Council member asks top mayoral candidates to sign ‘Buckhead Pledge’ amid town movement

By John Ruch

Buckhead-area Atlanta City Council member JP Matzigkeit is asking the most popular mayoral candidates to sign a pledge to implement 10 policy proposals he says would respond to the controversial move for the neighborhood becomes its own city.

JP Matzigkeit, Atlanta District 8 City Council Member

Matzigkeit says his “Buckhead Pledge” – focused on public safety, zoning, transportation and garbage collection – was handed out on October 3 to candidates Antonio Brown, Andre Dickens, Sharon Gay, Felicia Moore and Kasim Reed. He gave them an Oct. 15 signing deadline and will report the results in the Constituent Bulletin for his District 8 office, which represents much of western Buckhead.

“I was elected to run Atlanta for Buckhead and that’s really the point of that commitment,” Matzigkeit said in an interview. “I think most of these issues are also the biggest problems in the whole city,” he added, but acknowledged that the main reason is that he sees them as engines of discontent which fuel the “Buckhead City” movement. . This move is gaining traction among Republican lawmakers outside of Atlanta ahead of the General Assembly’s consideration of whether to accept a Buckhead vote only on the issue in 2022.

The five mayoral candidates who receive the pledge have publicly declared their opposition to the City of Buckhead. In a press release, Matzigkeit said he took no position on the city issue while showing empathy for the concerns of his supporters. “I understand what the Buckhead City movement is. I understand the frustration, ”he said in the statement.

When asked if he had been invited to sign any political commitments during his first candidacy in 2017, Matzigkeit replied: “No. There was also no movement for my municipal district to separate from Atlanta. Times are different now. “

After just one term, Matzigkeit is not running for re-election this fall, citing working time requirements. Mary Norwood, a former member of the city council and two-time mayoral candidate, is running unopposed to replace him. (She also says she has no position on the city.) Why would mayoral candidates listen to the political suggestions of an outgoing council member and sign his pledge?

“They don’t listen to me. They talk to the voters of Buckhead, ”says Matzigkeit. ” That’s what it’s about.

Here is the full text of Matzigkeit’s Buckhead Pledge:

I am committed to :

Public security

1. Raise DPA ranks to the target level of over 2,000 as soon as possible and deploy new officers equitably throughout Atlanta.

2. Build the newly approved public safety training center as soon as possible.

3. Reach an agreement with Fulton County by July 1, 2022, to provide all or part of the Atlanta Jail to house Fulton County inmates.

4. Construct a new fire station in South Buckhead to ensure residents have fire and rescue services with adequate coverage and response times.

Transportation and infrastructure spending

5. Spend all impact costs generated by the new development on projects in the municipal district where the development and impact occurs. This complies with Georgian law and ensures that these communities do not bear the brunt of growth.

6. Allow community improvement districts, such as the Buckhead CID, to bid on projects to increase the efficiency of much-needed infrastructure projects.

7. Spend Buckhead Parks and Recreation dollars at a level proportional to the population of Buckhead in the city. This includes maintaining the park and funding capital to improve and build adequate facilities.

8. Work with MARTA and the Atlanta Department of Transportation to create commuter bus service at MARTA stations and other central areas to alleviate traffic jams in Buckhead.

Zoning

9. Support residential neighborhoods by opposing zoning changes that: a) eliminate single-family residential zoning designations, b) allow lot zero line subdivision of residential lots, c) allow the creation of separate parcels from single-family lots beyond what is currently permitted; and d) allow expansion of auxiliary housing units (ADUs) beyond their current zoning allocation.

Solid waste management services

10. Request the city to determine the most efficient way to provide solid waste management services, including through managed competition or outsourced to a private sector company, and set charges. on solid waste, not taxes, which reflect the cost of specific services residents and businesses receive.

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