens and three council members voted yes. They include District 1 Councilman Ron Davis, District 3 Councilwoman Kiesha Jeffcoat, and District 5 Councilman T.J. Ferguson. No votes came from District 4 Councilwoman Patty Auch and District 6 Councilwoman Debra Herndon. District 2 Councilwoman Dami Oladapo is on maternity leave.
Councilman Davis summarized the council’s goals as he expressed a strong desire to see the city government of Mableton mature and become more efficient. He emphasized the importance of making the city function optimally for the benefit of all its residents. Ultimately, the aim is to improve the quality of life for the community by ensuring the effectiveness and functionality of the city government.
“We are trying to make the city the best it can be,” Davis said. “It has to work, because we live here. That’s what it’s all about — to make it work for everyone.”