ATLANTA — A poll shows the majority of people who live in Buckhead want the chance to vote on whether the area should split from Atlanta and form its own city, according to a group pushing for cityhood.
The opposition, however, believe people are underestimating the consequences of splitting away from Atlanta.
Bill White, the CEO of the Buckhead City Committee said the latest poll his committee commissioned through Rosetta Stone shows 62% of Buckhead residents want to put this issue to a vote.
"People say this is the white rich neighborhood trying to move away from Atlanta," White said. "That has nothing to do with why were are doing this."
Billy Linville, with the Committee for a United Atlanta, opposing cityhood, said the issue may be more complex than people realize for three reasons.
"Buckhead residents would pay much higher taxes especially when comes to water and sewer, the city owns water and sewer," he explained. "Two, the Buckhead residents would be responsible for substantial underfunded pension commitments for public employees and for bond obligations."
"And three, the Buckhead children would have no public schools to attend because APS owns all of their schools," he added.
According to the poll, crime is the No.1 reason people think cityhood should be considered. White said it’s even causing some people to consider moving out of Atlanta.
"I can promise you, they're not leaving cause of potholes. They're leaving cause the crime," White said.
He added if Buckhead was its own city, they would be able to increase the number of officers patrolling the area from from 80 to 250.
Linville said voting in new leadership would be a better way to tackle crime, but he doesn't think Buckhead becoming a city should come to a vote at all.
"The consequences of de-annexing part of the City of Atlanta is devastating not just to to City of Atlanta, but to Buckhead residents," he said.
White said its important to remember if this referendum makes it onto the ballot, it wouldn't be all of Atlanta voting on the issue -- only the residents of Buckhead would be able to vote.