Around Town: Mayor says tardy announcement was sending wrong signal
May 03, 2013 11:37 PM | 6657 views | 3 3 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
IT’S (FINALLY) OFFICIAL: Mayor Steve Tumlin is going to run for a second term as mayor in this fall’s city elections. That word comes via the text of his announcement “speech” he shared this week with Around Town — even though he hasn’t given the speech yet, and doesn’t even have a time or place yet to deliver it.

“Ironically, I found that not making this announcement was sending a wrong message of my commitment to Marietta,” Tumlin told AT. “I am here to stay and look forward to the opportunity of serving again. The learning curve of the first term will aid in further putting Marietta forward and both to maintain what our heritage has given us, but also to have a vision for this City to continually to grow and improve. Our City has been touched by many who have made this a great City and our history is awesome, but now with four grandchildren living in our City, I am motivated to help mold the City for an even better future.”

Printing press operator Charles Levinson of southeast Marietta is the only other announced candidate to emerge thus far.

Tumlin, a tax attorney, was first elected in 2009 after having served previously in the state Legislature. The race is officially nonpartisan, although Tumlin ran as a Republican for Legislature and Levinson is a Democrat.


MUCH OF TUMLIN’S “SPEECH” focuses on the need for city redevelopment.

“While government cannot create jobs, we can create the right environment for job growth and that is what I intend to do,” he said. “Since the Redevelopment Bond has been proposed recently to the Marietta City Council, interest from Major Developers have emerged as they are attracted to communities that commit to economic development.”

Tumlin has proposed voters approve a $35 million bond issue to buy up dilapidated apartment complexes along Franklin Road, clear the land and then sell it to developers.

“We must fight for change on the blighted Franklin Road corridor once and for all. This concentration of blighted apartment complexes has stained our public education, public safety and public health.

“Fighting back against this must be at the top of our priority list in order to lower crime, and to attract more well-paying, middle class jobs to the city.”


CITY BEAT: Michelle Cooper Kelly of Marietta announced Friday she will run for the eastside Ward 6 seat on the Marietta City Council long held by Councilman Jim King.

Kelly said she called King to let him know she was running before announcing. She said King told her he was running also. King has been on the council since 2002.

Kelly, a senior resident environmental, health, safety and security manager for Anheuser-Busch in Cartersville, has volunteered on several city committees over the years, including the Citizens Advisory Committee for Marietta Parks in 2009-10.

She was appointed to the Marietta Housing Authority board by Mayor Tumlin and also served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. She has three children in Marietta city schools.

Kelly said one of her campaign platforms is government transparency.

“We’re not always in the loop as to what’s going on in the city,” Kelly said. “I think a lot of folks in Ward 6 are probably more affiliated toward Cobb County and what’s going on there, and it may just be where we’re located. But I think that should change. I think folks in our ward should enjoy the things that are going on in the city, spending time in the city, spending money in the city as I have. I hear often we have a void in our area when it comes to open dialogue and conversation and being accessible.”


EVENTS: Tickets remain for this evening’s “Oakton Abbey Revisited” party at antebellum Oakton house on Kennesaw Avenue. The Cobb Landmarks event at Marietta’s oldest continuously-occupied home will feature the first-ever tour of its 1890 carriage house, its extensive gardens, a Maypole dance and lavish food and drink. Tickets are $75 single, $140 couple or $200 family. Go to or call (404) 379-4894. … State School Superintendent John Barge will be the speaker at this morning’s Cobb GOP Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at the party HQ at 799 Roswell St. His support of the Common Core Standards is sure to come in for plenty of questions. ... U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson will be guest speaker at Monday’s First Monday Breakfast of the Cobb Chamber, which will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Cumberland Community Improvement District. ... The 2013 Galaxy of Stars and “Tommy Awards” Luncheon benefitting the Tommy Nobis Center will be Wednesday at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel. For info, call Shoshana Ben-Yoar at (678) 553-3158. … A Marietta Housing Authority 75th anniversary open house is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday at the MHA HQ at 95 Cole St., reports director Ray Buday.


