Hello Cobbliens,

We hope you are enjoying your Friday afternoons and preparing for a weekend full of plans.

I’m back to being the primary writer this week. Hope you didn’t miss me too much! Huge thanks to Kevin R., Tyler B., and Tyler H. for their contributions the last few weeks. If you want to guest write about a topic that fits our core mission of better transit, sustainability, land use, and safer streets, don’t hesitate to reach out!

So I have an entire issue about the Marietta Housing Issue, but that will be delayed for next week. It’s a difficult topic to summarize with everything going on.

I also want to be in a more celebratory mood after attending the State of the County last night. This issue will review what was discussed in that event, review the Strategic Plan that was just released, and preview the upcoming Commissioners Meeting next Tuesday, May 9th.

State of the County Address

I attended last night’s State of the County Address hosted at the Cobb Civic Center.

Prior to Chairwoman Lisa Cupid taking the stage, there are a few things to highlight:

  • Invocation: Invocations were given by 3 members of Clergy from different religions, underscoring the diversity of our county, which was a theme for the night. The highlight was when the Rabbi said that we must be a community, and that the Hebrew Bible mentions that we should love our neighbor once compared to loving a stranger 36 times.
  • Beautiful Presentation of the Flag and National Anthem
  • ARC Update from Mike Carnathan, Head of Research and Analytics
    • Cobb has grown 200% since 1970, but since 2010, growth has slowed
    • Growth has been primarily people of color, so we’ve been increasing in diversity
    • The population in the region is aging and the share of population aged 75 or older will double by 2050
    • ARC’s focus is on education, workforce development, mobility, affordable housing, public health, and resiliency.
  • ARPA Update
    • Economic Development grants for small businesses, workforce development, youth opportunities
    • Public Safety grants for new emergency vehicles, disaster preparedness, metal health, and hiring and retention incentives
    • Community Health grants focused on opioids, mental health, and general public health
  • Cobb Travel & Tourism launched the Cobbunity campaign to show a commitment that individuality is important and all are welcome.

Chairwoman Lisa Cupid then started her address in the audience, and she was very candid, open, and honest. UsINg a theme of “All IN”, she structured her assessment IN the followINg areas:

  • INtegrity
  • INtelligent Decision Making
  • INnovative
  • INclusive
  • INvestment Worthy

Here are some of the highlights:

So yeah, you can see there was a recurring theme about her experiences during Public Comment, and honestly, if you have been to any meetings recently, you’d understand the vitriol and rhetoric used against her (and Jerica).

I echo her suggestion that if you want something done, attending and speaking up for public comment is very important!

On that note…

Board of Commissioners Preview

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is on Tuesday, May 9th at 9:00AM. I’ll be there and I hope to see you there! We can grab lunch afterwards as well if you’ve got time.

I expect this Commissioners’ meeting to be pretty spicey primarily because one of the two Public Hearings is about the Strategic Plan (which I discuss in the next section).

Here is the agenda/preview: (link to files)

  • 5 Presentations including an update on Truist Park and the Battery
  • 2 Public Hearings: 1 for a permit for a house to be built near the Chattahoochee River and the other on the Strategic Plan (remember: Public Hearings can have an unlimited number of speakers to speak for a max of 3 minutes each)
  • Public Comment, 1st round (remember: 6 speakers on a first-come, first-speak basis for a max of 5 minutes each)
  • Consent Agenda
    • Water System- 4 items (water main replacement, stormwater management, and sewer line construction work orders and contracts)
    • Transportation- 2 items
      • Highlight here is the county installing the necessary hardware to accept Breeze Mobile 2.0 App fares. In my recent use of MARTA, I’ve used the new Breeze Mobile 2.0 App and it is AWESOME. You can easily add money to your account and then just scan the app. This is a HUGE improvement to the use of the system and should help with fare collection.
    • Parks- 2 items
    • Information Services-1 item
    • Property Management-1 item
    • Public Safety Agency- 2 items including a grant agreement with ARC for a Video Integration Center and another grant for Emergency Management
    • Community Development (1 item)
    • Finance (3 items)
    • County Manager (1 item)
    • County Clerk (1 item)
  • Regular Agenda
    • Transportation (4 items)
      • Highlight here is the construction of the 1-mile segment of the Silver Comet Connector between Plant Atkinson Road and the Chattahoochee River! There will also be votes to finalize construction of the new bike trail near Kennesaw Mountain and an upcoming public hearing for engineering services for sidewalk projects.
    • Parks- 2 items including improvements at Ebenezer Downs Park
    • Purchasing- To approve top three qualified firms for a disparity study
    • Public Safety- Updates to the Fire Training Grounds
  • Public Comment (2nd round)
  • Commissioner Appointments and Announcements

Please try to come out to the Commissioners’ meeting Tuesday morning. As I mentioned before, the highlight will likely be the Public Hearing for the Strategic Plan.

Strategic Plan

I’ve mentioned it a few times in this issue, but you are probably wondering what the Strategic Plan is.

The Strategic Plan sets goals and standards for the county to serve its citizens. It’s meant to focus the county and its leaders on strategic outcomes that are measurable and accessable.

Here’s a copy of the proposed Strategic Plan:


Here are some highlights of the Strategic Outcomes:

  • Community Development (Pages 12-13)
    • Sustainable Development
    • Greenspace Preservation
    • Streamlined Zoning & Code Enforcement
  • Economic Development (Pages 15-16)
    • Economic Empowerment & Upward Mobility
    • Enhanced Collaboration & Strengthened Partnerships
    • Attracting & Retaining Businesses
  • Effective & Efficient Government (Pages 18 & 19)
    • Financial Sustainability
    • Customer & Employee Satisfaction
    • Sufficient County Staffing Levels
    • Data-Driven Governance
    • Efficient Public Services
  • Housing & Livability (Pages 21 & 22)
    • Adequate Quality & Availability of Housing Options
    • Increased Attainable & Quality Housing Options
    • Preventing & Addressing Homelessness
  • Infrastructure (Pages 24 & 25)
    • Prioritized Capital Improvements
    • Resilient Stormwater Infrastructure
    • Long-term Infrastructure Investments
    • Enhanced Technology Infrastructure
  • Mobility & Transportation (Pages 27 & 28)
    • Enhanced Transportation Infrastructure
      • Align County and Federal transportation priorities to maximize funding resources and grant opportunities (I did an issue on this earlier)
      • Continue to enhance and optimize Cobb Linc transit routes based on demand
      • Prioritize addressing the lack of transportation infrastructure (i.e. bus stops)
    • Proactively Address Transportation Safety
    • Reduced Travel Delays
    • Enhanced Mobility & Connectivity (including continue to prioritize multi-modal solutions for all users)
  • Public Safety (Pages 30 & 31)
    • Proactively Address Crime & Safety
    • Effective Administration of Justice
    • Reliable & Safe Public Safety Infrastructure

Please review the document if you can, and let us know your favorite part or what you think is missing!

And if you’re able, please attend the Public Hearing at the Board of Commissioners Meeting on May 9th at 9AM.

Upcoming Events

And that’s all folks! Enjoy your weekend and I hope to see some of you next Tuesday!