Committee for Cityhood in East Cobb President Joe Gavalis today released a cityhood feasibility study by the Center for State and Local Finance at Georgia State University that he hopes will foster “public dialogue and state legislative consideration.” He says the GSU report, initially requested by state Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, “is extremely favorable to East Cobb cityhood.”
According to a map the Committee earlier released, the proposed city (population est. 96,000) would fall almost entirely within the Cobb County Commission District 2 boundaries as drawn by the state legislature. The proposed city of East Cobb borders generally fall south of Sandy Plains Road, until it gets closer to the Fulton County line. The southern boundaries would fall roughly along the Powers Ferry Road corridor north of Terrell Mill Road. The western edges of the city would run along Roswell Road, Sewell Road and Holly Springs Road to Post Oak Tritt Road.
“A two-year General Assembly process requires cityhood legislation to call for a referendum that voters in the proposed municipality would decide. Under Georgia law, cities must provide a minimum of three services, and that is what the GSU study affirms can be provided— and much more,” Gavalis says.
“This study is not a budget, it is a feasibility study. It develops revenue and expense estimates based on property tax files, a boundary map and estimated business license revenue,” Gavalis adds. “The feasibility of municipal services studied include police, fire management, parks and recreation.” (GSU used a similar methodology for a feasibility study it conducted for Tucker, which became incorporated in 2015.)
Now that the study is in the public forum, Gavalis cites various cityhood positives:
- No tax increase with city formation. No new taxes even though a city resident is a Cobb Countian.
- When the city is chartered, neighborhoods in unincorporated areas could petition to join.
- The new city begins its first year with a substantial revenue surplus, even with one-time start-up costs. It would be up to the city’s elected representatives how to budget and spend.
- More local control over local affairs.
- City government would have an elected mayor, elected Council and appointed city manager.
- Existing government center on Lower Roswell Road can be expanded
- Students in the city continue to go Cobb’s highly-rated public schools
- Better road maintenance
- Enhanced police coverage & fire protection
(Editor’s note: In the interest of full disclosure, the East Cobb cityhood committee retained Phil Kent Consulting to handle media/communications. Its president Phil Kent is also the CEO of InsiderAdvantage Georgia.)