Snapshot of Our County Government
Commissioners in Cobb County
Cities in Cobb County
School Board Districts
County Funds ($millions)
Community Improvement Districts
The Board of Commissioners, the School Board, and City Government
There exists a difference between collaboration and networking. Collaboration involves truly working together for an objective and involves multiple parties. Many decisions made by our elected officials usually happen in a private room, off the record. While there is a time and a place for such discussion to occur, it is important that decisions on broad-impact projects should not be solely announced, but rather collectively developed. In today’s world, only those that have been exposed to how government works are involved. As a representative, it is an imperative that I meet people where they are.
Our Cobb delegation has much to be proud of, but we can do a better job in our transparency on roles, and creating opportunities for collective impact. In today's world, our planning commission and school board could collaborate more for more effective zoning. We can improve on planning assumptions such as the role that transient homes play in the broader ecosystem. We can coordinate to create grants, tax districts, and a pipeline for innovative pilots that could be modeled around metro Atlanta. Simply put, relationships matter and by proactively engaging in IGAs, there is so much that can be accomplished for the people we serve.
Being a representative means being accessible to the community you are serving. Town halls should be dialogues, meetings should include mutiple layers of government, representatives should be able to help answer questions, and identify new ways to build relationships within the community. They should also serve as your representatvie to higher levels of office so that individuals should not have to compete with sanctioned lobbying firms with large bank accounts. Your representative should be willing to listen and be a real ally in making sure your concerns are heard. This is the culture I intend to bring to the Board of Commissioners.
Snapshot of Public Safety
Number of Departments in Public Saftey
(%) Decrease in Crime Rates
($K) Average Salary for Police
(%) of Fires Contained within Room of Origin
Per Capita Spending on Police and Fire Protection
Number of Community Programs
The Board of Commissioners and Civil Service
Many of our public safety professionals work tirelessly, but have to pick up additional jobs just to make ends meet. We can all admit that good police work is not charity, and with higher pay, we can demand and maintain a higher quality staff. Pay should not just reflect time in service, but should also include the quality and consistency of training, experience, and impact to the community. As a part of compensation, we must incorporate new ways of supporting, acknowledging, and rewarding our public safety professionals.
Also, compensation also goes beyond recognition and salary. We can also ensure that our professionals have up-to-date training and technology to help improve their quality of life and safety. Every day when they leave the house, their families are on edge about whether they will return.
The shift we must accomplish is protecting and serving by reinforcing community. Reinforcing our community means our public safety professionals should have a more active role to play within the community beyond protection. In order to better integrate with the community, foster recruiting efforts, and improve the perception and effectiveness of the job, it is imperative that public safety professionals are encouraged to participate in community engagement workshops, local school activities, community service projects, and remain out front at community events (festivals, conferences, etc.). There should be a component of the job by which the community can provide feedback as well. We should not wait until a problem arises.
Our public safety department has partnered with other groups to conduct successful training programs for crime prevention and de-escalation. I am committed to strengthening such relationships in the areas of job-training, rehabilitation, engagement, de-escalation, crime prevention, leadership training, drug use, and trafficking. By establishing a relationship where the community and social professionals can provide information to our servants while our elected officials are able to empower our residents and visitors, we can foster a much safer community with better outcomes.
In addition, I am fully committed to decriminalizing certain non-violent activities and focusing on the rehabilitation and reacclimation of those that have been arrested.
Lastly, jails or detention centers that hold non-convicted persons should not include punishment-style behavior. Today, we are facing conditions that are well-below what would be considered humane. Poor quality water, sleep deprivation, lack of food, and limited administration of healthcare has led to the deaths while in custody. This is unacceptable, and I am committed to seeing this change, but the tone must change at the top. If we truly believe in innocence until proven guilty, then we must practice it. We must protect the rights of people, especially while in our custody.
