It’s been virtually 15 years since proud north metro residents minimize the ribbon on Sandy Springs.
Town of 108,000 individuals laid the groundwork for what has served as a mannequin for different residents in Fulton and DeKalb counties to declare their independence from county rule.
This was not a bunch of malcontents. Leaders behind the motion had been a wise and shrewd bunch who’d had an axe to grind for over 35 years. They fended off a transfer from town of Atlanta for annexation, then fought for a voice of their very own from Fulton County.
They spoke with one voice, impressed by one imaginative and prescient: to construct a neighborhood that conforms to native values, a neighborhood with order.
Within the years since, metropolis leaders have cast that imaginative and prescient into actuality, checking out the – sorry – mess they’d been left with.
What we see right now and what has been evident alongside the best way is the sheer intelligence this metropolis has cast that path. The host of cities that adopted – Johns Creek, Milton, Dunwoody and others – all, in a single kind or one other, used Sandy Springs as a template to engineer their very own street to self-rule.
What struck me as a witness to this municipal upheaval was simply how completely Sandy Springs had crafted its emancipation. Its metropolis constitution, its collaboration with consulting agency CH2M Hill, was copied by numerous different new cities within the following years. Those that strayed from the Sandy Springs template regretted it.
One temporary, and actually tragic, instance of that is the case of Milton and Johns Creek.
As adopted in 2005, Sandy Springs’ constitution caps the property tax charge at 4.731 mills “except a better restrict is beneficial by decision of town council and permitted by the certified voters of the Metropolis of Sandy Springs.”
A yr after Sandy Springs included, Milton and Johns Creek adopted swimsuit. Additionally they capped their property tax levies at 4.731 mills. However, for some motive, they used completely different wording of their charters to say the levy might solely be elevated via metropolis council approval and “a majority of all registered voters” in a referendum.
It was an unlucky oversight. The 2 cities had painted themselves right into a income nook by requiring greater than half of all registered voters within the metropolis to approve a tax hike. Many occasions, half the registered voters don’t even end up for an election, a lot much less favor a proposal to boost their taxes.
In consequence, each Milton and Johns Creek suffered of their capability to safe bonding capability to pay for main tasks as a result of no bonding firm would gamble on a metropolis that couldn’t elevate taxes to repay the debt. It took them years to get their constitution language straightened out via laws on the Capitol.
Sandy Springs did it proper.