Ballot Measure To Create A New City By Seceding From Stockbridge, GA, Fails

Coby Washo, Staff Writer

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The city of Stockbridge, GA has been undergoing significant demographic changes in recent years, as represented by its election of its first black mayor and all-black city council in 2017. It also just so happens that a referendum was put on the ballot for Eagle’s Landing, a wealthy, heavily white community, to secede from Stockbridge and combine with unincorporated parts of Henry County to form a new city. This practice of secession runs counter to how cities have traditionally been created in Georgia, where only unincorporated communities combine to form cities.

The reasoning behind this plan, according to chair of the Committee for the City of Eagle’s Landing, Vicki Consiglio, was to attract a P.F. Chang’s or a Cheesecake Factory to the area. Consiglio states “I kept seeing all of these places like Bojangle’s, Waffle House, dollar stores, and all this going up in our county, and I was like, why can’t we get a Cheesecake Factory, or a P.F. Chang’s or Houston’s?”. The reason for this is that the median income for Stockbridge is too low, and the only way to attract these restaurants would be for Eagle’s Landing to secede and essentially separate the wealthy, from the less wealthy.

One of the major consequences of this proposal would be a loss for Stockbridge of half of its businesses, resulting in a significant loss of revenue for the city. The proposal would also significantly reduce the voting power of African Americans. African Americans currently make up about 57% of the voting population of Stockbridge, but under this proposal, a chunk of African American voters will be placed in Eagle’s Landing, resulting in African Americans not making up a majority in either city.

On election day however, this proposal was defeated. The mayor of Stockbridge will however still consider legal action however, so as to set a precedent for other potential crises like this.

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