Voters approved two new cities in metro Atlanta last week: Stonecrest in DeKalb County and South Fulton in Fulton County. Cityhood leaders are now getting ready to form new governments.
About four years ago, DeKalb County resident Jason Lary noticed a trend:
"Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Peachtree Corners. Every city that branched off flourished. Flourished. And without raising taxes," said Lary.
So in 2012, Lary, chairman of the Stonecrest YES Committee, launched a campaign with his neighbors to form the city of Stonecrest. He said he felt his part of town, near the city of Lithonia and Stonecrest Mall was being neglected by DeKalb County.
He said he plans to run for office during the special election in March.
Fifteen miles to the east, Benny Crane has been at it much longer. He started a movement to create the city of South Fulton more than 10 years ago.
"We're giving away over $20 million a year in local options sales tax dollars,” Crane said. “It was about the money."
Crane said cityhood means more of South Fulton's money will stay in South Fulton. It also plans to hold elections in March.
“Our road to salvation is economic development: bringing jobs, bringing companies to this corridor, creating a new brand and a new identity with the City of Stonecrest," said Lary.
Stonecrest will be the fourth new city to form in DeKalb County in last decade, following Tucker, Brookhaven and Dunwoody.