The Town that Privatized Everything

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Sandy Springs, Georgia may look like any other town in America. It has parks, roads, and beautiful places to live. But there’s one thing that separates this town from every other town: Sandy Springs privatized almost everything.

In 2005, Sandy Springs outsourced almost all functions of the city government (with the exception of police and fire) to a single company, which runs the town. That company is in charge of running all the vital functions of government, from the running the parks, to paving the roads, and even 911 calls!

The town is run very efficiently, with zero backlogs in permit requests. Call the city, and you’ll be surprised to find that you actually get a friendly person on the other line! The city has a 24/7 non-automated customer service hotline which fields about 6,000 calls per month. It also has a state of the art traffic system with cameras and a high tech command center.

When people come to Sandy Springs, they usually have no idea that it’s privatized, says Sharon Kraun, media relations director for the city. There are no signs with corporate logos or anything like that. According to Sharon, “What people can tell is that the city is well taken care of, and the residents who live here or individuals who work here, like being here and are happy with the level of service provided.”

When the project first started, the University of Georgia estimated that the city would need 828 employees. But because the town is managed by a private company, they’ve cut their workforce down to just 471 people.  Besides fire and police, the city only has eight full-time public employees.

Because of this efficiency, Sandy Springs generates huge surpluses. They have no unfunded liabilities. The city specifically decided not to use the traditional pension model – a model which has put almost every government across America in an unsustainable pension crisis. Instead, employees can choose their own 401K package to prepare for retirement, if they wish.

This has given the town of Sandy Springs lots of extra cash to work with – a surplus that they put into building for the future. According to Sharon Kraun, “The city, as a matter of policy, sets aside 25% of revenues into a reserve during each budget planning cycle. Capital improvements have been a major focus during our first eight years, with more than $185 million invested in capital infrastructure.”

This has lead to lots of improvements around the town. The city has repaved 147 miles of streets, 874 storm water projects, and built 32 miles of new sidewalks.

If part of the government performs poorly, the city can fire that company, and bid the contract to another company. In 2011, the city said farewell to the main company that was managing the vital functions of government CH2M Hill, and opted to go with another company. This saved the city over a million dollars.

Most people in Sandy Springs are happy with the change, and surrounding towns and communities are adopting the privatization model. “To date, our community has been pleased,” said Sharon, “If the polls are indicators, our founding mayor – who ran on the public private partnership platform, won two terms in office with overwhelming support.”  After the founding mayor retired, a new mayoral candidate, Rusty Paul, also ran on the commitment to keep Sandy Springs privatized, and won by a landslide.

Many cities across the world are looking at Sandy Springs.  Oliver Porter, one of the main architects behind the move to incorporate the town, has given speaking engagements all over the world, from Britain, to Iceland, Japan, and Latin America.  “I’ve been increasingly asked to give advice and lectures around the country,” said Porter in a recent interview with WND, “This is also an international model.”

Joe Kent

Joe Kent was a public school teacher for seven years, teaching music to Kindergarten through High School. He's the creator of the Maui Liberty Network TV Show, and he's also running for U.S. Congress as a Libertarian. Joe lives in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii.

117 Comments to The Town that Privatized Everything

  1. There good examples of towns that have also privatized fire and police services at considerable savings and improved innovation in services…Rural Metro comes to mind.

    • Ken-Rural Metro has a long history of mismanagement and bankruptcy…….Ken, on what do you base your example? Arizona based Rural Metro is in the college textbooks as an example of how NOT to run a company. For example, ask their Director of Fleet Operations how many wehicles RM owns….he has no idea or even estimate.

    • Rural Metro is about a poor example of privatization as it comes. If that is the direction our country is going for emergency services then we are all doomed. Cities don’t need to give control of their emergency services over to private companies. We need to keep our PROFESSIONAL men and women in place, not replace them with a bunch of rent a cops and siren chasers.

