One of Atlanta’s wealthiest and whitest enclaves acquired one step closer Thursday to forming its personal metropolis after a contentious three-hour listening to earlier than a state Senate committee.
Supporters and opponents of the creation of Buckhead City traded jabs in regards to the motives behind the push to depart Atlanta. Supporters say the streets of Buckhead have change into a playground for lawless habits, whereas opponents declare Buckhead’s true motivations are race-based and argue stripping Atlanta of the tax income generated by Buckhead would convey Georgia’s largest metropolis to its knees.
State Sen. Brandon Beach, a Republican from Alpharetta, and 12 of his GOP colleagues, none of whom signify Buckhead, have been the driving legislative drive behind the town separation.
Beach, a 60-year-old staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, began his testimony following a six-minute video montage of crimes dedicated in Buckhead over the previous 18 months, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“That video clearly shows crime is the issue that’s really resonated and brought this issue to the forefront in the creation of a new city of Buckhead,” he advised members of the Senate State and Local Government Committee. “It’s unacceptable. We must get control of crime. And if we don’t, we won’t have a Buckhead.”
Beach intends to pre-file a invoice subsequent week that may pave the way in which for a cityhood referendum. By pre-filing, it is going to be excessive on the Georgia General Assembly’s to-do record when it reconvenes in January.
A majority of Buckhead residents have slammed Atlanta’s outgoing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the police drive for not doing extra to curb crime within the tony residential and enterprise space.
Tifton Mayor Julie Smith, who additionally serves on the board of the Georgia Municipal Association, stated Buckhead residents who really feel ignored ought to refocus their efforts and vote out elected leaders they’re dissatisfied with and never waste time making an attempt to create their very own metropolis.
“The Buckhead City proposal is an attempt to circumvent the local election process [residents] already have access to,” Smith stated.
Bill White, the CEO of the Buckhead City Committee and who moved to Georgia three years in the past, has claimed that rising crime charges and lack of arrests and prosecution have made Buckhead residents really feel like they’re “living in a war zone.”
White advised the Washington Examiner earlier this yr that “criminals feel emboldened to come because they know if they get arrested, they will be out the next day.”
In 2020, Atlanta authorities investigated 157 homicides, probably the most the town had seen in additional than 20 years.
Five of Atlanta’s 15 mayoral candidates mentioned Buckhead cityhood and rising crime charges at an Oct. 14 discussion board.
Of the 5 who attended, Felicia Moore, the City Council president, Andre Dickens, a metropolis councilman, and Kasim Reed, a former two-term Atlanta mayor, took the highest three spots in Tuesday’s election. Moore and Dickens will compete in a Nov. 30 runoff.