The meeting was called to order by Chairman Debra Wathen at 6:45 p.m. with attendees in person and via zoom. Each attendee introduced themselves and the neighborhood they represent. A list of attendees is below.
Ms. Wathen introduced Lt. Grigsby, Zone 2 Evening Watch Commander. His contact information is email@example.com or 470-451-3259 should anyone need to contact him. He can be reached Tuesday to Saturday, Noon to 8.00 p.m.
Gordon Certain, Secretary and Jeff Clark, Treasurer had both submitted their resignations. The Chair thanked them both for outstanding service to Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods. An orchid was presented to Gordon Certain in appreciation for his many years of service and being a founding member of the Council. The following slate of Candidates for these positions was presented: Anne McKillips, for Secretary and Nowland Gwynn for Treasurer. Both were nominated and as there were no other candidates, their appointments were unanimously approved.
Discussion on the expansion of the Buckhead Security Plan (BSP) was held. Through several small meetings it was determined that most neighborhoods were happy with their current security patrols. The Buckhead Security Task Force recommends expanding patrols into and along the commercial corridors of Buckhead as this is where crimes rate is the highest. The current patrols are in the Buckhead CID area. The Five commercial corridors outside of the BCID are:
- Northside Parkway from Chattahoochee to Moore’s Mill
- Howel Mill Corridor from Collier Road to the Buckhead boundary
- Peachtree Road Corridor from Brookwood Station to the BCID southern border
- Roswell Road Corridor from the BCID northern border to the City Limits
- Piedmont Road Corridor from the BCID eastern border to the Buckhead boundary
The plan would be to have off-duty and retired police officers patrolling these corridors in cars identical to current Atlanta Police Patrol Vehicles. These patrols would operate at an estimated cost of about $175,000 annually per car using these officers. Funding would come from donations by various commercial and retail businesses, individuals, churches, and schools. The Plan was well received, and such concerns were discussed: officer scheduling, patrol hours, branding of the cars, insurance, liability, and fundraising.
There will be a meeting of the new task force for implementing this expanded Buckhead Security Plan on August 22, 2022, in the Piedmont Center Auditorium. There was discussion on new state legislation Senate Bill 361 whereby donations may be made to a Police Foundation, up to $5,000, can result in a tax credit equal to the donation. This is limited to $3,000,000 per qualifying police foundation. The new legislation is to increase donations to the Atlanta Police Foundation and the Buckhead Security Plan for the purpose of funding these patrols. Noland Gwynn offered to follow up with the Police Foundation for more information.
Chairman Debra Wathen discussed a conversation with Michael Paul, the City of Atlanta’s newly appointed Night Life Manager. She gave some background and encouraged all neighborhoods with nuisance bars to contact Michael Paul and do a walk around the neighborhood with him. His contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-423-4292.
Then Ms. Wathen opened a discussion about what did the neighborhoods want from the BCN. The suggestions centered around bike lanes, truck traffic, and loud cars. Anne McKillips announced the formation of a task force to outlaw excessively loud cars. Anyone interested in joining the task force should contact Anne at email@example.com. Chairman Wathen then requested ideas for speakers for upcoming meetings. Doug Shipman, Atlanta City Council President, will be the speaker at the September meeting.
The next meeting will be September 8, 2022, in the Piedmont Center Auditorium. The meeting was adjourned at 8:10p.m.
Anne McKillips, Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods Secretary