Keeping taxes low, keeping residents informed were among topics at Mableton District 3 candidate forum

a screenshot of the six districts in Mableon, with 1,2,3 to the south, 4, 5, 6 to the north

by Michael Malone

Two candidates for the Mableton City Council said they will try to avoid new taxes for residents of the newly-formed city.

District 3 candidates Yashica Marshall and Keisha Jeffcoat made their comments both during and after a public forum Tuesday evening at the South Cobb Community Center.

Marshall, an attorney, and Jeffcoat, a 27-year Army veteran, face each other in a runoff election on April 18.

“We don’t want to burden residents with another tax,” Marshall said, and cited a feasibility study done five years ago that was “extremely conservative in estimated city revenues.”

Jeffcoat agreed saying SPLOST (Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax) funds could pay for some city projects and franchise fees on utilities could be another revenue source. [Editor’s note: Ms. Jeffcoat contacted the Courier and ask that this paraphrase be clarified since the discussion of SPLOST and franchise fees were in the context of comments on Peachtree Corners: “I cited them (Peachtree Corners) as an example because they were able to effectively transition to cityhood using those fees. However, my intention was not to imply that we would follow the same approach, but rather to learn from their best practices,” said Jeffcoat.]

Marshall said that a tax on those attending Six Flags Over Georgia and a tax on financial institution transactions are under consideration. The bank transaction tax would be paid by banks and not customers, and added that state and federal revenue streams would also be used.

“We want to keep taxes at a minimum,” she said.

The District 3 candidates also talked about growth for the city, with Jeffcoat saying she wanted a mixed-use suburban community and that Mableton needs a “city center. I want growth for this city. “We need a little more retail and more service-oriented businesses”

Marshall said, “We want to have all the retail we can have here. Restaurants and stores. We need to change the look and feel of the city….We can look at planning and zoning like it hasn’t been looked at before.”

Also, both candidates said they would work hard to be accessible for Mableton residents.

Jeffcoat promised to do that by sending out text messages and emails to her constituents. She promised to also have surveys on her website and put out a quarterly newsletter for residents and keep them informed about community events.

Marshall also promised to be accessible for residents.

“I’ll always be that individual to ask questions of residents. I want you to hold us accountable and let’s do what’s good for the city of Mableton, not just District 3.”

John Horton, one of approximately 50 residents who attended the public forum, asked the candidates why the voter turnout was so low for the City Council general election held last month.

“A lot of people didn’t know we were a city. We must ensure people get engaged. These are historic elections that haven’t happened here in 100 years,” Marshall said.

Jeffcoat pointed out that a better job needed to be done in getting information to residents. “We need to get everyone’s point of view.”

Marshall said she sympathized with residents of those portions of the city who favor de-annexation from Mableton.

“I understand where their ire is coming from,” she said.

Early voting for District 3 and the other runoff elections runs from April 10-14 at Mable House Arts Center, 5239 Floyd Road, and South Cobb Community Center, 620 Lions Club Road. The runoff election is on April 18. District 3 residents will vote at the Mableton Banquet Hall, 6114 Mableton Pkwy.

Mableton District 3 consists of the farthest southern and southwestern parts of the city.