There’s no longer a legislative path forward for Buckhead City this year.
Speaker of the House David Ralston on Friday said he wants to give Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens a chance to address crime issues, according to the AJC.
Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan had expressed his opposition the day before.
With the state’s legislative leaders against the idea of an independent Buckhead, it has little runway left this year in the Georgia General Assembly.
“This means that the proposed Buckhead City legislation is unlikely to be voted on under the Gold Dome this year,” state Rep. Betsy Holland, who represents a Buckhead district and chairs Atlanta’s House delegation, said in an email newsletter Friday afternoon. “I applaud the leadership of both Lt. Gov. Duncan and Speaker Ralston for giving our new mayor time to fix some of our problems before rushing into such a drastic solution.”
Cityhood proponents hoped to get legislation passed this year to place a referendum on the 2022 ballot. That would have given Buckhead residents a chance to vote on whether to form a new city.
Dickens, in a statement, said “we will remain one city with one bright future.” He added he was thankful for Duncan, Ralston and members of the Atlanta delegation.
“They have given me and my administration the runway we need to take off, and we will continue in our work to move Atlanta forward,” Dickens said.
Jim Durrett, leader of the Buckhead Coalition and Buckhead Community Improvement District, said he was pleased the cityhood legislation didn’t move forward.
“However, there is still work that needs to be done,” Durrett said in a statement to Reporter Newspapers. “Mayor Andre Dickens is focused on keeping us safe and we need to [give] him a chance to do his job. It is now time for everyone to lower the political temperature in our city and work together to solve the challenges we face.”
Doug Shipman, president of the Atlanta City Council, said on Twitter: “Let’s put all of our collective energy towards making Atlanta better, making Buckhead better and making our entire city safe and liveable.”
Cityhood leader Bill White, leader of the Buckhead City Committee, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.