A group against the proposed Buckhead City released a poll Monday that shows waning support for the cityhood effort as compared to last year.
The poll, which surveyed 400 registered Buckhead voters, showed that 51% oppose Buckhead breaking off from Atlanta and 40% support it. Read the full results here.
The Committee for a United Atlanta, a cityhood opponent, paid for the poll. It was conducted January 16-19 by North Star Opinion.
The same study was conducted last June, said the committee, with 44% of respondents opposing cityhood and 48% supporting it.
“The more people learn about the consequences of a Buckhead City, the less likely they are to support it,” Linda Klein, co-chair of the Committee for a United Atlanta, said in a press release. “In addition, Mayor Andre Dickens has demonstrated immediate leadership and has shown Buckhead residents and the entire City of Atlanta that he is focused on reducing violent crime and uniting our city.”
Other results of the January poll showed that the popularity of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has risen, with 50% of Buckhead voters viewing him favorably and 14% unfavorably.
Crime is still the top issue for Buckhead voters, with 57% saying it is the most important problem facing the city of Atlanta, according to the poll.
However, the poll also showed that 59% of respondents feel like “things have gotten off on the wrong track” in the city of Atlanta, which cityhood leader Bill White pointed out in a statement to Reporter Newspapers. Only 34% of respondents said the city was “heading in the right direction,” according to the poll.
“Let’s be clear,” said White, CEO and chairman of the Buckhead Exploratory Committee. “Even the City of Atlanta’s organized opposition’s own poll confirms almost 60% of registered voters in Buckhead feel the City of Atlanta is headed in the absolute wrong direction, while nearly the same number say crime is still the No. 1 problem Atlanta faces.”
White added that their last poll showed that 72% of Buckhead voters support a public vote on the issue of cityhood. “Voters should not allow our opponents’ half-truths and fear mongering to impact their sacred right to vote for (or against) their own destiny,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dickens on Monday spoke to the Georgia House, continuing his push to squash the cityhood effort.
“I want to have the best relationship with this body that you could ever have with a mayor,” Dickens told members of the House. “We share a common goal: To keep this state and its cities moving forward … This city plays a critical role in driving our state’s economy and we take that role very seriously in Atlanta.”
Dickens added that “as a city, we are stronger together. One city. One city with one bright future … What is good for Atlanta is good for Georgia.”
There are currently two pieces of legislation (one in the Senate and one in the House) being considered by the Georgia General Assembly that could carve a path for Buckhead City. Cityhood advocates hope to pass a bill to get a referendum on the November 2022 that would allow Buckhead residents to vote on whether to form a new city.
“We will continue our outreach to all residents and the members of the Georgia General Assembly about the dire consequences of a Buckhead secession,” Edward Lindsey, co-chair of the Committee for a United Atlanta, said in a press release. “During difficult times, it is better to come together, rather than break apart.”