Curious about which of the 21 members of Cobb’s legislative delegation have a vote in committees under the Gold Dome? The Cobb Chamber of Commerce rounded up the list of committee assignments for this year.

♦Sen. Jen Jordan, D-Sandy Springs: In addition to serving as chair of the Special Judiciary Committee, she will serve as a committee member for Appropriations, Banking & Financial Institutions, Higher Education, and Interstate Cooperation.

♦Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, R-east Cobb: In addition to being named chair of the Veterans Military, and Homeland Security Committee, she will serve as a committee member of Health & Human Services, Insurance and Labor, Judiciary and Appropriations (ex-officio). Kirkpatrick was also appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to the Georgia Joint Defense Commission.

♦Sen. Michael ‘Doc’ Rhett, D-Marietta, will serve on the Finance, Higher Education (ex-officio), Judiciary, Reapportionment and Redistricting, Regulated Industries & Utilities, as well as the Veterans, Military & Homeland Security Committees.

♦Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White: In addition being named chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, he was also named to serve as a committee member on Appropriations, Banking and Financial Institutions (ex-officio), Finance, as well as the Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committees.

♦Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-west Cobb: In addition to continuing serving as chair of the Higher Education Committee, he will also serve on the committees for Appropriations, Education & Youth (ex-officio), Natural Resources and Environment (secretary), Transportation, and the Regulated Industries & Utilities (ex-officio).

♦Rep. Erick Allen, D-Smyrna: His committees include Banks & Banking, Code Revision; Economic Development & Tourism; Human Relations & Aging, and Insurance.

♦Rep. Teri Anulewicz, D-Smyrna: Her committees include Code Revision, Appropriations, Creative Arts & Entertainment (secretary), Intragovernmental Coordination, and Transportation.

♦Rep. Roger Bruce, D-Atlanta: His committees include Appropriations, Human Relations & Aging, Judiciary, Small Business Development, as well as Game, Fish & Parks.

♦Rep. John Carson, R-northeast Cobb: In addition to be named chairman of the Retirement Committee, his committees also include Appropriations (Ex-Officio), Intragovernmental Coordination, MARTOC, Rules, State Planning & Community Affairs, as well as the Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications.

♦Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-east Cobb: In addition to continuing serving as chair of the Health & Human Services Committee, her committees also include Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care (vice chair), Judiciary Non-Civil, Regulated Industries, and Rules.

♦Rep. Matt Dollar, R-east Cobb: In addition to serving as chairman for the Creative Arts & Entertainment Committee, his committees include Appropriations, Insurance, Interstate Cooperation, Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment, as well as Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications.

♦Rep. Ginny Ehrhart, R-west Cobb: In addition to serving as vice chair of the Higher Education Committee, she will also serve on the committees for Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight, Information and Audits, Regulated Industries (secretary), Science and Technology, and Transportation.

♦Rep. Shelia Jones, D-south Cobb: Her committees include Appropriations, Health & Human Services, Juvenile Justice, and Transportation.

♦Rep. Don Parsons, R-north Cobb: In addition to continuing serving as chair of the Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee, his committees also include Appropriations, Health & Human Services, and Ways & Means.

♦Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta: In addition to continuing serving as a House floor leader, his committees include Juvenile Justice (vice chairman), Judiciary Non-Civil (vice chairman), Appropriations, Creative Arts & Entertainment, Insurance, Judiciary, Science and Technology, as well as Ways & Means.

♦Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth: In addition to continuing serving as chair of the Science & Technology Committee, his committees include Appropriations, Education, Judiciary Non-Civil, Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment, Rules, and Transportation.

♦Rep. Michael Smith, R-Marietta: His committees include Code Revision, Interstate Cooperation, Regulated Industries, Science and Technology, Special Rules, and State Properties.

♦Rep. Mary Frances Williams, D-Marietta: Her committees include Governmental Affairs, Natural Resources & Environment, Retirement, and State Properties.

♦Rep. Erica Thomas, D-Austell: Her committees include Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight, Juvenile Justice, Retirement, as well as Science and Technology.

