Should Mableton become a city? Cobb County residents to vote on ballot referendum

Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 6:22 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On Election Day, voters who live in Mableton and nearby will be the last to decide whether they want to create their own incorporated city.

Mableton is an unincorporated area of about 40,000, but it can grow to a city of about 78,000 if enough people vote yes in November.

Some worry they’ll be stuck with more taxes while others say a city means tax money that stays in their community.

If approved the county will continue to provide services such as fire and police.

“Based on the feasibility study the proposed city of Mableton is looking to take on certain services,” said Commissioner Monique Sheffield who represents District 4, which includes Mableton.

Those proposed services include Planning and Zoning, Code Enforcement, Sanitation, and Parks and Rec.

Local oversight is why some voters are for it.

“I think Mableton might need a little sprucing up so fingers crossed,” one resident who voted yes on the referendum told Atlanta News First. “I hope if cityhood comes about, the services and amenities might improve.”

The proposed city boundaries include all of Mableton and unincorporated parts of Austell and Smyrna, where Deidre White lives.

“If you want to be a city, do it, but do it in Mableton,” said White. “Don’t include unincorporated parts of Cobb County that have no association with Mableton at all.”

She is a member of the Preserve South Cobb group, which is against making Mableton an incorporated city.

She said those outside of Mableton shouldn’t be grouped into the proposed city boundaries.

“I’m voting no because I don’t want higher taxes and I don’t want additional fees,” said White.

“We don’t control whoever may run the city,” said Commissioner Sheffield.

She said Cobb County has no control over city taxes and fees but adds neighboring cities pay a separate city tax.

“There is a county tax that is paid by the residents of Smyrna and also a city tax paid by those who live within the proper limits of Smyrna.”

William Wilson, who is the head of MabletonYES! campaign, said in an email to Atlanta News First, voting yes means same taxes better service, local control and better quality of life.

“No longer will the taxes we pay and the surplus we generate go to benefit other communities. They will stay here to benefit our citizens,” Wilson said.

Click here to see a map of the proposed city.