'We're excited': Mableton City Council to take its first steps

·3 min read

May 10—The new Mableton City Council holds its first meeting Thursday night to take its first steps toward getting the city up and running.

"I expect it to be a good, solid meeting with us just working through some of the initial things that we need to do," Mayor Michael Owens said. "It's been important to set the expectations on where we are as a city. ... This is a start-up city, and I think it's important for people to understand that there's some basic things that we need to do."

The special-called meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Riverside EpiCenter at 135 Riverside Parkway.

Mableton residents elected Owens and six council members in a March election, followed by an April runoff. The city was created after a referendum on incorporation passed last November.

Owens and all the council members have been legally sworn in, the mayor said. A ceremonial swearing-in and celebration of the new city is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at South Cobb High School.

The law which contains the city charter and authorized the referendum takes full effect on June 1.

Owens said the transitional meetings are needed to implement the "basic foundational stepping stones" of creating the city, since Gov. Brian Kemp elected not to appoint a transition committee for Mableton.

The mayor has drafted an agenda which the council will be asked to adopt.

Among the items on it are the election of a mayor pro tempore, who will preside over meetings when the mayor is absent. Owens said he doesn't know who that will be.

The council will also need to formally adopt the city charter, laid out in House Bill 839, as the official governing document for the city.

"Within that law is the framework of a charter, so we will be adopting that as our formal charter," Owens said.

Owens said the council will consider interim appointments for several key positions — city manager, city attorney, city clerk and executive assistants. The council will also consider appointing a financial consultant.

For city attorney, Owens plans to recommend Emilia Walker-Ashby. Walker-Ashby is a partner at Fincher Denmark and serves as attorney for the city of McDonough.

For city clerk, Owens plans to recommend Susan Hiott, a Smyrna resident who works as the clerk for the city of Brookhaven.

Owens said he doesn't have anybody particular in mind for the roles of city manager and financial consultant.

In other business, the council will consider a resolution authorizing the city to begin talks with the county about transitioning services. The proposed resolution also would enable the city to meet with the Cobb Tax Commissioner's Office about the revenues it plans to collect.

Owens also wants the council to approve a website domain for the city so it can set up a website and official email addresses. He hopes Mableton will use a .gov address, which must be approved by the federal government.

The proposed agenda also includes an invocation, pledge of allegiance and a public comment period, and an item for the council to decide when and where its next meeting will be held.

"I've been getting a lot of people calling me and asking about it," Owens said. "We're not sure how many people are going to show up. But we're excited."