In photo from left to right: Mr. Oliver Porter and John Neill - 2020-2021 Rotary Club of Sandy Springs President
Oliver Porter spoke to our club on December 21st about the founding of the city of Sandy Springs. He was instrumental in the original design and structure and helped the new leadership decide to contract out many of the city services.
The city of Sandy Springs finally came to fruition fifteen years ago. That is when the first city Mayor and City Council had their first meeting.
For over thirty years the residents of the Sandy Springs community had been trying to create the new city. Like the dog that finally catches the car being chased, what do you do now! Oliver became the first Assistant City Manager. His challenge was to organize twelve task forces with 120 volunteers. Their charge was to determine services provided, the cost of the services and what the citizens expected from the new city government and the cost.
Searching for alternative ways to manage and run the new city was one of the primary goals. Oliver solicited major companies to give proposals for city services.
The Georgia governor helped by creating a five-person committee to help create the city management structure. They created training sessions for the new city council. Since the creation of the new city fifteen years ago there have been no tax increases. After ten years they managed to pay off all liabilities and long-term debt. These acts of financial responsibility have allowed our city to have an S&P rating of AAA. Only nineteen other cities in the US have this high of a rating.
Since the creation of the city of Sandy Springs there have been ten more new cities created in Georgia most of which are in metro Atlanta. Sandy Springs has proven that the use of private industry to run the city is a good model.
The Rotary Club of Sandy Springs would like to thank Mr. Oliver Porter for all that he has done to help Sandy Springs become the great city that we all know and love.