Hooray for JoEllen Smith. The Marietta Daily Journal on Monday reported that she is getting quite a reaction from East Cobb Republicans. Her incumbent opponent, State Rep. Don Parsons from Northeast Cobb, is ignoring Ms. Smith and won’t join her to discuss the local issues of the day.
While she attended a Monday with voters in Acworth, Parsons did not.
A few people were quoted as not having seen the representative in a very, very long time.
In the same article, "Smith said State Rep. John Carson (R-East Cobb) had recently 'yelled at and berated her' for trying to alert the community about the status of the newly adopted reapportionment map the legislature approved for the Cobb School District.”
On Red County, a political blog that says it is “The place for state and local conservative politics," it says that JoEllen Smith is the founder of the Cobb Patriots Tea Party and a political activist in East Cobb.
Her website probably says the same stuff as Rep. Parsons' web site, long on generalities and short on specifics, as is prudent early in a political campaign. Besides, Rep. Parsons' well-publicized baggage might be enough to bring him down.
But if Ms. Smith becomes Rep. Smith, she will be without local examples of elected state officials to pattern herself after who are transparent and open to the public, certainly not Parsons or Carson.
Commissioners Bob Ott and JoAnn Birrell do a good job of engaging in conversation with their constituents in town hall meetings. Are there state representatives/senators who could show Rep. Smith how to act like a representative? Rep. Sharon Cooper sometimes will join a Bob Ott town hall meeting for a few minutes, but Rep. Matt Dollar and Sen. Judson Hill are as AWOL as Parsons.
Democratic Rep. Stacey Evans of Smyrna could provide a good role model for Ms. Smith if she becomes Rep. Smith. Rep. Evans has regular town hall meetings by herself and with other Smyrna elected officials.
For example, last Wednesday, she had a town hall meeting at the Cobb Main Library. Rep. Evans answered questions about tax changes, charter school amendments, transportation issues, HOPE, legal reform, and more.
If a state representative is looking to be transparent, available, and open to her constituents of both parties, Rep. Evans would be a good example.
Transparent, available and open representation is common in Smyrna State Sen. Doug Stoner has been doing it for years. Powder Springs had a Don Parsons kind of Democrat in office until David Wilkerson was elected two years ago.
There are a few questions about car taxes and transportation issues that I’m not sure about, so I’ll ask Rep. Wilkerson Thursday night at the monthly at the Delkwood Grill on Delk Road.
If you haven’t had a chance to ask your East Cobb representative a question in a long time, if ever, ask Rep. Wilkerson. He is very smart and works well with his Republican counterparts in the state legislature.
If Ms Smith becomes Rep Smith, she might consider getting rid of that article on Red County about “Whiny Democrats.” She may need a Democratic vote some day to get an East Cobb project approved.