Incorporated in 2005, Sandy Springs is Georgia’s sixth largest city in Georgia and the second largest city in the metropolitan Atlanta area.
Efforts to incorporate Sandy Springs began in 1966, in response to attempts by the city of Atlanta to annex this unincorporated area of North Fulton County. Sandy Springs residents, led by Eva Galambos, fought for 40 years to obtain their own government. In June 2005, an overwhelming 94 percent of residents voted for incorporation. Shortly afterwards, voters returned to the polls selecting Galambos as the City’s first mayor.
Prior to 2005, residents relied upon a large, traditionally modeled county government for the provision of services, which residents felt did not adequately meet their needs. These challenges formed the basis for desiring a streamlined government physically closer to constituents and responsive to community desires. Sandy Springs initiated a non-traditional approach by operating as a Public Private Partnership (PPP), with nearly half of City staff employed by a private company. In 2010, the City undertook a comprehensive procurement process to rebid all general city services, resulting in multiple providers, providing considerable savings and higher levels of service for the City.
The Sandy Springs PPP model is widely regarded as an example for other local governments, with city leaders from across the country and around the globe, including China, Japan, Korea, Finland and others visiting Sandy Springs to learn about the PPP model. Since the incorporation of Sandy Springs, several other metro cities have formed – Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Peachtree Hills, Milton and Johns Creek – each instituting a form of the Public-Private model.
With roots dating back to the 1800s, Sandy Springs originated as a watering stop for Native-Americans who frequented the bubbling springs here, and quickly became a community as settlers moved into the area. Today, the City enjoys and expresses a traditional Southern charm, while also catering to its business-minded residents with one of the most innovative systems of service delivery in the country.
Learn more about Sandy Springs’ pioneering system of local government.
Sandy Springs is regularly discussed by national and international news media. View some of the highlights.
Find out about the City's "Founding Mother".