Crime general, and violent crime, specifically, are growing at an alarming charge. In 2021, aggravated assault and auto theft elevated by 50% and 86% in comparison with 2019, among the many highest will increase within the state. Moreover, the town of Atlanta has a crucial scarcity of cops, down about 400 from full power. Because of this, whole arrests are down 43%, warrant arrests are down 71%, and visitors stops decreased by 11%. Officer salaries will not be according to the legislation enforcement companies they should present, in addition to the life-threatening conditions they face each day. The rental subsidies for officers to reside in our neighborhood are inadequate. Their shifts are lengthy, and police morale is at an all-time low and persevering with to say no. The town “talks about” fixing this, however the points are getting worse, and the options are band-aids with no sustainable future. Buckhead wants its personal impartial police division away from the town paperwork. Solely then the town could be free to focus its power and cash on conserving the remainder of Atlanta secure. Each cities, Buckhead Metropolis and Atlanta, might work collectively as equals for a safer metro Atlanta. Till now, “working collectively” meant begging for the town to do one thing. In response, the town requested for more cash by means of the Buckhead Coalition: a handful of patrol and officers in bikes have been added, and the crime stats saved climbing. It’s additionally value remembering the shut name of the 2020 vote to withhold $73 million out of the Atlanta Police Division’s funds. APD was in a position to maintain their funds solely by one vote.
Regardless of the heavy tax burden, Buckhead’s infrastructure is in dire want of restoration and upgrading. Buckhead’s roads have by no means been worse, with potholes and damaged sidewalks prevalent in every single place. Road markings are both nonexistent or have pale to the purpose of not being noticeable. These points are security issues for everybody, together with ambulances, college buses, and each day commuters.
New zoning legal guidelines at present being pressured by the town of Atlanta’s management concentrating on Buckhead will negatively impression the general high quality of life and sense of neighborhood. Within the latest Atlanta Metropolis Design Housing Report, the town has vowed to alter zoning legal guidelines to drastically alter the panorama of Buckhead by including density, which implies waving goodbye to the bushes that made this “a metropolis within the forest.” We also needs to notice that the town can’t even present safety or preserve the present infrastructure for the present inhabitants. As a municipality, Buckhead would management its personal zoning and allowing and never merely await the town of Atlanta.
This motion is what’s desired by the overwhelming majority of the residents of Buckhead, individuals who reside, work and search to lift a household and luxuriate in life on this space. And, ought to Buckhead Metropolis turn into a actuality, and all indicators point out that we’re trending in that path regardless of what the political elites say, Atlanta won’t go bankrupt. As their very own planning report states, “Atlanta’s inhabitants continues to develop at a charge not seen in a long time”, and “Atlanta at present has a inhabitants of over 500,000, however estimates recommend that Atlanta might double in measurement within the subsequent few a long time to 1,200,000”.
Atlanta has loads of new residential and industrial areas, together with giant know-how corporations, to generate taxable revenue. Atlanta is much from being poor. It might want to turn into extra environment friendly so it may possibly rapidly reply to the wants of the neighborhood. That may solely occur if we maintain the federal government near its folks.
Buckhead must do what Brookhaven and Sandy Springs have finished efficiently up to now, and that’s to de-annex itself from the town and create a affluent and thriving impartial Buckhead Metropolis. If Buckhead thrives, Atlanta will thrive as nicely.
Sam Lenaeus is president of the Buckhead Exploratory Committee.