A new committee has been formed to look into ways to improve the quality of life in Buckhead, including possibly incorporating it.
According to a news release, the Buckhead Exploratory Committee is a nonprofit, independent group of volunteers that is receiving no money from the city of Atlanta.
“We are truly a diverse grassroots organization created by our residents who share a passion for our neighborhoods and are driven by a shared vision of a thriving and prosperous Buckhead,” Sam Lenaeus, the committee’s elected chair, said in the release.
Its mission includes “assuring a requisite level of law enforcement and emergency services, establishing a well-maintained infrastructure, providing honest and transparent communications from municipal leaders and the ability to participate in quality-of-life improvements,” the release stated.
“We are looking to explore various models of public/private cooperation to assure the full scope of requisite community services is provided efficiently and effectively,” Leneaus said. “We are reaching out to citizens and businesses who expect and rely on an economically healthy and safe Buckhead to provide their wisdom and financial support.”
The committee will host a virtual town hall meeting Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. To register or post questions, visit www.becnow.com/upcoming-events.
The committee will also provide regular updates on its progress. Anyone interested in volunteering or supporting its efforts can email BuckheadExploratoryCommitee@gmail.com.
Since no tax dollars are involved, the committee is raising funds to support its mission. Residents interested in donating can do so by visiting at www.becnow.com.
While the committee’s mission is wide-ranging, it may have a tough time getting enough support to incorporate Buckhead. The idea of making Buckhead a city separate from Atlanta is nothing new, and a push about 10 years ago from some local leaders to accomplish that goal failed.
Buckhead has been a part of the city of Atlanta since 1952, when Mayor William Hartsfield annexed the unincorporated Fulton County suburb as part of his Plan of Improvement.
Buckhead remains the city’s cash cow in terms of tax revenue.
“There are 45 neighborhoods in Buckhead,” then-Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell said in his 2018 State of Buckhead Address. “(They) may only total about 20% of Atlanta’s land area and population, but Buckhead pays into its treasury about 45% of its ad valorem taxes.”
Massell said he’s against Buckhead incorporating because if that happened, Atlanta would go bankrupt.
Also, a 2018 survey of Buckhead residents, conducted by a local civic group, found that 41% of the 322 participants said they would not support legislation to incorporate Buckhead, with 37% saying yes and 22% undecided.