      • But, most aren’t professional. Almost 80% of FD in the country are volunteer. I’m not saying they don’t act professional. But, they aren’t career, is what I’m saying. That’s even better than a privatized company. When they come to my door for a donation, I always give them one. That’s really no different than keeping a company on retainer for when the emergency does occur.

      • Cisco Kid

        Hellllllllloooooooo!

        Fact is governments always “lost” money, due to various obvious reasons, such as: overspending in employee salaries and expenses, not to mention unnecessary bonuses being paid-out!?!? You are probably one of those government employees that disagrees with privatization, right? Sorry if your “windfall” is gone or will be gone. We do not need lazy over-paid employees! The Netherlands (Holland, Europe) has already privatized the “Post Office” years ago! And mind you it is running smoothly and more economically. I believe the U.S. should also privatize the USPO so it stops making losses after losses!!! For years the price of Stamps and services have been going up with no end in sight. So, you figure. . . . . .

  2. Very interesting.

    To the author: you should provide some information on the size of the town (#100 000 residents, wikipedia), the article would have more impact. It’s not a small city. When I show the example to friends, they typically answer “it must be a village”. When they see that it’s a 100K city….

    • As someone living in a town with a population of less than 1000 and no stop lights, next to another town of a mere 17,000, I assure you 100,000 IS a small city.

      • I think Vincent was probably trying to say that it is a city, as opposed to the “village” his friends assume it must be.

  3. Thank you Joe Kent for this excellent report on Sandy Springs, GA. I congratulate you also for running as a Libertarian Congressional candidate. I also am running this year as a Libertarian Congressional candidate in Arizona Dist. 7 Keep running with the torch.

  4. The only thing that really matters is that the taxpayers are paying voluntarily. If they are being forced to pay taxes, then those “private” companies are not really private, but a government sponsored monopoly, which isn’t really private at all.

      • Using the term ‘privatization’ makes many people nervous. If we are to see this become a model for places around the country (and even the world), a system free of political influence and ‘crony capitalism’ must not be the order of the day. While the success story of Sandy Springs is something to be admired, if I have a bone to pick, it is that why should just one company be allowed domain over the city’s services; or is this something that the voters decided upon?

    • No, the schools are run by the county. But Sandy Springs residents have a choice of more than 40 private schools in the area.

      • When you say choice, do they have a voucher system that parents can use to attend any of those private schools?

  5. Dylan DuVall

    Sandy Springs also is also notorious for banning the purchase of “marital aids,” including those purchased online. Am I the only one that sees the irony in a city that privatizes essential services inserting itself into the bedroom?

    • IIIpercenter

      Don’t like it? Move. This *local* community has decided that they do not want that as an element in their *local* culture. This is the very nature of “federalism” and is the foundational basis of our entire government structure. Instead of using the “lack of marital aids” to discount their entire philosophy (and what kind of person would equate availability of marital aids with “government success”–wow) take what works and throw out what you don’t want. Of course, being able to differentiate requires individual thought and discernment which liberals are incapable of, so…

      • Dildos are of the devil

        This “local” community hasn’t done anything. This is a Georgia law. Why don’t you take some time to learn what you are talking about instead of what works and what doesn’t work for this community who has had no say in the matter Banning women from the ability to pleasure themselves with what they choose to in the privacy on of their own home should not be a matter of government regulation. Of course, speaking off the cuff and accusing another person for not thinking for themselves is cute. This is especially adorable coming from someone who lambasts a person for a political party they have no proof they belong to or speak for.

        • Sounds like a bunch of insecure old men make the laws in Georgia… Are they really that threatened by women giving themselves pleasure?

      • Move? I wish I could. I’m one of the residents of SS that isn’t swimming in money. More to the point, how is it even possible to prevent someone from buying marital aids online? I’ve never heard that they are banned in SS. In fact, I live very close to the Love Shack, which specializes in that sort of thing and is front and center on Roswell Road.

