City of Stonecrest bill awaiting final votes

Georgia lawmakers advanced a proposal to create the city of Stonecrest on Wednesday.

The House Governmental Affairs Committee voted unanimously to lower the salaries of Stonecrest's elected officials, addressing a concern that Senate Bill 208 would pay them too much.

The amended legislation sets the mayor’s salary at $20,000, and city council members would make $16,000. The bill previously would have paid the mayor 75,000 annually, and city council members would have earned $25,000.

"That puts us in line with other cities have have part-time mayors and council members, and we're fine with that," said Jason Lary, president of the Stonecrest City Alliance.

The bill now moves ahead to the House Rules Committee before it can be voted on by the full House of Representatives. The legislation previously cleared the House Governmental Affairs Committee last month, but it was reconsidered to address the salary issue. A version of the bill has already passed the Senate.

Stonecrest would include about 50,000 residents along Interstate 20 and near Stonecrest Mall, covering the southeast corner of DeKalb and bordering the city of Lithonia.

If the legislation is approved, a referendum on cityhood would be held either May 24 or Nov. 8.

“I’m excited that the citizens in the Stonecrest footprint would have the opportunity to decide whether to become a city,” said Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, D-Lithonia.