Could Atlanta’s City of Buckhead movement be migrating up 316?
Tuesday night, as Athens-Clarke County commissioners were meeting, Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein sent Athens Twitter into a frenzy by linking to a mysterious website set up by the “City of Five Points Exploratory Committee.”
“With unmatched residential, commercial, and retail space, the City of Five Points could thrive as an independent community committed to safe streets, high performing schools, and economic development and prosperity,” the website states.
“Right now, local cityhood advocates are using highly advanced modeling programs to determine the feasibility of cityhood.
“We are also reviewing the historic boundaries of Five Points and surrounding areas, assessing demographics, and charting growth throughout Athens-Clarke County, Oglethorpe, and Oconee Counties.”
Several commissioners told Flagpole they have no idea who’s behind the website. The domain is registered to a proxy, making it anonymous. And there’s no reason why the person or persons behind it would have to register with the state unless they’re lobbying legislators or Five Points cityhood actually makes it onto a ballot, according to ethics watchdog William Perry.
“I was sent info about it yesterday and have been sharing ever since, and no one has more info to share,” said Commissioner Allison Wright, who represents part of Five Points. “Mainly, I am full of curiosity about who is organizing it and why.”
But, assuming the effort is even real and not just some scheme to sow a little election-year chaos, it’s unlikely to go far. Five Points cityhood would require a feasibility study, approval from the state legislature (no sure thing even for Buckhead) and approval from voters in the new city.
So far, no Five Points resident we’ve talked to supports cityhood. Unlike Buckhead, traditionally a Republican stronghold within heavily Democratic Atlanta, Five Points tilts strongly Democratic just like the rest of Athens, making it unlikely that neighborhood residents would want to secede. And in the event that Five Points residents are unhappy with ACC government, Oconee County is just a couple of miles away.
Although you never know. Pete McCommons and I predicted just such a scenario after Brexit.
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