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 efficient and responsive services.
The city of Sandy Springs incorporated in 2005, and it is the 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 moved from a single source provider to contracting with seven private companies, saving the City an estimated $7M per year over five years. In 2018, the City transitioned Department Heads from contract to city-held positions. In 2019, the City Council approved moving General City Services including Public Works, Community Development, Finance, IT, Communications, Facilities, Recreation and Parks, Municipal Court and Economic Development from contract to city-held positions, saving the City more than $14M over five years as compared with proposed costs utilizing private sector partners.
Since the incorporation of Sandy Springs, many other metro cities have formed – Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Chattahoochee Hills, Peachtree Corners, Milton, Johns Creek, and the city of South Fulton as examples.
Learn more about Sandy Springs’ pioneering system of local government.
Find out about the City's "Founding Mother".