Buckhead City measure is dead for this season after state lawmakers refuse to take up bill


Buckhead will not become its own city this year.

Georgia’s Speaker of the House, David Ralston, basically killed the bill in the legislature Friday.

On Thursday, Channel 2′s Richard Elliot reported that Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan came down officially against Buckhead cityhood.

Ralston said Friday, if the Senate won’t take it up, there’s nothing the House can do.

“It takes a bi-cameral legislature. It takes two chambers to pass a bill. The Senate was very clear, and I respect their decision,” Ralston said.

In response, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens released a statement, saying:

“Since taking office I have said, repeatedly, that we will remain one city with one bright future. I am thankful for the support of Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, Speaker David Ralston, members of the Atlanta delegation and all the other state leaders who have sat down with me. 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.”

Just two weeks ago, Bill White, the leader of the Buckhead cityhood movement, promised to flood the halls of the state Capitol with his supporters.

“We will be deploy(ing) down to the state Capitol starting this Monday, speaking with legislators, explaining our position and asking them to give us the right to vote,” White said.

White and others insisted they were motivated by rampant crime in the Buckhead community.

Ralston acknowledged crime remains a top issue in the city and Buckhead in particular. He said Dickens should have time to try and reign it in, but also issued a warning.

“We’ll be back next year if things haven’t changed a lot. So I’m looking for some forceful, vigorous action on the part of the city to tackle that problem,” Ralston said.

The Buckhead City movement said it plans to hold a news conference next week to discuss their next steps.

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