Mayor-elect says ‘separation is not the answer’ when it comes to Buckhead cityhood issue

ATLANTA — Atlanta’s mayor-elect sounded off Friday on the controversial Buckhead cityhood issue.

While on GMA 3, Andre Dickens said the city is working to bring crime levels down but said calls to separate Buckhead from the city of Atlanta are being led by an outsider.

The CEO of the Buckhead City Committee sent Channel 2′s Audrey Washington a letter shortly after Dickens’ appearance Friday afternoon, saying a majority of Buckhead residents want the cityhood.

“Exit and separation is not the answer,” Dickens said. “Major big businesses that are headquartered in Buckhead don’t want to separate.”

Dickens went on to say that the city is working to bring down crime levels and believes a separate city of Buckhead would only hurt Atlanta financially.

He also said the Buckhead cityhood idea is being pushed by an outsider.

“There are a few individuals, particularly one who came down here from New York to stir up trouble,” Dickens said.

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So, Washington contacted New York native and CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, Bill White. He sent her a statement which reads, in part:

“The Buckhead City Committee has polled the legally registered voters of Buckhead three times. A solid majority of democrats, republicans and independents say they would vote YES for city hood, the last poll at 70%. Basically no one voted for Dickens from Buckhead. Everyone in Buckhead is waiting to vote for city hood on Nov. 8, 2022.”

Washington took the issue to people who live in Buckhead. She found mixed reaction from people on Friday.

“Separating the city won’t do a thing,” said Carmen Carter, who lives in Buckhead.

“I think it should be by itself,” said Buckhead resident Rashion Johnson.

“I think it’s a very bad idea,” said Nicholas Uppal, who lives in Buckhead as well.

Atlanta’s Convention & Visitors Bureau said it supports keeping Buckhead and the city of Atlanta together.

“We acknowledge there are issues that must be addressed with meaningful solutions. However, we believe the city is strongest when it is united as a single destination for our tourism and convention business,” it said in a statement.

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