Lawsuit seeks to dissolve Georgia’s newest city
MABLETON, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Georgia’s newest city is already in jeopardy of being dissolved. Five plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit against the city of Mableton, saying the way the city was created violated the state constitution.
The lawsuit alleges that the bill that created the city of Mableton and the referendum that voters passed were unconstitutional. Mableton’s ballot question and the city charter created not just the city, but also its community improvement district.
State law categorizes those as separate governmental bodies, according to the plaintiffs, so they claim that putting both in one bill violated the single-subject rule of the Georgia Constitution.
Mableton’s first-ever mayor, Michael Owens, told Atlanta News First the lawsuit is disappointing.
“We’re now in a situation where we have to go out and retain council to defend ourselves and spend taxpayer dollars,” he said. “We don’t have taxpayer funding at the time, so it’s even more challenging.”
If the Cobb County judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs, that means the creation of the new city and the election of its mayor and city council members would all be void. The area would go back to being unincorporated in Cobb County, and cityhood proponents would essentially have to start all over again.
“I would rather be spending our time focused on delivering services to build a community, to doing a lot of the things we talked about on the campaign trail, which is about bringing us together, about making Mableton a great place to work, live, play and visit,” Owens said.
An appeal is likely no matter which way the judge rules, so the lawsuit could drag out for months or even years.
MORE MABLETON HEADLINES FROM ATLANTA NEWS FIRST
- Mableton elects first-ever mayor, city council
- Low early voter turnout ahead of Mableton’s first election
- Mableton election results: mayor’s race, 3 council seats head for runoff
- New city Mableton one week out from historic first election
- Mableton, Clayton County voters cast ballots in special elections
- Mableton sets date for historic first-ever city election
- Should Mableton become a city? Cobb County residents to vote on ballot referendum
- Mableton becomes Georgia’s newest city | What happens next?
Voters approved a split from Cobb County in the November 2022 election, wanting more autonomy over zoning and development in the Mableton area.
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