EMBASSY ROW: Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee was in Washington, D.C., this week at a special dinner held by the Netherlands’ ambassador in honor of that country’s new king, Willem-Alexander of the House of Orange-Nassau. In his private life, Lee is a marketing consultant for the synthetic turf division of TenCate, a holding company based in the Netherlands.

Lee said the cocktail party Tuesday night was at the embassy, while the dinner was at the “Embassy Row” residence of the ambassador of the Netherlands, Rudolf Bekink.


LEE SAID since he was in Washington on the company’s dime, he also decided to do some county business, visiting with officials from the Federal Aviation Administration to discuss the sequester-related closing of the tower at McCollum Field.

He also met with the Federal Transit Administration to discuss the county’s proposed $1.1 billion transportation project linking Kennesaw State University with midtown Atlanta, he said. Of the FTA, Lee said, “They reiterated that money is going to be tight coming forward because of sequestration and other budget cuts.”

Lee said Cobb Transportation Director Faye DiMassimo accompanied him on the trip.


COUNTY BEAT: Willie Hopkins Jr. will assume the duties of Cobb support services director as of July 22, reports Commission Chair Tim Lee. Hopkins’ hiring had been halted after he was unable to produce a copy of his college diploma in time for his originally planned April 15 start date. But the county obtained a copy from Hopkins’ alma mater, Alcorn State University, where he had obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Lee said.

The July 22 start date also will allow Hopkins to take care of his son for the first 90 days after his son’s recent heart surgery, as doctors had recommended, Lee said.

“We think he will be a strong asset to the team, so we were willing to extend his start date,” Lee said. “We feel real strongly about him.”


DRIVERS on Bells Ferry Road will soon see a new billboard targeting what it calls the “RubiObama Amnesty,” courtesy of Marietta immigration reformer D.A. King. He and his group The Dustin Inman Society will have the sign installed next week replacing their current billboard, which targeted South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, who like Florida’s Marco Rubio is one of the so-called “Gang of Eight” U.S. Senators trying to craft an overhaul of the country’s poorly conceived and enforced immigration laws.

King’s new billboard (which was previewed Thursday on the widely followed Drudge Report) will ask viewers to phone Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson’s Washington office ((202)224-3643) with the message “No to Legalization — Again!” An additional billboard with Isakson’s phone number targeting the bill will go up along Highway 140 in Canton and bear the message “Protect American Jobs! No Amnesty for Illegal Aliens!” he said.

King told that, “Most people aren’t going to play the silly game of defining a word,” he said. “It’s a legalization program. Maybe we need a redefinition of the word ‘conservative.’ It’s more than just not being a Democrat.”


PEOPLE: Happy Birthday to Florence Rogers of Marietta, who turns 101 today. She’s the mother of retired local salesman Jim Rogers and lives in the Rhodes Health and Rehab center in east Cobb. ….

Marietta businessman Russ Hedden and his family drove to Nashville and camped out all night hoping to be among the lucky ones admitted to Thursday’s star-packed funeral for country music legend George Jones. And it paid off. The Heddens wound up with front-row seats in the balcony.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
May 04, 2013
So where does the Mayor expect all the drug dealers and illegals to live if they tear down all of those nice well maintained apartment complexes along Franklin Rd.

Maybe he is hoping they all move to Smyrna.
May 06, 2013
Dustoff, you are part of the problem and not the solution. The Mayor recognizes these are not apartments that are nice well maintained apartment complexes. You show your stupidity of claiming this the Mayor of not knowing this. I guess you did not know this. Why would the Mayor hope all would move to Smyrna? What do you know about the Mayor's way of thinking and his inside thoughts in his own head that you have privy to that the rest of don't that you can make this accusation? I will call out all you stupids.
May 04, 2013
Who paid for Faye's trip?

Does this finally make Lee a real Democrat, him going to beg for funds so he can spend millions more on a transportation system that's not wanted? Seems to me like he needs to put that D by his name now...and stop wishing for money that's not going to come from the feds.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides