A former Brookhaven council member has voiced support for the Buckhead cityhood movement.
Joe Gebbia, who was a member of the city’s founding City Council and served as the District 4 representative, published an article on Insider Advantage. It compares the movement in Buckhead to other incorporated cities in the area, most notably Brookhaven.
“As an inaugural member of the Brookhaven City Council, I can share that many of our experiences were very similar to what Buckhead has been forced to address,” Gebbia said. “After years of complaining to our county management to improve essential services (like police), we finally organized to seek cityhood. The result took three years to realize.”
The Buckhead cityhood effort was blocked in the state legislature earlier this year. The Buckhead City Committee – the group spearheading the cityhood effort – has stated that they are a nonpartisan organization, but announced via press release that a question about cityhood will be placed on the Republican primary ballot in May.
In his piece, Gebbia mentions “nay-sayers” who were against Brookhaven cityhood. He lists the concerns those who were against cityhood had, such as concerns over how the city would get along financially and what would happen to policing and crime.
“The bottom line is that we did not let that distract us from the goal at hand,” he said. “We secured the right to vote and worked at educating the populace with the simple truths of what and how we could improve their quality of life.”
Crime has been one of the major sticking points in the Buckhead cityhood debate. The Buckhead City Committee’s website has a photo of outdated statistics on their website showing a news report from June 2021. According to a recent report from the Atlanta Police Department, crime in Zone 2, which covers Buckhead, was down last year.
Gebbia ended his piece by advising Buckhead voters to not be discouraged, and says those who want a vote on Buckhead cityhood will have to fight for it. According to an October 2021 poll from the Buckhead City Committee, 64% of Buckhead voters want a Buckhead City. This survey collected responses from 579 registered Buckhead voters, according to the committee’s website. According to the committee’s feasibility study, the Buckhead area has around 100,000 residents, meaning the survey accounts for under 1% of the neighborhood’s population.