Part of it is function and part of it is pride, but either way the Town of Buckhead City Council is unhappy with the “other Buckhead’s” attempt to become a city.
Already, members of the town council said Monday night, they are getting mail meant for the Atlanta-based Buckhead. They have had hapless drivers searching for hotels in the Morgan County town after being directed their by GPS apps.
One time, said Richard Harris, Buckhead Town Council, he picked up a young man walking and gave him a ride to Walmart after an Uber driver had dropped him off in downtown Buckhead, population 179.
According to its website, a “Buckhead Exploratory Committee” has formed to try and secede the area in Atlanta from Atlanta proper. In effect, it wants to become its own city, the website declares. The move, in part, comes from a desire for Buckhead Atlanta residents to “receive city services commensurate with taxes paid; feel safe and secure with adequate police, fire and emergency service providers…”
Buckhead Town Council Member John White said Monday he had joined the Buckhead Exploratory Committee to learn more about its push for city-hood and is firmly against it. “That’s starting to get too close to me,” he said. “I’m not in favor of it.”
White said he contacted State Rep. Dave Belton and Belton told him the issue had come up in this year’s legislative session but it “did not get considered.”
Belton said Tuesday that he was “not in favor of Buckhead City.”
“That’s for sure,” he said.
According to a story published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a bill to create Buckhead City was sponsored by state Rep. Todd Jones in the House and Sen. Brandon Beach in the Senate. Neither representative represents Buckhead. The story said when lawmakers return next year, the bill would have to be approved by both the House and the Senate, then signed by the governor and then the question of city-hood would be placed on a ballot for Buckhead voters.
In an interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the movement was misguided. “I think it’s a terrible idea. I think it sends the wrong message. I understand the frustration, but creating a new city is not the answer.”
Morgan County’s Buckhead was chartered in 1907, and, town council members said, they will fight the move. “This is Buckhead,” said White.
Mayor Pro-Tem Drew Miller said he believed for financial reasons, the city of Atlanta would fight the initiative. “The city of Atlanta is not in for any of it,” Miller said. “That’s a heap of tax money.”
Buckhead Atlanta has long been known as the “Beverly Hills of the South.” The latest movement for independence is not the first time city representatives have made offers to Morgan County’s Buckhead to make a change. More than 20 years ago, an envoy from Buckhead Atlanta came to Morgan County and made an attempt to have the town council agree to a name change to enable the Atlanta neighborhood a chance to have its own zip code.
At the time, the council politely declined. This time, the chances for the metropolitan city don’t look much better.
“There should only be one Buckhead,” said White.