There is no longer a legislative path for Buckhead City to follow this year.
House Speaker David Ralston said Friday he wanted to give Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens a chance to tackle crime issues, according to the AJC.
Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan had expressed his opposition the day before.
With the state’s legislative leaders against the idea of an independent Buckhead, there is little track left in the Georgia General Assembly this year.
“That means the Buckhead City bill is unlikely to pass under the Gold Dome this year,” said State Rep. Betsy Holland, who represents a Buckhead district and chairs the Atlanta delegation. House, in an email newsletter Friday afternoon. “I applaud the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Duncan and Chairman Ralston for giving our new mayor time to work through some of our issues before rushing to such a drastic solution.”
City supporters hoped to pass legislation this year to hold a referendum on the 2022 ballot. This would have given Buckhead residents a chance to vote on whether to form a new city.
Dickens, in a statement, said “we will remain a city with a bright future.” He added that he was grateful to Duncan, Ralston and the members of the Atlanta delegation.
“They’ve given me and my administration the runway we need to get off the ground, and we’ll continue our work to move Atlanta forward,” Dickens said.
Jim Durrett, leader of the Buckhead Coalition and the Buckhead Community Improvement District, said he’s glad the city legislation hasn’t moved forward.
“However, there is still work to be done,” Durrett said in a statement to Reporter Newspapers. “Mayor Andre Dickens is focused on our safety and we need to [give] him a chance to do his job. Now is the time for everyone to lower the political temperature in our city and work together to solve the challenges we face.
Doug Shipman, Atlanta City Council President, said on Twitter, “Let’s put all of our collective energy into making Atlanta better, making Buckhead better, and making our entire city safe and livable.”
Town Leader Bill White, head of the Town of Buckhead Committee, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.