Enthusiastic grassroots efforts coupled with Georgia’s fresh state leadership could detach Buckhead’s wealthy residential neighborhood from Atlanta, Georgia, and become its own city within the next two years, Buckhead City Committee chairman Bill White said in an interview with Breitbart news on Saturday.
The push to make Buckhead its own town with its own police department has been going on for several years now, but as crime in Atlanta under the leadership of the Left continues to skyrocket and move into Buckhead, deannexation is becoming a popular idea among residents. The previous state leadership eventually shelved deannexation efforts ahead of the 2022 midterm, but newly elected Lieutenant Governor Bert Jones (right) and House Majority Leader Jon Burns (right) and recently reelected Governor Brian Kemp (right) ) could help put Buckhead on the 2023 ballot, White claimed.
“I think the sun, moon and stars have finally leveled up for us with a new speaker, a new lieutenant governor and a re-elected governor who believes in law enforcement and also believes in the people’s right to vote,” White said. .
“We have a wonderful new lieutenant governor who will be sworn in next week. Unfortunately, very sad thing, we lost [House] Loudspeaker [Rep. David] Ralston (R), who was a highly influential and longtime speaker in the Georgia Legislature. He died after a long illness while in office last month. And the new speaker, John Burns, has been very supportive of giving Buckhead the vote in previous meetings with us – that’s all we’re asking for,” White explained.
White noted that state leadership allowed five other cities to vote last year, and outlined a potential timeline for how Buckhead’s deannexation could be put to a vote in 2023.
“If this goes through in the next few weeks, you’re going to start seeing this move, I think, in the Senate. Then it will go to the Parliament. We very much hope that Governor Kemp will sign this when it is passed by the Legislature, putting us on the ballot on November 7, 2023.” – he said. “So this year in November we would vote on this – only 89,000 legally registered Buckhead voters would vote. We need a simple majority now. We vote in the sixties. We just need 50 plus one.”
If Buckhead residents vote to become a city, Governor Kemp will set up a governor’s commission, and the mayor and six-member city council will operate “sometime in March 2024,” White estimated.
White pointed to Atlanta’s murder rate as one of the main reasons for the deannexation, stating “for the third time under Andre Dickens, the new mayor.”
“You know, they said, ‘Hey, let’s give the new mayor a year, so I guess we’re stuck last year to see what he can do, right? So he voted to defend the police. He hasn’t been able to recruit any of the new cops we need to keep us safe in Buckhead. And the murder rate is higher than when Keisha Bottoms was mayor,” White said. “…He said he would hire 250 cops. He rented 112, so he can’t hire cops. We have 700 cops in Atlanta, and no cop in their right mind and their family wants to work for a city that hunts cops, doesn’t pay them well, doesn’t support them, doesn’t love them, doesn’t fund them. And it will be the complete opposite in Buckhead City.
White also lamented the increasing response times of police and ambulance services, stating that “the average response time … is now over 28 minutes. So things got worse.”
“Although Andre Dickens is a good salesman, he is a nice guy, he is a deacon in his church. Doesn’t do the job. And I think people realize that, right? I think that’s where we’re at right now – and our taxes just went up. My tax bill just went from $7,500 to over $30,000 for a relatively small property in Buckhead, and I can’t answer 911 calls. It’s ridiculous,” he said.
White said that if residents were given the opportunity to make Buckhead their own city in the first three days, the city would have a police commissioner, a budget and a community plan based on transparency and reduced bureaucracy. Buckhead looks to other deannexed cities across the country in hopes of “learning from [them] so that we don’t make the mistakes they made,” he said.
“Buckhead City will be the biggest new innovator, bringing jobs and growth to Georgia, which will be fantastic,” he said. “Bet on public safety [first], [then] investment comes, right? If you feel safe, your property values will go up and you won’t move. And people will invest in the future of Buckhead City. It will be great for Atlanta.
Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10am to 1pm EST.