County commissioners approved a new redistricting map, which would keep most of Mableton in District 4, currently served by Commissioner Woody Thompson, a Mableton native. The map was approved with a 3-2 vote, with Commissioner Bob Ott and Commission Chairman Tim Lee cast the two dissenting votes.
Thompson and northeast Cobb Commissioner Joann Birrell created a map before the last county commissioners' meeting, but
The map approved Tuesday night is a tweaked version of the Thompson/Birrell map, which still keeps the much of Mableton in District 4.
Although the state legislature has complete power to decide the final redistricting map for the county,
, created by created largely by Rep. Rich Golick (R- Smyrna), which includes a larger portion of Mableton to Veterans Memorial Highway to be included in southeast Cobb’s District 2. Currently, the district, served by Ott, extend slightly west of South Cobb Drive.
The state House of Representatives approved the Golick map last week.
The Golick map was first proposed and sent to county commissioners in December.
Should Mableton be kept in one county commission district or split in two? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
Ott, whose District 2 would serve the eastern portion of Mableton under Golick's map, said commissioners could have submitted suggestions to the map before it was in the state legislature.
He told the Marietta Daily Journal, “What was done tonight was totally out of sequence. As far as I’m concerned, it was inappropriate to bring it forward.”
Lee expressed similar sentiments.
Ott said he felt the "Barnes map" is about Democrats finding ways to benefit themselves.
However, fellow Commissioner Helen Goreham speculated that there could be something political about the push to divide Mableton. She said there is a 1 percent difference in terms of demographics and population between the map proposed by Thompson and Birrell and the one created by Golick.
After each Census, county commission lines are evaluated and redrawn to maintain an equal population in each commission district. Because most of the county’s growth was in South Cobb’s District 4 and West Cobb’s District 1, the boundaries for these districts were redrawn to add more constituents to the remaining two county districts.
Citizens in Mableton have spoken out against the Golick map, requesting that Mableton remain whole.
Mableton Improvement Coalition Boardwoman Robin Meyer said at the Feb. 14 BOC meeting, “For the sake of the work that has been happening in South Cobb, and for the great progress that we’ve made in the last several years, we would very much like the maps going forward to keep South Cobb together, and, specifically, keep Mableton in one commission district.”