Georgia officials confronted with key questions as wealthy Atlanta suburb pushes to secede

A move within one of Atlanta’s wealthiest suburbs to secede and become its own city was dealt a setback when Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s administration raised concerns, saying it could violate state laws.  Kemp executive counsel David Dove outlined around two dozen questions about the constitutionality of the two bills that passed a state Senate committee this week that could allow residents of the Buckhead area to vote on whether they want to split from Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. In a memo, he wrote that they “demand evaluation for the unique constitutional and statutory challenges they pose.” He also called on lawmakers to resolve the issues before moving forward.  The two bills to allow the Buckhead district to become its own city passed a Georgia Senate committee Monday and could be up for a floor vote as soon as Wednesday, Fortune reported. The effort was initially quashed by state lawmakers last year.  KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE FROM WHITE HOUSE ROLE If both legislative chambers and Gov. Brian Kemp approve, residents of the neighborhood could vote on the matter in November 2024. Concerns about an uptick in violent crime coincided with the effort picking up steam last year.  “We are really feeling like this is a war zone, and I don’t say that lightly, especially given what you experienced in a war zone,” Buckhead City Committee CEO Bill White told “Fox & Friends First” in 2022. “This is murder and mayhem… We are dealing with a mayor who voted to defund the police.” The measure is expected to face resistance in the state House. Michael Smith, a spokesman for Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, said City Hall “will continue to work with the Senate to put an end to this legislation before it has disastrous consequences.” Fox News Digital has reached out to the mayor’s office.  The proposed secession would have devastating consequences for Atlanta. Buckhead accounts for one-fifth of the city’s population and 38% of its tax revenue and could damage Atlanta’s credit rating, the news report said. It also would allow Buckhead to purchase park land within its boundaries for $100,000 per acre, well below its estimated value.  Last year, a secession bill was quashed by state lawmakers when it was killed in the House. 
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