    • Nope, you’re not the only one, Dylan. Also would be really curious as to the working hours of those “471 workers” and whether they’re really as well taken-care-of as it implies. What are their salaries compared to that of the, er, head of the city? How good is their education system? How many kids their matriculate in comparison with other, similar cities? This 100k city is a nice model for something small, but it’s hard to imagine it’s flawless (as far as miles of paved roads, we could really compare that with any other city of equal size for equal figures). Biased reporting like this does no one any favors.

      • First, the city does NOT run the schools: they follow the southern/western model where school districts are separate from the city government. Even in government-run, tax-funded schools there are degrees of government meddling.
        Second, the working hours and other conditions of employment of the private company are THEIR business, but we can assume that they are required to meet Federal and State regulatory requirements for minimum wage, overtime, etc. – CH2MHill is a nationwide engineering firm with many federal and state and local contracts. But remember, these employees are not FORCED to work on this contract.
        Third, to much of the nation, 100,000 is not “small” but is indeed above the median size of municipalities in the nation.. And it is part of a major metropolitan area.
        However, Joe should point out that “privatization” is NOT the long-term solution: commercialization is. Local government does NOT need to provide trash service, provide water service, provide sewer service, not even maintain roads or parks – directly OR by contract. Allowing private firms (including things like cooperatives) to own and operate these systems saves money, frustration, and provides better service to citizens (customers).

      • Amusing how you socialists/statists simply cannot imagine anyone doing anything without the nanny government overseeing it.

  6. What a rosy picture. Makes me think the inhabitants don’t pay any taxes, now that they don’t really have a government to support. But I bet they still pay taxes–as well as higher rates to all those private companies! Also, the public has access to government records but it is not allowed access to the records of a private company–so who knows what those companies are really up to? Finally, private companies operate to make a profit, so don’t tell me how wonderful privatization is when I’ve read plenty of investigative reports that prove otherwise.

    • Agree, SharonSJ. How about some reasoning behind “pensions being a problem” when it’s clear that part of that “problem” is because the right continues to reduce taxes at an alarming rate, such that the programs in place have no funding (where, exactly, I’d be curious, does the right intend to get funding for things like roads and fire departments? where does this town get its funding? Not just from corporate financing, certainly).

      • Andy Miller

        If you had any idea of just how big a problem pensions are for everyone from city and state governments to large and small corporations (GM’s “unfunded” pension liability is larger than some countries), you might change your tune from blaming “the right” to where it belongs, on those who believe the State has all the answers. The issue with funding pensions is not reducing taxes, it is that they were forced by unions to put in ludicrously high pension amounts and similarly forced to make unsustainable assumptions about their investments. Several financial newsletters have talked about this at great length.
        With privatization like is described here, the taxes are still collected for services, but the services are handled by a company which is accountable for providing good service. A unionized government employee is completely unaccountable. The costs for running a city like this are likely 20-40% less due to the difference.

        • Zach Steph

          You know nothing about pensions, how they are structured, funded or how they can be self supporting. Too bad you have an uninformed opinion. Too much Fox not enough actiarial science.

    • I lived in sandy springs/ Dunwoody area of Atlanta when they voted to become independent of City of Atlanta. Part of the main political push was taxes. They were as an area paying in a substantial amount of taxes to the city of Atlanta, but the money was not being reinvested into that area. So even if they are still paying similar tax rates, I would imagine that the population is thrilled to actually see it being invested into their immediate area.

      I no longer live in that area but from what I understand the people that live there are very happy with the improvement in their economy and infrastructure.

      • That’s incorrect. What is now Sandy Springs was a part of unincorporated Fulton County. Those residents and businesses were never a part of the City of Atlanta and never paid property taxes to Atlanta.

        • The point is the same, though. I’m not in Sandy Springs, but I am in Johns Creek, another Fulton County city which followed Sandy Springs’ lead to get out from under the thumb of direct Fulton County oversight. We were unincorporated and paying outrageous taxes that mostly got wasted in other parts of the county (yes, I mean WASTED – not even effective redistribution of wealth was going on). Now that we run our own town, taxes have stayed the same, but services have gone way up. I don’t know how much, if any, of Johns Creek is privatized, but getting out from under the huge bloated cronyist Fulton Co was nothing but win for us.

