STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — It appears the move to carve the city of Eagle’s Landing out of the city of Stockbridge is dead.
The Henry County ballot measure which would have allowed a portion of the city of Stockbridge to break away and form into a new city was soundly defeated, 57 percent to 43 percent.
Officials and residents of the city of Stockbridge argued that the de-annexation measure to establish the city of Eagle’s Landing violated the Voting Rights Act and would take away much of the city’s tax base.
A portion of the 100-year-old city would have been de-annexed, including about 9,000 residents in order to create the new city. In addition, another 3,500 residents would have come from property in unincorporated Henry County.
Residents pushing for Eagle’s Landing to become an independent city said they wanted to secure better city services, increased property values and to attract high-end businesses. Opponents said the creation of the new city would take away a significant amount of the Stockbridge tax base.
Critics have said they believe that both racism and classism played parts in the rationale behind the move to create the city of Eagle’s Landing.
Currently, 29 percent of Stockbridge residents are white, while 56 percent are black. The city of Eagle’s Landing would be more diverse– with about 39 percent white residents and 44 percent black. The median income of Stockbridge is at $58,000, slightly below the Henry County median of $60,000. The city of Eagle’s Landing would have had a median income of $120,000.
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Map of proposed city of Eagle’s Landing
Stockbridge city officials had previously filed suit against the Eagle’s Landing proponents, pointing out that among other items, Capitol One Public Funding owns about $11.75 million of bonds to the city of Stockbridge from 2005 and 2006, under the assumption that there would be a certain number of taxpayers living in the city.
If Eagle’s Landing were to peel itself off, Stockbridge would have been left paying off the bonds.
Vikki Consiglio, chairperson of the committee for the city of Eagle’s Landing, dismissed those lawsuits at the time, saying cityhood proponents were looking ahead to the November vote.
A lawsuit has already been filed and the courts have ruled in our favor,” Consiglio said in September. “This is about the vote and them trying to do everything they can to stop the vote.”
With the measure’s failure, Eagle’s Landing cityhood proponents may take their move back to the General Assembly, but it is not likely that lawmakers would craft a similar ballot initiative in the near future.
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