The city of Stockbridge is busing supporters in its fight against cityhood for Eagle’s Landing to the Georgia capitol on Tuedsay.
Stockbridge leaders have chartered three buses that can hold as many as 140 people for the trip from the Henry County city to downtown Atlanta. The group is expected to meet for the caravan around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday.
“We want to be able to show legislators how many citizens here in the city of Stockbridge are troubled by this proposal,” Randy Knighton, Stockbridge’s city manager said during a Monday press conference at City Hall. “Your presence is needed tomorrow ... to show legislators that we are unified in keeping the city of Stockbridge together.”
A House bill that would incorporate the city of Eagle’s Landing by using portions of Stockbridge de-annexed against the will of leaders is expected to come up in a rules committee vote Tuesday. If approved, the bill would move to the Senate for a vote and then possibly to Gov. Nathan Jones if it gains the Senate’s support.
“Unfortunately we find ourselves in a pretty tough situation,” said Camilla Moore, director of community development services, said during the press conference. “I am very disheartened at the fact that a bill like this, that tears a city apart, has even gotten this far.”
Eagle’s Landing proponents contend that cityhood is necessary to get better police, parks and infrastructure maintenance services that they say Stockbridge is not providing. The area, which is comprised of several affluent neighborhoods in Stockbridge and unincorporated Henry County, would be Henry’s fifth city.
Stockbridge leaders, however, said taking land from an existing city to form a new city is unprecedented. They argue that Stockbridge would lose a significant portion of its tax base and that the loss could force them to levy a local tax.
Vikki Consiglio, one of the architects of the Eagle's Landing cityhood effort, said Monday that supporters of the new city won’t be able to match Stockbridge’s show of force Tuesday. Consiglio said only she and a few others will attend Tuesday’s legislative session.
“We don’t take bus loads of people,” she said. “We don’t feel like there is need for that.”
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