Enforcing a Sense of "Community" through Public Safety Measures
Independent studies have identified a series of recommendations in order to ensure that our public safety professionals are positioned for success. Listed below are several recommendations highlighted in the studies. I am looking to listen and learn from our professionals managing CCPD and identify ways to navigate these recommendations.
Changing Our Relationships
Reemphasize community policing as a department strategy
Engage a co-production police model
Establish a formal role for the community/citizen advisory committee
Changing Our Priorities
Acknowledge and address public perception of racism and discriminatory policing
Prioritize criminal investigation staffing
Prioritize patrol staffing
Review and revise CCPD approach to traffic enforcement
Collect race contact and outcome data
Develop a LGBTQ+ policy
Changing Our Methods & Incentives
Increase pay for employees
Expand rewards and community incentive programs for employees
Review and revise the performance appraisal process
Ensure full and consistent staffing of public service technician positions
Increase mid and upper-level management training
Engage a more interactive and inclusive leadership style
Review disqualification policies and practices
Reinstitute the "Knock and Talk" philosophy (off-the-clock community engagement in neighborhoods)
Not identified in CCPD assessment, but important nonetheless: Expand the use of technologies that increase accountability and safety
Snapshot of Our Mobility
(%) Workers Commuting 30 Minutes or More
(%) Walkability Index Score in Comparison to Peers
(min) Average Travel Time
(%) loss in Economic Opportunity Due to Limited Mobility
(%) Drive Alone
Miles of Roads Being Managed
The Board of Commissioners and Mobility
Transit is more than just a conversation about the car. I am committed to having a conversation about expanded transit options and increased mobility. This means the end goal is to ensure that people from different communities can get from point A to point B in equitable, cost effective, and efficient ways. County-wide mobility means improved education opportunities, community engagement initatives, and sensible economic development. We also want to ensure we are leveraging the most user-friendly, sustainable technology that will improve our mobility as well.
Here in Cobb, we are experiencing growth and there are some areas around the county where that growth is more concentrated. In order to maintain that balance, it is necessary that we deploy measures that help build connections between less dense and high density areas. Internally, we can leverage trolleys and park and rides in less dense areas and commuter/light rail and buses in high density areas.
Cobb County and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) have developed an incredible 2040 plan which include a focus on regional connectivity. We have to make some tough decisions if we are to make it into reality. Mobility is a conversation about connecting ourselves internally, but also externally to other counties and nearby cities. If we are not thinking of Cobb as a part of a major artery in the region, then our economic viability will decrease dramatically.
Connecting to Fulton County
Mobility Options Under Consideration
Mobility Options Under Consideration
Accommodating the Costs
MARTA expansion costs nearly $300M/mile which cannot be supported by either a TSPLOST or special tax district. Note, the technology is older, and there may be opportunities in testing new forms of transit. Regardless, in order to connect Cobb to Fulton, we must get creative by investing in new technologies and expanding our tax base.Jerica's Stance on the Tax Increase
Learn More About the Budget and Expanding Our Tax Base
TSPLOST by referendum
Can bring an extra $150M to special transportation projects.
Limitations to Consider:
Most projects will benefit denser areas, while funding would also be supplied from less dense areas. Projects would have to focus on contributing tributaries by incorporating alternative forms of transit and the arterial routes.
HB930 Special Tax District
Can support local transit projects
Limitations to Consider:
Projects that benefit denser areas, but funding coming from less dense areas. Projects would have to focus on contributing tributaries by incorporating alternative forms of transit AND the arterial routes.
A portion of the county would have 7% tax while other areas would have a 6% tax, leading to incentivized sprawl and possible density changes in central and northern Cobb.
ARC and Cobb County's 2040 Vision for Transit and GrowthRead the full plan here.
Decisions about transportation are done in conjunction with many parties.
Georgia Department of Transportation
Cobb Department of Transportation
Cobb County Commissioners
Georgia Legislative Delegation
Federal Department of Transportation
Atlanta Regional Commission