Two prominent local attorneys are heading a group that has formed to oppose the Buckhead cityhood movement.
The Committee for a United Atlanta was announced in a May 20 press release that said the group “intends to reach out directly to neighborhoods in Buckhead and create a dialogue on how best to address issues like crime, zoning and infrastructure while educating residents on the realities of tearing our city apart.”
The CUA’s co-chairs are Linda Klein and Edward Lindsey. A shareholder at the legal and lobbying firm Baker Donelson and former American Bar Association president, Klein recently squared off against cityhood supporters at a Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods forum. Lindsey is an attorney at another power-house law and lobbying firm, Dentons, and formerly served Buckhead as a Republican state representative during previous cityhood discussions, where he similarly was a skeptical voice.
With advocacy from a group called the Buckhead Exploratory Committee, legislation has been filed for the neighborhood to leave Atlanta and become “Buckhead City.” The BEC has cited crime as a primary reason for the separatist movement.
In a press release, Klein and Lindsey said cityhood is a complicated and ineffective way to address crime.
“The anger regarding the violent crime wave in Buckhead is justifiable and we are all outraged,” said Klein. “Something must be done to address this crisis. However, separating from the city of Atlanta is not the answer. We must reform city hall and elect candidates this fall who will lead, listen and be accountable.”
“There are so many unanswered questions,” Lindsey said. “How much debt will Buckhead residents assume? What are the public pension and bond obligations for Buckhead? How much will water bills increase? What will happen to our public schools? How much division and social unrest will result from separating our city and dividing our communities?”
“Even attempting to divide Atlanta will damage our business reputation and cause long-term economic damage and a diminished tax base,” he added.
The CUA’s treasurer will be Rick Warren, a risk management expert at the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, according to the press release.
The release did not include any contact information for the group.