Parent, Jacobs Support Proposed Two-Year Cityhood Process
A bill now before the Georgia General Assembly would solidify the process a community must take before it becomes a city.
Two Brookhaven lawmakers are lending their bipartisan support to a bill that would formalize the road to cityhood.
State Reps. Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, and Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, have co-signed HB 671, which stipulates that communities wanting to become their own city go through a two-year state legislative process.
Both Jacobs and Parent agree the law would not affect the prospects of a Brookhaven cityhood vote in 2012.
HB671 was pre-filed before the current General Assembly convened by state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur.
“The bill codifies the process that we already use,” Jacobs said. “And it’s a good process. It’s the same process Dunwoody followed when it became a city, and the same process that Brookhaven is following.
“It’s a fair process, and it’s important for proper notice to be given to the public and for an academic institution to crunch the numbers and perform the study,” who is the main legislative sponsor for a city of Brookhaven.
The bill is also being supported by state Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody.
If passed, communities wanting to become a city must have a bill introduced in the first year of a legislative session, and to have a financial and feasibility study performed by an independent entity. A legislative vote could then follow in the session’s second year.
“Creating a city is obviously very important and a difficult undertaking,” Parent said. “The process needs to be thoroughly studied and vetted. The community needs time to discuss it and make sure all its citizens are informed.”
For her part, Parent still believes the Brookhaven cityhood momentum needs to slow down.
“At least my constituents think it should slow down,” she said. “Creating a new city isn’t something you should do half-cocked.”
Oliver, the bill’s sponsor, believes communities throughout the entire metro Atlanta area have cityhood on their minds.
“We’ll be in the municplization process for the next 20 years,” Oliver said. “We don’t have a formal process yet in place that is satisfactory.”