The bill that would split the city of Stockbridge into two separate cities, forming the new city of Eagle's Landing, took a big step forward Tuesday night.
The House worked late into the night, eventually passing the bill by a vote of 102 to 67. The measure now heads back to the Senate to approve changes made by the House.
If passed, Senate Bill 263 would form the new community of Eagle's Landing. The area is made up largely of wealthy neighborhoods.
People who live in the Eagle's Landing area say they want more control about how they're being represented. They say they want to build parks and senior centers in their area and to provide better police protection.
Forming new cities is nothing new in metro Atlanta. In the last couple of decades, we've seen the formation of cities like Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Milton and Tucker. However, those communities were all formed from unincorporated portions of their counties.
This legislation is different. It would allow for the creation of a new city by splitting up an existing city.
Opponents of the bill believe legislators are trying to split Stockbridge without their input.
"I can't believe the callousness and people that are totally uninvolved in our city can't understand what they are doing, the devastation they are about to bring upon the city and the citizens of Stockbridge," said one resident.
Aurthur Chrisitian has lived in Stockbridge for almost 15 years. He says, the politicians are basically saying, "'You have something I want, so I'm going to take it."
"It seems to me, the dog they have in this fight is money, greed, power. Right now we need not just politicians, we need statesmen, so I'm hoping the people under the gold dome act like statesmen. This is not just bad for Stockbridge," said Chrisitian.
Tom Lentz lives in Stockbridge. He thinks Eagle's Landing should have its own city because what he calls the corrupt politics at the city hall. He doesn’t believe the situation in Stockbridge will get any better.
“I've been unimpressed with Stockbridge leadership. There's a lot of politics going on," said Lentz. "Apparently, that effort has been going on by mayoral candidates for some time and has not been successful because the council has been unethical, dishonest I think."
Michael Dinkins' home is located in what would be the new city of Eagle's Landing.
“That’s kind of disheartening for it to happen so fast,” said Dinkins.“I didn’t hear about it until talking with other legislators and it hit the news.”
Dinkins is not opposed to the new city; however, he is opposed to how these bills were pushed through.
“I think it’s a little hasty. I think that’s something that needs to be looked at over time and more input from all the citizens and I think there should be legislation that says we take our time, have interaction with the people and talk to people in the community before you go that far,” said Dinkins.
Meanwhile, Anthony Ford, the mayor of Stockbridge, isn't giving up. He says he's ready to seek legal action so that all of the voters in the city will have a say in the matter, not just the ones who live in the area that would become the new community of Eagle's Landing.
"The legislative session this year ends on Thursday the 29th, so things are going to come to an end here shortly, and then we'll see what we need to do save our city of Stockbridge," said Ford.
CBS46 has been following this story since the beginning. We'll keep you posted to new developments.
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