        • What the article fails to mention is that our property taxes in sandy springs are the same as the city of Atlanta, in other words high compared to the surrounding communities. So yes things are run relatively well, but it does not help my pocketbook at all.

    • It’s incredible how much can be saved when you don’t have a bunch of complacent government employees feeding at the trough. I would definitely consider living here.

    • Profits make it evil, right? Actually, profits are the main reason why private industry is more efficient. Don’t demonize the word “profit” just because you don’t understand it.

    • Ma’am, go back and read the story. Their taxes are still there, but they DO pay less. They don’t pay to the companies to do this work directly: the city still collects their taxes and pays the contractors. Although I don’t know the language of these contracts, virtually ALL privatization contracts require that the city and the public have access to the financial records FOR THE SERVICES PROVIDED.
      You are setting up strawmen to knock down and knock Joe and Sandy Springs, when in reality you don’t bother to read what he wrote.

    • “Because of this efficiency, Sandy Springs generates huge surpluses. They have no unfunded liabilities. ”

      Sounds like you are wrong.

  7. The N.P.P.

    Later this year the place will be changing it’s name to Raccoon City!!!!!!
    OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo……….!!!!
    (Just kidding! I wonder how many will get the reference? Heh.)
    FYI: Raccoon City was also a corporate run city. Ha ha ha ha.

  8. Anonymous

    Interesting that this article didn’t mention the PCID, an improvement district that collects additional property taxes to pay for infrastructure improvements.

  9. rather manipulative to praise 401ks over pension plans given that pension plans are funded from company/gov earnings and 401ks are salary reductions plans…. no one would voluntarily fund their own retirement given the choice. Eliminating duty to retirees is not exactly something to be proud of. also wonder if the health benefits and hours of the 471 workers doing the jobs of 800 people are competitive with other municipalities.

      • You are most likely correct Jack. Just look at government road crews. 6 guys standing around holding shovels watching one guy work. That is 7 manhours paid for every 1 manhour worked.

        • Yep. When my town (also formerly unincorporated Fulton Co) incorporated itself as Johns Creek, our taxes stayed the same, but the differences in services was incredible.

          Before, we’d see a road crew of (not making this up) 8 men sent to fix a pothole in our cul-de-sac, and they’d take an entire day, with at any given moment, 7 of them standing around doing nothing and 1 (if you were lucky) actually working.

          Now, we see small, efficient crews of 2-4 sent out to do a job in a couple of hours, with everyone always working. They do appear to be outsourced crews, although I don’t know how much of our town business is privatized.

          Fulton Co left our neighborhood with a road sign with an error for 20 years – people called and called, but no one would ever fix it. Once JC incorporated, it was fixed in less than a year.

    • Andy Miller

      The problem is that pension plans for governments and corporations are NOT funded sufficiently for the level of benefits that keeps going up, and are forced to make unreal assumptions.
      You can say what you like about the source of funding, but in both cases, the source of funding is the employee and the employer, and is part of the negotiating over wages (cost to the employer and income to employee) which determines the cost of the employee vs the benefit they provide. I’m sorry that you’ve been raised to expect a company or government to provide for your retirement – when Soc Sec is bankrupt and the pension fund is overdrawn, you may feel differently. For me and my house, we’ll trust our OWN account (401k and IRA).

  10. Sandy Springs is not perfect, but it is in the middle of Fulton County. Don’t forget that the city is not an isolated biosphere, but obtain services from the county as well as the state. Despite being imperfect, quality of life is much better that it was prior to incorporating. #grewupthere

  11. Is the company paied with tax dollars? If so, wile I favor a private conpany running things as compared to the government that is not privatization, its just making that company in essence a governmental entity. Though it is preferable to what most municipalities have it is still fascistic, not capitalism. I dont think its a good thing to praise a “public private partnership”, (I.e. fascism)

    • Exactly my concern. Many politicians can be in bed with the management company.

