Judge's Map Keeps Mableton Whole, July Commission Elections on Track
If a U.S. district judge's county commission district map is approved, Cobb citizens could save $200,000 for a special election and Mableton would remain in one district.
Mableton residents may be able to remain together in Cobb Commission District 4 if a U.S. district judge has his version of a map approved. If the map is approved within the week, the county could move forward with its July 31 election without a costly special election for districts 2 and 4.
The Georgia General Assembly is responsible for creating a new redistricting map after every U.S. Census to account for the county’s changing population and ensure that each district has approximately the same number of constituents.
This year, legislators made no final decision on the county’s new map, leaving citizens without proportionate district boundaries.
With no final district map, the scheduled July 31 election for South Cobb’s District 4 and Smyrna-East Cobb’s District 2 would be delayed, costing county taxpayers an estimated $200,000 plus attorney fees for a special election.
In April, Marietta attorney Jonathan Crumley filed a lawsuit against the Cobb Board of Commissioners to postpone commission elections until a map reflecting new Census figures is adopted.
Judge Steve Jones expects to have a completed map to the county’s board of elections by Thursday, in time for May 25 qualifying deadline for commission candidates.
He presented his own map at a Monday hearing at federal courthouse in downtown Atlanta before all five county commissioners, Crumley and county attorneys. Because his version had not been previously submitted, it will not require federal Justice Department approval, according to this Atlanta Journal-Constitution report. However, the Georgia General Assembly could approve a new map next year.
“It’s about as good as can be expected,” South Cobb Commissioner Woody Thompson told South Cobb Patch on Monday evening. “It’s not perfect, but we got Mableton back.”
What do you think about the proposed map? Why do you think state legislators failed to approve a map during this year's legislative session? Tell us below in the comments.
Recent Course of Maps
- Woody Thompson opposed a map created by created largely by Rep. Rich Golick (R- Smyrna), which added a larger portion of Mableton to Veterans Memorial Highway to southeast Cobb’s District 2. Thompson and Northeast Cobb Commissioner Joann Birrell even developed their own map, which was approved by the county board of commissioners with a 3-2 vote.
- The state House of Representatives approved the Golick map, which divided Mableton almost in half. The Senate then approved a map, which keeps most of Mableton together in District 4. Sen. Steve Thompson (D-Marietta), Woody Thompson’s brother, drew a third map and introduced it on the last day of legislative session.
Minor Changes Expected for North Cobb
County attorneys plan to submit changes to the north part of the county by Tuesday afternoon to place more of the area–including Kennesaw State University, Town Center Area Community Improvement District and McCollum Airport– long represented by Commissioner Helen Goreham back into her district.