The East Cobb Cityhood effort passed its first major test today after the Georgia House of Representatives passed the bill by a 98-63 vote.
The Bill: The East Cobb Cityhood bill is House Bill 841 or H.B. 841. The bill creates a charter for the new city of East Cobb and sets up the boundaries for the new city and how it will function.
Who is behind it?: The bill is sponsored by Cobb representatives Matt Dollar, Sharon Cooper and Ed Setzler.
What happens next?: The bill will move to the state senate. Once the senate passes it, the bill will move to Brian Kemp who will sign it or veto it. If Kemp signs it, East Cobb does not automatically become a city. Once the bill clears the legislature and the governor, it moves to voters in East Cobb, who would vote on the issue of cityhood in May.
The May vote is somewhat controversial, as it comes soon after the bill would be signed by the governor. According to cityhood leaders, the May date was chosen so that if East Cobb becomes a city, residents will be able to elect a mayor and city council in the November election.
Context: East Cobb is one of several areas attempting to form new cities this year. Cityhood efforts are afoot in Vinings, West Cobb, Lost Mountain and Buckhead. This follows a trend that started when Sandy Springs won cityhood and was promptly followed by Johns Creek, Milton, Dunwoody, Chattahoochee Hills, Peachtree Corners, and Tucker. Local control is often cited as a key reason for the creation of new cities out of unincorporated areas of a county.