      Serious oversight is still required. And handing privitized police the same authority as a government is something to watch out for as well.

      • This is why the move to a full fledged, market based system is the desirable end, i.e. a Free Society or Stateless Society.

        Of course, “privatizing” (which is NOT the same thing as purely market based) is not the end-all-beat-all solution, but it appears in this city to be a relatively better option as compared to simply having no privatization at all. It would follow that introduction of even more market solutions would result in further happiness for the people, even greater money saved, and superior services rendered.

        • Taking two aspirin makes me feel better. It would follow that taking 10 would be great! I’m not saying it would be bad to have more. I’m just saying your logic is a little flawed.

          • “Taking two aspirin makes me feel better. It would follow that taking 10 would be great! I’m not saying it would be bad to have more. I’m just saying your logic is a little flawed.”

            That’s not a valid analogy, because an aspirin is used to address the symptoms of a problem (headache/pain), whereas I’m talking about addressing the problem itself.

            Peaceful, voluntary exchange of goods and services for capital is not merely a means of addressing a symptom, it is a means in itself of providing a solution. The problem with state-based approaches isn’t in the particulars of the organs or methodology of the state; the problem is the state itself. As an institution, it has fundamental flaws and infringes on principles of property and economic exchange that rule out most desirable outcomes on its face.

            For example, the monopoly factor. We know from basic economics that if an entity holds a monopoly on a good or service, then there is nothing to prevent the provider of that good or service from charging increasingly higher prices, whilst lowering the quality of the good or service. People recognize that monopoly is to be avoided. But with the state, the entire premise is one of monopolistic approach. A service sector, like protection of persons and property (e.g. police), does not have open entry or competition as far as the state is concerned: the state grants a charter of monopoly to one institution, like a police department, and says it is illegal for any other entity to attempt to provide this service.

            This is the problem, and it is a systemic and institutional one. The symptoms in this example, would be things like police brutality, prosecution of victimless crimes, racial and ethnic profiling, police militarization, etc. But the problem is the fact that an institution has been granted a “lawful” monopoly on providing the service of property protection. The solution is to restore the principle of free choice and voluntary exchange in the sector of the market, in other words, to remove the monopoly.

            So, to go back to your aspirin analogy: the symptom would be the headache; the problem might, for example, come about from binge drinking every night and then waking up with a hangover every morning.

            You are acting as if I am simply saying to take more aspirin. No. What I’m saying is that you need to stop the binge drinking.

  12. Evan Rogers

    Unfortunately, it isn’t entirely privatized. It’d be great to see competition more prevalent.

    Beggars can’t be choosers! I can’t wait to see what the liberals have to say against this.

  13. Too bad all the pricks live in Sandy Springs. I hate driving anywhere near because all of the congestion. Personally I think the town is starting to go a bit “left” on many issues. I’m hoping it goes Libertarian but time will tell. Geographically its in a great area just North of Atlanta. I lived there just before it became a city and left the city of Atlanta.

  14. Michael Wenman

    6000 calls to the hotline call centre each month…that’s only 20 per day. Let’s do some quick calculations…I tend to ring the local council once every six months…if that’s an average level (and I know people who would call far more often), then 20 calls per day over a six month period equates to a town of 3650 people. That’s not very big…our council handles ten to fifteen times that number of people, and has maybe twice the staff indicated in this piece…we’re not corporatised, we’re a government run area, and we’re Australian.

    The only other way I can read these stats is that people don’t get through on the call centre line and give up…that’s why there’s only 20 calls a day (seriously one of the quietest hotline calls centres I’ve heard of).

    • Your math is wrong – 6000/30 days is 200 calls per day. Talking about do the math – duh!
      I believe the ‘implication’ is that the city is well run and therefore they don’t have all the problem
      phone calls because of how they manage it.

