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Sandy Springs, GA privatized their city and cut spending in half

imagesSandy Springs, GA has done what NO other city in the United States has done.  It has privatized the city, cutting their budget by 50%.  As pensions and retirement benefits haunt the cities, so does the amount of uncollected taxes and fees the residents can’t afford to pay.  If Detroit is  the model of a city going bankrupt, Sandy Springs is the model that privatizing the city is viable.

Sandy Springs, the sixth-largest city in the state of Georgia, with a 2010 population of 93,853, wanted to separate itself from what it saw as wasteful government spending in surrounding communities. The city benefits greatly, though, from the number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered there, boasting an extremely high per capita income, with the median family household income, according to a 2008 census estimate, approximated at $129,810, and the average family income $169,815.

Adding to that, only 3.1 percent of families — 7.9 percent of the entire population — live below the poverty line in Sandy Springs. The percentage of Fulton County families living in poverty, in comparison, is nearly four times higher at 11.5 percent. Without needing to provide to as many poverty-stricken families, who typically use more public services, Sandy Springs can more easily keep taxes at a lower, sustainable level.

With only FIVE city employees, the city is operating in the black and is not looking back.

The City of Sandy Springs has a Public-Private Partnership model of local government. Services are provided by private companies with some exceptions, notably Police and Fire services. This website features opportunities for positions working directly for the City of Sandy Springs. For career information with companies that provide other City services, visit their websites:

– Information Technology – Interdev

– Finance – Severn Trent

– Municipal Court and Recreation and Parks – Jacobs Engineering Group

– Public Works – URS Corporation

– Communications and Community Development – the Collaborative

As cities such as Compton, Inglewood and Los Angeles, face the cumbersome task of union negotiations, how can they continue to make promises they can’t keep?

Detroit fell into a disarray for the residents stopped paying their property taxes, the school district is graduating functioning illiterates and the jobs are as scarce as the police.  Detroit was forced to raise taxes to make ends barely meet, all the while, employees pensions/benefits have to be paid.  But with what money?

In 2011, 30% of Detroit residents didn’t pay property taxes and in 2012, 305k households didn’t pay either.  Out of 77 blocks of residential homes, only ONE house paid.  ONE!

$131 million in uncollected property taxes and fees?  No one talks about that little known fact.  With no money, how can you provide services?  9-1-1 in Detroit has a one to four-hour response time.  How do cities solve that safety issue?  Letting citizens arm themselves.

Politicians promise unions everything under the moon and stars to get re-elected.  Conveniently most are no longer in office by the time the voters become of retirement age.  Leaving current officials with the mess of figuring out to pay for the people not working while keeping the city afloat.

Is there an attack on unions on the horizon? Yes.  Are tough choices ahead of us? Yes.  Keep in mind, all elected officials aren’t in the pocket of unions so don’t be surprised when they don’t vote in your favor.

Is it time to close the loophole that allows commercial property owners to fall under Prop 13?

For my trekkies out there, Leonard Nimoy said it best

‘The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few


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