Lisa Cupid received nearly 40% of the votes in the very crowded field in Cobb Commission District #4 (South Cobb Austell  Mableton) she is in a runoff August 21st with Woody Thompson (R turned D, no-show).

The MDJ recently did a profile on her here. They also did one on Woody, you can look it up yourself. I’m not linking to a man who makes ridiculous sexist comments about a hard working woman. In all the years I’ve volunteered in Cobb, I have never clapped eyes on this man at any function. Apparently neither had his constituents or perhaps he wouldn’t have drawn 5 opponents.

I first met Lisa at the Cobb Democratic Women’s Holiday Party. She is lively, smart and very engaging. Her campaign is organized, professional and poised to win on Tuesday.

I asked her to send me “Five Questions with” so you all could get a bit more acquainted with her. She sent me her answers to the League of Women Voters questionnaire. No need to reinvented the wheel here.

What are your qualifications for this position and what is your motivation to serve in an elected office?
I have lived in Cobb for 12 years: 2 years in East Cobb while at Georgia Tech and 10 in South Cobb after marrying a classmate. I know we can do better in District 4. Now that I am a mom of 2, I am keenly aware of how important the area’s future is to them and others.

As for qualifications I truly care about my community, can build collaboration, and am result-oriented.

With respect to the community, I have served as HOA president, a stakeholder in several county studies, an active Taskforce board member, and Rotary Club member.

In building collaboration I have coordinated multiple projects with persons of diverse skill and background while an engineer and assistant project manager of an affordable housing nonprofit. I have also mediated landlord-tenant matters and facilitate a partnership of nonprofits and churches.

My drive for results is displayed through accomplishment as an engineer and policy analyst with the Governor’s Office of Planning & Budget. To become a better community advocate I am now completing a joint law degree and Masters in public administration.

If elected, what would be your three (3) top policy priorities and how would you work to achieve results?
1. Put People First: Improve constituent contact to better gauge concerns; bring impacted parties together to resolve matters before significant dollars spent or time wasted; encourage development of complete communities that are safe, walkable, and accessible to neighborhood amenities.

2. Ensure Equitable Investment of Taxes: Push completion of outstanding projects or redline projects in the district that are outdated; Benchmark service and investment in the district with the others. Maximize tax dollars through active partnership with other entities. Explore unique funding alternatives beyond taxes. Seek creation of role responsible for district development.

3. Improve Economic Development. Conduct outreach to better market tax incentives and investment opportunities, and to attract new businesses to and expand business in the district. Protect business centers with better land use controls. Better support home-based entrepreneurship. Recognize businesses and encourage community hiring and participation. Support industry-focused incubators in underutilized/ vacant buildings.

How will you engage voters in your district in identifying issues that are important to them, and how will you ensure progress is made on their issues?
1. Be visible and accessible at various community meetings, frequently, and across the county. I would encourage online streaming and video of town hall meetings with provision for public comment.

2. Utilize electronic and social media to encourage constituent involvement and to also track responses to constituent concerns.

3. Document how decisions are made on important policy decisions and include how constituent feedback was weighed.

4. Invite residents and stakeholders who are directly impacted by policy decisions to sit at the table together and share their concerns . If needed, help guide mutual resolve of conflicts to prevent unnecessary time, money, and emotion in the public eye at commission meetings or in legal battle.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest budget issue facing your county and how, if elected what would you propose to address it?
The biggest issue is balancing high expectation persons have of our county with the limited resources the county has to provide services due to the economic climate. Cobb has a reputation for going above and beyond when addressing stakeholder concerns. Consequently, people may have not be sufficiently aware that responsiveness and service delivery are directly tied to the level of public resources, i.e. their purse. Since our county motto continues to be “Expect the Best” the county will need to reevaluate what the best is, and residents, businesses, and stakeholders will also need to weigh if they can accept it. Undoubtedly poorly timing a SPLOST right before a millage hike, again, could eventually end up bringing out the worst out of us all.To avoid that, we need honest, open, and frequent communication about where the county is and what it will take to get move forward. I also suggest the county partner with outside entities who have shared interest and capacity in serving needs in the county. Expecting the best in Cobb does not have to fall on the shoulders of government alone.

Should your county commission address the issues of campaign finance, lobbyist gifts, ethical behavior, and transparency in state government? If so, how?
The county should address matters of campaign finance, gifts, behavior, and transparency.

With respect to campaign finance, we have greater opportunity to disclose, beyond state disclosure reports, how persons who contract with Cobb, sit on county boards, or have other position of significant influence give to elected officials. High dollar donations should not be a bar to political involvement. However, disclosure of such information can at least give insight into a factor of how decisions are made.

Similarly all gifts should be publicly disclosed by the donor and the official receiving them to provide a broader check on behavior.

Also, contracting with Cobb can also be better marketed to attract businesses that feel shut out of the county. Opportunities to work on a project or task should be openly marketed beyond a handful of entities that may have a relationship with the county or already be seated at the table.

Lastly, county meetings outside commission meetings, can be made more accessible through online streaming or video. Public attendance should be encouraged.

 

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