Marlin Lamar Takes Austell Council Post

Born in Austell and working at his father’s store in downtown, Marvin Lamer now represents Ward 1 as councilman and wants to see the downtown area grow and prosper.

Austell’s Ward 1 includes the traditional downtown along Veterans Memorial Highway with a growing number of new shops and restaurants.

“The city is growing but my main focus is downtown,” Lamar said. “There are some new subdivisions but some of those folks don’t know there is a downtown.”

He said his main priority on council will be growth and helping what’s existing to improve.

He wants to the council to be seen as small business friendly

On election night in November Lamar thought he had won by one vote but two provisional ballots put him in a runoff in the two-man race. He takes over the seat formerly held by Kirsten Anderson who held it for 12 years before moving to Hawaii.

His father, M.L. Lamar operated Lamar’s Clothing on Jefferson Street for 61 years, selling everything from Levi’s and ladies dresses to shoes and bolts of cloth.

“I grew up in the business,” he said. “But the downtown started fading away when the malls the big box stores came along.”

The 63-year-old Lamar has a long history in Austell, serving on city board sand volunteering in civic events.

“I’ve always been active in the city, served on the zoning board and variance board,” he said. Now it’s my turn to serve.”

He was sown into office Dec. 19 along with returning council members Ollie Clemons, Jr. and Randy Green by Traffic Court Judge David Daren.

Lamar works at the Town Center Hilton Garden Inn as an engineering superintendent.

“The revitalization of downtown is on its way,” he said. “That’s the heartbeat of the city.”

He noted that the city recently expanded its city limits by annexing the Big Lots center on Austell Road. But, he does not foresee any “big box” stores in the city, in part due to lack of space.

His focus is on the community based businesses and specialty shops that continue to move to Austell.

“Things are starting to revitalize,” he said. The city purchased a property on Jefferson at Love Street, rebuilt it and leased it to the South Cobb Diner.

“That was a stimulus,” he said. “It has been a good attraction and the parking lots are full. Now we’ve got sidewalk traffic. And it’s only just begun.”

Now that he has been sworn in he’s ready for the first council meeting in January.

“I’m eager to get started and get to work.”

From the January 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.