      There are facts left out of the report that don’t tell the whole story either. As mentioned,
      population – # of employees of the private companies, pay of employees of both public/private, etc., etc.

      Overall, initial impression is pretty good though.

    • BetterWithMath

      “6000 calls to the hotline call centre each month…that’s only 20 per day. Let’s do some quick calculations…”

      That would actually be 200 per day.

      Perhaps you should take more time with your calculations? :)

    • I’ve worked as a supervisor in a call center, and number of calls per day is a meaningless number.

      How long the calls are and what they do on those calls makes all the difference. For a 2 minute call to take a message and forward it to the proper department, you can technically only have a staff of 1 person. Two would be inefficient, but provide better service. There is no context their number of how many calls are taken.

  15. Like to know what the tax structure is? If they have such a great surplus of $$ they could lower the taxes. If a private company can do it why can’t a government enity? Is the company getting fat off the people? This sounds & looks good & am sure privatize is better that city ran by politicans..

  16. …and not a peep about the corresponding property tax cuts that should be available with the savings…

    • The city officials took it to a vote, and asked the people if they wanted lower taxes, or more infrastructure. They voted for more infrastructure by a 60% margin.

  17. Creative Freedom

    One suspects that the majority membership of Big Labor (now bureaucrats vs blue collar) represent many of the negative comments here.
    The reality is that Democrat-corruption and neo-fascist socialism has destroyed most of the formerly great cities of America and is threatening the stability of the nation as a whole.
    Experimenting with different means to the ends of an efficient & minimalist government, to manage shared community needs, is at the heart of the great American experiment.
    Georgia, for example, was founded as a non-slave state w/parcels made available to those who would work them — selfish people overwhelmed the good people & imported the evil of slavery for profit. But the original idea was good.
    There is nothing implicitly good about private or public management; the real question is accessibility, cost, functional-efficiency, and transparency – the current evidence of gross failure at every level in our Federal government is clear evidence that the “public” model is hardly trouble-free.
    Little Windham, NH has an efficient model for recycling that is low-hassle, profitable, and studied by others for at least two decades. Elsewhere others have discovered innovative ways to meet needs.
    Those who try to block creativity usually do so for selfish reasons — follow the money.

  18. EVIL_IS_THE_DESTRUCTION_OF_FREEDOM

    ahhh, I see… so are the residents free to ‘opt- out’ of taxes? have they banned non-violent crime punishment? can they opt out of permits to do what free people should be able to do anyway? (I assume the town did away with their politicians? lol) etc. and they of course allow different businesses to bid for the opportunity to be the one to perform each and every individual service, so as to make it a free market right? (on and on and on) sorry, I agree with Johnny Gold- still government. (don’t get me wrong, i appreciate the effort to do something, ANYTHING… but not the ‘application method’. Because in truth— I can still hear the trigger click.)

  19. Funny thing is Sandy Springs has all this extra money that they shouldn’t be put into the street which were fine already but THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS especially the High school, North Springs and Elementary schools Woodland and Spalding Drive… you want to attract residents then make your public schools look appealing rather than a jailhouse

    • You sound like you’re familiar with the area; how can you not know that the county, not the city, runs the public schools? That’s the same abysmal Fulton County government that Sandy Springs was escaping by incorporating.

      • And further, that it is very difficult to create a new independent city school district. In fact, it would require a change to the GA Constitution. Some tried to do this in the last legislature.

        And, again, as has been noted above – in GA, local (county or city) government is completely separate from school systems. They have separate elected officials and set their own millage rates for property taxes.

  20. This city has the money to experiment and try things that may prove useful to other cities, but this isn’t some kind of wake-up call for privatization. This isn’t an example of how privatizing simply makes this universally better, or is even possible, but rather could provide a model for how we could improve our social infrastructure since they had the resources to play with it and experiment.

