City of Mableton approves transitional spending plan

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

By Caleb Groves

On Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, the Mableton City Council voted to approve the temporary spending plan that will take the city from now until the formal budget cycle begins.

Read the details of the plan in the agenda packet by following this link.

The spending plan was put in place to provide transparency and guidance for the new city; it allows the city to have a plan through June 30, 2024. The spending plan will also add staffing positions and provide funding for existing staff, Mayor Michael Owens said.

The spending plan has been through a few phases to get to the point of approval, from presenting what revenue the city has received ($1.57 million as of Nov. 30, 2023), and spent ($120,000). Afterward, the city held a hearing to present to the public what the spending plan is for.

During the November 30 meeting, City Attorney Amelia Walker said the spending plan puts parameters on how much a given line item can cost; if it exceeds the allotted $5,000, the City Council must approve the spending unless previously authorized to exceed the $5,000, at which point Mayor Owens can approve the expenditure.

“What our goal is to put together a spending plan that basically allocates funding in buckets for what spending would need to be,” Owens said. “What we have not done is we have not gone into certain levels and saying, well, education and training is going to be $15,000 and that is going to be these specific things.”

Without a spending plan in place, every single expenditure for the city would have to go to the council, Owens said.

He said the city decided on the total spending budget by comparing neighboring cities’ expenditures as well as other city service expenditures.

“While the spending plan is, I think, well thought out, well planned and well documented, it has to be understood that it’s subject to change,” Owens said.

The plan for the city is to start a budget cycle on January 1, 2024. However, because Mableton is a new city, what that budget looks like is currently unknown.

It will be hard to gauge a certain threshold in terms of what warrants an emergency. The council members agreed that since this is a short-term plan if an emergency comes up, they will call a council meeting.

The city council unanimously voted to approve the adoption of the transitional spending plan for the city of Mableton with the emergency meeting clause.

Watch the meeting here

Caleb Groves is a Journalism student at Kennesaw State University, where he is a junior.

Originally from Minnesota, Caleb moved to Georgia with his family, where he now lives in Woodstock with his Father, Stepmom and numerous pets.

When he is not in writing, in class or coaching rock climbing, he spends his time listening to music and rock climbing both indoors and out