According to Atlanta police, homicides in Atlanta are up this year compared to this time last year, but data show declines in other crimes, including aggravated assault, robbery, and motor vehicle theft. The city ended 2021 narrowly surpassing its homicide total from 2020, which was the most in more than two decades.
ICYMI: J.D teamed up with our colleague Greg Bluestein for a definitive account of how the push for Buckhead cityhood fell apart this year, and what its future may hold.
A group of local environmental leaders will advise Dickens on issues of parks and greenspace ahead of a historic infrastructure bond expected to funnel millions into the city’s parks system.
The mayor’s Greenspace Advisory Council will meet quarterly and includes the leaders of 13 local organizations, including Trees Atlanta, Park Pride and The Trust for Public Land.
Dickens dubbed the group his “Green Cabinet,” and we got a few questions about that term. To clarify: the group will focus specifically on issues of greenspace, rather than all environmental issues. The members came together last year using that moniker; Dickens brought them under the umbrella of the mayor’s office as a formal city advisory group.
A yearslong legal battle that entangled the Atlanta Housing Authority is nearly in the rearview mirror. The agency’s board officially signed off on a settlement with The Integral Group to resolve a disagreement over who controls dozens of acres of land once home to public housing complexes.
It’s a complicated case, one that authority members are happy to say goodbye to. The legal agreement, which Dickens helped negotiate after he took office, now goes to federal housing officials, who have to sign off on the settlement before it goes into effect.
Council corner: The City Council meets virtually at 1 p.m. today.
According to an email we obtained, City Council President Doug Shipman is asking his colleagues to redo a vote that left him without a spot on the Atlanta Regional Commission board because, he argues, false information was provided by the city attorney.
The discussion of whether Shipman or Councilman Matt Westmoreland should get the spot on the 41-member ARC board — which is made up of local leaders and has influence over regional planning decisions — could come up during the full Council meeting at 1.
The city’s legislative body will also vote on measures related to the city’s future Center for Diversion and Services and a proposal that could speed up city-ordered demolitions of buildings.
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