Governor Deal meets with city leaders on future of Stockbridge

Stockbridge Mayor Anthony Ford (Source: WGCL)

Governor Nathan Deal met with leaders in Stockbridge to discuss legislation that would split a portion of the city apart to form the new community of Eagle's Landing.

Stockbridge Mayor Anthony Ford told CBS46 News that the meeting went well but he says the governor had concerns with how the bills will affect the bond rating for Stockbridge and other cities in Georgia.

"It could set a bad precedent for the whole state of Georgia. Of course, hes a savvy. The last 8 years the state has grown economically. He's that type of individual and that type of governor so he's concerned about that," said Ford. "I asked him to veto these bills and that's what I hope he does."

The governor also said he's not leaning one way or the other and still wants to review the facts. He has two weeks to decide if he'll sign the legislation into law. If it does become law, people who live in what could be the new city will vote on it in November. Eagle's Landing moves one step closer to cityhood Eagle's Landing cityhood proponent: "Race has nothing to do with it." House passes bill that would split Stockbridge in twoIn March, Georgia lawmakers approved a pair of bills aimed at allowing voters in the Henry County community known as Eagle's Landing to decide whether to incorporate as a city.

If Gov. Nathan Deal signs the bills and voters approve the proposal, parts of Stockbridge would be de-annexed, leaving the city of Stockbridge with all of its previous debt.

The area in question is made up largely of wealthy neighborhoods. People who live in the Eagle's Landing area say they want more control over how they're being represented. They say their area doesn't have a single public park or library. They also want better police protection and code enforcement.

Cityhood proponents also want more retail and restaurant options. They say encapsulating the wealthiest part of Henry County into an official city would attract retailers and restauranteurs to its high income demographic.

Opponents are furious about the splitting of Stockbridge. Some say they believe there's a racial component to the effort, claiming that the people of Eagle's Landing don't want to be associated with Stockbridge, which now has an all African-American city council.

Supporters of cityhood say race has nothing to do with their effort. They point out that Eagle's Landing would continue to be majority African-American.

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