    But don’t be fooled by this article. He set out to make a headline and only put in what supported the headline. Read the wiki on this city. They are flush with cash. Atlanta wanted their tax money because they have a LOT of outside money coming into the city, much of which is due to its proximity to Atlanta, but Sandy Springs gets to keep it all themselves.

    This is a singular city that is able to have the best of both worlds: Huge revenues with low overhead.

    It’s a city in a bottle that we can probably learn something from, but it’s still a very special circumstance.

  21. I worked 30 years for a big city fire department maintainence section. I was a worker bee. We had a saying, “Ten percent of the workers do ninety percent of the work. The other ninety percent sit and complain we are making them look bad.” Not all municipal workers are lazy or nothing would get done. Unions support the lazy workers and if you are a worker bee you get no support. Privitising has its own problems. Without honest folks in charge of the money, it gets corrupt. Like Washington right now.

    • And if you fire the lazy ones they will just go and collect unemployment and other government funds. So the company can keep paying them to sit around and do nothing or the tax payers can pay them to do nothing. Either way the lazy ones are getting paid for doing nothing.

  22. Privatized? Nope. This is just subcontracting. You still have thugs with guns extorting money to pay the contractor. There’s no competition. There’s no chance for a service to disappear due to lack of demand. There’s no chance for new services to appear because of consumer demand.

    I fail to see how this is anything other than big government.

    • Nope. Not true. Though I haven’t see the thugs with guns you are so certain exist, I have a myriad of waste management companies to choose from, as well as a variety of other service providers to choose from. Not a monopoly at all. If you fail to see how this is anything other than big government, there’s a good chance you never will.

      • And btw, you were right (as was the author) about one thing – the city has “subcontracted” the city services which is why it states in the article “In 2005, Sandy Springs outsourced almost all functions of the city government (with the exception of police and fire) to a single company, which runs the town)

  23. I live in Sandy Springs and LOVE it.! Everything Joe reports above is accurate. I have a wide choice of sanitation companies, roads are in good repair (new potholes get repaired almost immediately), I get notified to check for leaks if my water usage is above normal, and when I absolutely dreaded applying for a fence permit for my property, the staff was polite, friendly and approved my permit in less than 5 minutes. Pure bliss after living in the city of Atlanta for years, surrounded by red tape and bureaucracy.

    • Geez, these comments. Haters gonna hate, I guess. To be clear, no one is forcing an improved city services lifestyle on anyone in this thread. You can happily keep your corrupt, bloated, lazy, snarky, unreliable government run city. Enjoy it! #SandySpringsRocks

  24. Flat out lies. Being paid for via theft and being at the hands of the “state” = contracted.. NOT privatized. ANy true libertarian or anarchist would know this.. so therefore, this page is a joke.

  25. Too bad you have to look no further than who serves on this city’s board in order to see that it’s corrupt. Tiberius DeJulio is one of the most corrupt of them all

  26. Bob Darling

    Although a good idea the article is misleading. All the city did was expand contract services to private companies. That is not privatization. They still can end contracts and use other services. Privatization would mean private corporations would own the assets and not be subject to contract renewal. For example, they would own the parks then charge a fee to make money. Or make all roads toll roads.

  27. I am from Sandy Springs, I grew up there and went to public high school there. Reading the comments, there are some things everyone needs to get straight:
    1. This is basically a wealthier part of Metro Atlanta. It is not a random town with an isolated economy.
    2. I don’t know how or why the local ordinance “banning” adult toys was ever created in 2009, but it probably had to do with a conservative wealthy campaign contributor that was sick of seeing all the “head shops” on Roswell Rd. The fact is I have never personally seen the law enforced – I don’t know of anyone having any trouble shopping at any of the fine tax-paying adult establishments there, even as recently as 6 months ago.
    3. Sandy Springs was able to privatize government because they just incorporated recently – in 2006. It really goes back to the size of Fulton County, which encompasses Sandy Springs, Atlanta Proper, and much of the poorer south and west sides of town as well. Tax revenue from the wealthier north was being redistributed to neighborhoods over 20 miles away while services in Sandy Springs were lacking. Obviously residents in other areas of Fulton Co voted against it but ultimately Sandy Springs won the fight and became the 3rd largest city to incorporate in the US, and one of the first of its size to do so with the availability of modern technology and private contractors.
    4. The change has definitely made a difference – I’ve seen many traffic intersections get redesigned, roads get repaved, areas redeveloped, sidewalks added, etc. I hardly ever saw a cop before 2007 in Sandy Springs because the city was dependent on Fulton Co police to provide law enforcement, which was already understaffed and underfunded due to the south/west sides and demanding City Proper.
    5. The schools are still public, but in 2007 they became charter schools. I graduated high school that year so I am not entirely sure of the implications of that, but I do know that they recieved more funding and became stricter. The area is also home to most of the private schools in Metro Atlanta.

