In 2018, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners and school board races drew more than 60% of registered voters, he said.
“I obviously believe this would be a better way, maybe not for elected officials, but for the citizens to have a right to vote," the mayor said.
Councilwoman Cheryl Richardson, who opposed the measure, said she didn’t think staggering the terms would improve voter turnout. The city has low turnout because its elections are not held when there are big races on the ballot, which occur during even years.
“The con of this is that it allows people to get (involved) other people’s elections and work against people to get them elected," she said.
Councilmen Griffin Chalfant and Johnny Walker agreed with the mayor’s stance. Councilman Joseph Goldstein said a city council elected all at once every four years allows all members to develop a vision for the city that they can implement throughout their terms.
Councilwoman Michelle Cooper Kelly said she believed more communication from the mayor to all council members about his proposal could have been helpful before the request came up for a vote. Kelly also said she hasn’t had any residents ask her to consider staggering terms.
“I’m concerned that we are proposing a solution to a non problem,” she said.
The mayor’s plan was rejected by Kelly, Richardson, Goldstein and Reggie Copeland. Chalfant, Walker and Andy Morris voted in favor. Afterward, Tumlin vetoed the vote. City Attorney Doug Haynie said Tumlin’s veto results in the item being left on the agenda without any action taken.