A Republican state senator has introduced a new bill to create Buckhead City.
Sen. Randy Robertson (R-Cataula) dropped Senate Bill 114 – co-signed by other Republicans from outside the Atlanta area – late yesterday. The bill is almost identical to the 2022 failed secession attempt, although it does offer a new detail: the mayor of Buckhead City would have an annual salary of $225,000 and city council members $72,000.
The bill dropped just days after Mayor Andre Dickens told a media gathering that a cityhood bill was unlikely to gain the support of Gov. Brian Kemp and other state leaders.
“They all are saying it looks like we are on the right path and we don’t need to upset the apple cart,” Dickens said. “So I don’t see any one of them being a Buckhead City backer.”
If passed, the legislation would give residents of the Atlanta neighborhood – where some of the country’s largest corporations are headquartered – a chance to vote on whether to secede from the city.
Former Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and the late Speaker of the House David Ralston blocked a Buckhead cityhood bill at the start of the 2022 session. Since then, the Buckhead City movement has diminished significantly, Dickens said.
In a tweet Wednesday morning, Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman called the new bill “disappointing.”
“Residents in Buckhead and across Atlanta have expressed to me their strong lack of support for this damaging idea,” Shipman wrote. “The progress made over the last year by the @atlcouncil working with @andreforatlanta shows how we are best together.”
Dyana Bagby contributed to this report.