East Cobb's Pursuit of Happiness
There's no reason why what works here can work in the rest of the county.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Obviously taken from America's Declaration of Independence, this statement embodies the spirit of East Cobb.
"Hokie" you say? "Not at all" say I.
I grew up in South Cobb and moved to East Cobb on returning from military service. The East Cobb phenomenon had just begun.
Indian Hills and Parkaire Mall were brand new. We even had an ice skating rink! A short time later, the original Mechant's Walk was developed and we were off to the races! And until recently, I don't remember a time when we ever slowed down significantly.
In the early years, it was not real easy getting to and from East Cobb. For a while, I worked for a bank in downtown Atlanta. At that time, Delk Road stopped at Powers Ferry and Lower Roswell Road went all the way to Upper Roswell at Town and Country Shopping Center.
To get to I-75 to go downtown, I had to take Lower Roswell to Terrell Mill to Windy Hill and THEN make a left onto I-75. Never took less than an hour to get to work. I tried for one month taking MARTA from Roswell. That usually took TWO hours. I haven't been a fan of mass transit from the suburbs since.
But I came to find that there were many others who made that same decision to face the long drive in order to live and raise their family in East Cobb. Yes, it WAS suburbia and STILL is. Yet, it was a safe place to raise a family and a good place to start a business.
What HAD been a somewhat isolated, quiet little settlement became known nationwide for its quality of life. Major companies located national and regional offices in Cobb County specifically so their folks could live in East Cobb.
It's been almost 40 years since I moved to East Cobb. In that time, it has become both the model for quality development in Cobb County but across the Metro area and beyond. Because of the quality of development and the desire of our residents to maintain a high standard of living, East Cobb carries a large part of the property tax and sales tax burden for the rest of Cobb County.
Granted, there are now other areas of quality development and the commercial tax base has broadened. But I believe that East Cobb led the way and is a major reason Cobb County is the quality place to live and work that it is.
IF our county leaders were smart (not just Bob Ott) they would use East Cobb as a model and try to move the rest of Cobb's communities in our direction instead of simply raising taxes to merely maintain under-performing and blighted areas.
What if ALL of Cobb County was just like East Cobb? Property taxes would be lower. Property values would be higher. Schools would be better. Crime would be lower and companies would move to the area WITHOUT having to be bribed with government subsidies and incentives.
I'm proud to be a native Cobb Countian. I'm even prouder to live in East Cobb and to have raised and educated my kids here, too. I would like for ALL of Cobb County to be as nice as East Cobb and think it could be.