♦Rep. David Wilkerson, D-Powder Springs: His committees includes Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight, Ethics, Juvenile Justice, Retirement, Rules, as well as Science and Technology. Wilkerson is also chair of the Cobb Legislative Delegation.


COMMISSION RETREAT: The new Cobb Board of Commissioners has scheduled a retreat at Callaway Resort & Gardens in Pine Mountain on January 27, 28 and 29.

The listed agenda begins Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. with a welcome and opening remarks by Chair Lisa Cupid and retreat priorities by commissioners, followed by an afternoon session from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on “governance, authority and board priorities” with Ken Jarrard of Jarrard & Davis.

Thursday, January 28, begins with a morning session from 9 to 11:45 a.m. with agency updates. Cupid is first up followed by County Manager Jackie McMorris, followed by Pam Mabry on board appointments, Tony Hagler on human resources and Ross Cavitt on “communications.” An afternoon session between 12:45 and 5 p.m. is with Bill Volckman on finance, Public Safety Director Randy Crider and Cobb Sheriff Craig Owens.

Erica Parish is on the agenda to discuss transportation and transit at 8 a.m Friday, Jan. 29, followed by a working lunch and afternoon session from 11:45 to 2:30 with Sharon Stanley on support services, William Tanks on public services, Jessica Guinn on community Development and Judy Jones on the water department.


TRANSITIONS: Marietta school board member Allison Gruehn sends word she’s stepping off the board after her term ends this year. From her email: “When my term ends in December I will have served a little over 6 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed this time and have nothing but gratitude for the opportunity to help shape policy and make decisions that impact our 8,800 students and 1200+ employees. I have learned so much and met so many fantastic educators throughout our system!

“I am extremely proud of the District’s recent accomplishments and the administration’s commitment to growth and improvement. Our teachers, building leaders and support staff work tirelessly to serve each child every day and this pandemic has showcased that selflessness. The Superintendent and his Cabinet have literally worked around the clock since March to support our staff and families by ensuring plans were implemented regarding food, technology, virus mitigation, teaching and learning strategies and most recently extensive contact tracing. Over 100 virtual town halls/meetings have been hosted at the District level and communication has been frequent, transparent and relevant. MCS was awarded financial grants and gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations and government-related agencies totaling $3.3 million during the pandemic. We continue to pursue relationships with the leading foundations in Metro Atlanta and they are receptive because our District leaders are thoughtful, intentional and collaborative in their approach to student learning and the narrowing of the achievement gap. There is still work to be done, but I am exceedingly pleased with the District’s many achievements over the past 5 years including growth in our number of IB graduates, 9th grade promotion rate, SAT and ACT scores and graduation rate.

“Considering the campaign will occur during the fall of Allen’s senior year, I look forward to being a Mom for my last two years prior to joining the ranks of the empty- nesters. When I ran for school board my children were finishing up elementary school and that stage of life helped give me a future-leaning perspective. Along those lines, I hope my successor will have young children and a hopeful approach to MCS’ future! I strongly believe that our non-partisan designation has led to a more collaborative and congenial Board. The members I have had the pleasure to serve alongside have been dedicated to hiring and retaining top-notch educators to ensure our students’ success.”


ON MASKS: Wearing a mask or not in public during the coronavirus pandemic can be controversial in Cobb County.

At Cobb County Board of Education meetings, though board members are spaced roughly six feet apart in their chairs, most wear a mask, but a few have not, which has drawn criticism from some in the community.

At Thursday’s board meeting, this drew the attention of Jennifer Susko, an employee of the district, who held a moment of silence for Patrick Key, the Hendricks Elementary School teacher who died of COVID-19 in December and recalled that his obituary asked for people to buy and wear masks. She asked that all board members, and Superintendent Chris Ragsdale, wear their masks.

Ragsdale and school board members David Banks and David Chastain, who were not wearing masks, only watched and waited in response.

“I’d like the record to reflect that some of you did not wear masks, the final request of a Cobb teacher who died,” Susko said. “Your actions in these two minutes have spoken louder than words. We see where your priorities are. Please know that many of us reject your false gratitude for staff, since we seem disposable to many of you.”


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