Bill Byrne's proposal to create is about as bad an idea as I’ve heard from a Cobb County politician in years, maybe decades.
Why in the world would the residents of East Cobb want to incorporate their own city? Sure, I’ve seen the trend over the last few years of voters in unincorporated Fulton and DeKalb counties their communities as cities separate from the behemoth Governments of their respective counties.
And for areas like North Fulton, especially, I have seen the absolute disconnect and lack of concern for anything but the tax revenues contributed by those areas to county, much of which went to areas of the county that were absolute drains on resources.
Being a native of Cobb County, I can’t think of anything worse for Cobb County AND East Cobb than incorporating. Certainly, I understand that all politics is local and that government is best done as close to the taxpayer/voter as possible. But I simply don’t think a City of East Cobb would accomplish anything but inject a layer of government that is neither needed or wanted.
For one thing, there’s already enough government in East Cobb to handle the needs of the community. Heck, the Zone 4 Precinct is already a little over-focused on revenue enhancement for me as it is. Adding a layer of government that needed to be funded would only add to the revenue function of the local police.
Look. In East Cobb we have several parks (including ) that are the envy of any suburban community. We have several community service centers, excellent public safety response time, and a very high quality of life.
Many Cobb County leaders come from East Cobb's political, civic and business communities. Because East Cobb accounts for a large part of Cobb County’s growth, development and revenue, we already have a strong voice in how our county (and community) are run. For decades, our Commission Chairman has come from East Cobb. We are NOT underrepresented.
Further, incorporating East Cobb into a city draws lines that have NOT been needed heretofore. I don’t like drawing lines when it’s not necessary. Having grown up in unincorporated Cobb County, I believe there’s much to be gained from LESS government.
East Cobbers, like most Cobb Countians, are fiercely independent WHILE being very proud of being Cobb Countians. There is a synergy in Cobb County that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. I think it is vital to continue and foster that spirit.
I know that our county is much more diverse than when I grew up. In fact, there are communities that seem the polar opposite of East Cobb both politically and economically. However, I still hold that most of the new demographics include folks who chose to live here because of what Cobb County has always been and what East Cobb remains.
Having grown up in South Cobb and now being a committed “East Cobb Snob,” I still believe that the things that work for East Cobb could work for South Cobb and for every part of Cobb County.
Partitioning off still another part of the county sets up an unhealthy competitive environment that has barely existed up to this point. I would hate to see it start now.
If there’s a problem with governance in Cobb County, it has resulted from too much government. The last thing we need is even more government. If asked my thoughts on the City of East Cobb, my reply would be “Drop it, Bill.”