Poll: should Mableton and South Cobb incorporate into a city?

white check mark on green selection box in poll on Mableton South Cobb incorporationimage of generic poll check mark. Public domain image retrieved from WIkimedia Commons.

This is the first in a series of polls about issues affecting Cobb County.  “Should Mableton and South Cobb form a city” was chosen as the first poll.  Please read the section at the bottom about why online polls are not very accurate, but why we’ve decided to conduct them anyhow.

Should Mableton and South Cobb form a city?

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There is an effort underway to form the southern part of the county, the unincorporated areas roughly south of Hicks Road, into a city. The advantages put forward by supporters include local control over zoning and code enforcement issues, stopping the City of Smyrna from annexing further into Mableton, and the presence of local elected officials who represent fewer people and who live closer to them.  The primary disadvantage put forward has been the possibility of higher taxes.

If you want to read further about the effort to incorporate Mableton and South Cobb before taking the poll, you can read our coverage by following this link, or you can visit the website of the South Cobb Alliance.

Take the Poll

Should Mableton and South Cobb form into a city?

Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page

Feel free to comment on this issue at the bottom of the page.  The only thing I ask is that people not be rude to each other.

How meaningful are online polls?

Online polls are not scientific, and in fact they seldom accurately represent the views of the general public.

They are easily manipulated by what’s known as “brigading” (getting partisans of one side of an issue to swarm the poll in large numbers).  They are easy to cheat on (voting more than once). And most importantly, they are only a cross-section of the website they are posted on.  Think what would happen if you conduct a poll about Donald Trump on the liberal Daily Kos?  Or about Alexadra Ocasio-Cortez on the conservative website Breitbart?

So why are we doing online polls, if they aren’t accurate?

There are two reasons we’re doing this, one lofty and the other crass.  Both have some truth to them.

The loftier reason we’re doing these polls is that they encourage reader engagement and discussion of issues presented on the Courier.

The crass way of putting it is that reader engagement drives traffic to the site.  By that measure we’re doing the same thing Buzzfeed does.

And maybe, just maybe, readers will take a good hard look at the issue we’re polling on, and improve their ability to make informed decisions.

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Larry Felton Johnson
Larry Felton Johnson is the editor and publisher of the Cobb County Courier. He holds a degree in journalism from Georgia State University and enjoys exploring the county's trail and greenway network when he isn't covering county government meetings and court proceedings.

15 Comments on "Poll: should Mableton and South Cobb incorporate into a city?"

  1. Jorge Waylons | March 4, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Reply

    Where’s the option to eliminate all cities, merge into a single county entity, and greatly increase the size of the commission? Reduce bureaucracy, increase representation, improve services. Unfortunately, our selfishness gets in the way of thinking.

    • That’s an interesting idea. I decided to keep it to the scope of the proposal that’s on the table. I thought about including an option “annex into Smyrna” or even “annex into Austell” because I’ve heard both those ideas advocated. But the proposal that is being advocated in an organized way is cityhood for the south part of the county, so I kept it to options about that.

  2. To me it feels a bit like a takeover of Mableton. We like being in Mableton and unincorporated Cobb. I don’t neccesarily want to see the boundaries expanded, and I don’t think adding another layer of government will be better. I think Lisa Cupid does a fine job representing us. More folks getting involved and attending meetings is the way to get more attention from the county.

  3. Dan Kirkland | March 4, 2019 at 9:21 pm | Reply

    We don’t have the per capita income to make it surpass the current services that we receive as unincorporated Cobb without a large tax increase.

    • Agree! We pay in less to the county via property taxes than we receive back in services.

    • I’m being pretty careful not to even have an opinion on this unless and until the state-mandated feasibility study is funded, created, and released, but one thing about the boundaries they’ve drawn (basically everything unincorporated south of Hicks Road) is that the plan doesn’t depend mostly on residential property taxes for its revenue. If it’s viable it will be revenue from the industrial and commercial in the Six Flags area that would make it float.

  4. Lynn Cunningham | March 5, 2019 at 11:57 am | Reply

    I’m trying to vote and keep getting an “Invalid Data 1″ message in red at the top of the form. How does a person submit invalid data when the only possible response is to click a button? I’ll keep checking and see when ‘voting” is possible. Thank you for putting this up.

    • One other person reported this error to me too. I’ve tested it on a PC and an android phone, but can’t replicated the error. The polling software is just a plugin for WordPress called “Yop” which is pretty common. I’ll ask the developers what might be causing this.

      • Demetrius Williams | March 9, 2019 at 10:46 am | Reply

        I am in austell ga we have a city limits and incorporating Town mableton needs it’s own identity and city taxes will be as cheap as cobb co. Taxes

  5. I do not think incorporating into a city would provide any advantage to those of us living here. There would have to be additional property taxes to pay for a city hall, pay for a mayor and other staff, etc., plus we would have another layer of regulations on top of county regulations. I realize there are many who are concerned about Smyrna’s continued annexation efforts, I just don’t see incorporation as the solution.

  6. Algia Tarrer | March 5, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Reply

    My first thought is no! A merge of this size would most likely put residents in line for city taxes. Our taxes increase for Cobb County with the SunTrust venture has already placed an increase. I feel the county is now getting us up for another hit.
    However, if the commissioners, planning commission, DOT, Tax Commission, housing , Dept of education, etal present their long range plans and effects to the citizens, there might be an interest. You see Mableton and communities west, like Austell are not in reach of any new industry. All industrial growth seems to be North. To favor a new City, I would have to be encouraged with industry established, not only planned within radius of Mableton + Austell + South Cobb areas

  7. Trent Petrasek | March 6, 2019 at 10:11 am | Reply

    If I wanted to live in a city, I don’t need a need one to sprout up around me. There are plenty of cities around. If I wanted to live in one and pay its taxes, I could. I chose the area for its distinct lack of cities.

    Don’t conflate local control and cityhood. If you want local control, now, go to county meetings and hearings. Make your voice heard. Vote. A city doesn’t magically solve the problem of citizens’ lack of participation in local politics.

  8. The last thing the people in Mableton need is more government, more taxes, more regulations,and more interference in everything they do.The County provides police, fire, EMS, water/sewer, roads, i.e., the things local government is supposed to provide. Powder Springs is arranging for the County to take over its water operations for the simple reason that the County brings economy of scale to the equation. City incorporation for Mableton is a terrible idea, no good could ever come of it.

  9. OK,we know who is leading the east cobb cityhood. The MDJ reported Friday that David Birdwell, an East Cobb resident, is also involved in leading the group. Joe Gavalis, an appointee of Ott’s to the Cobb Neighborhood Safety Commission, is the president of the group, and real estate developer G. Owen Brown of Retail Planning Corp. is listed as having paid for most of the study.
    No other individuals have been publicly named, and when the group asked an ad hoc citizens committee to look over a feasibility study, one of those citizens, Joe O’Connor, quit in protest, citing a lack of transparency.
    Who is supporting the south cobb effort other than Tre Hutchins?

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