    Hope this clarifies some things! I’ve lived here my whole life so I didn’t look up anything I wrote…hopefully I wasn’t wrong about any of it! :)

  28. I am from Sandy Springs, I grew up there and went to public high school there. Reading the comments, there are some things everyone needs to get straight:

    1. This is basically a wealthier part of Metro Atlanta. It is not a random town with an isolated economy.
    2. I don’t know how or why the local ordinance “banning” adult toys was ever created in 2009, but it probably had to do with a conservative wealthy campaign contributor that was sick of seeing all the “head shops” on Roswell Rd. The fact is I have never personally seen the law enforced – I don’t know of anyone having any trouble shopping at any of the fine tax-paying adult establishments there, even as recently as 6 months ago.
    3. Sandy Springs was able to privatize government because they just incorporated recently – in 2006. It really goes back to the size of Fulton County, which encompasses Sandy Springs, Atlanta Proper, and much of the poorer south and west sides of town as well. Tax revenue from the wealthier north was being redistributed to neighborhoods over 20 miles away while services in Sandy Springs were lacking. Obviously residents in other areas of Fulton Co voted against it but ultimately Sandy Springs won the fight and became the 3rd largest city to incorporate in the US, and one of the first of its size to do so with the availability of modern technology and private contractors.
    4. The change has definitely made a difference – I’ve seen many traffic intersections get redesigned, roads get repaved, areas redeveloped, sidewalks added, etc. I hardly ever saw a cop before 2007 in Sandy Springs because the city was dependent on Fulton Co police to provide law enforcement, which was already understaffed and underfunded due to the south/west sides and demanding City Proper.
    5. The schools are still public, but in 2007 they became charter schools. I graduated high school that year so I am not entirely sure of the implications of that, but I do know that they recieved more funding and became stricter. The area is also home to most of the private schools in Metro Atlanta.

    Hope this helps clarify some stuff! I’ve lived here my whole life so I didn’t have to look up anything I wrote. I know it from experience :)

  29. Kirby Kris Klien

    I have lived in and around Sandy Springs all my life. I remember the good old days when we could keep the black trash out of our neighborhoods ourselves. With the bleeding heart liberals running the country, laws were changed to give these coons power.

    Now, we have the wet backs (the browns) trying to take over. We’ve got to keep all this colored scum out of out town.

    Privatization is the way to do it. We keep the home prices up so they can’t buy in then we push their lazy asses back down into that colored cesspool of monkeys. All they do live off free services and destroy the neighborhoods. Not to mention turning our women into their on play things.

    This is our town and our country. It’s time to arm ourselves and take it back; by force if necessary. I’m standing my ground.

  30. landoramone

    I like the idea of privatization of everything. If this model works for the town of Sandy Springs awesome. I would prefer to see more than one company running the city. Competition keeps people busy trying to find better ways to make things cheaper and more efficient. Economic incentives without the risk of failure is why government employees are so lazy. The about of hurdles you have to jump through to fire a bureaucrat is unseen while at the same time you can fire a private company employ in a few seconds. Gotta love capitalism. Wish there was more of it and no government.

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