Skip to comments.The Town that Privatized Everything
Posted on 06/27/2014 9:14:16 PM PDT by TigerClaws
Sandy Springs, Georgia may look like any other town in America. It has parks, roads, and beautiful places to live. But theres one thing that separates this town from every other town: Sandy Springs privatized almost everything.
In 2005, Sandy Springs outsourced almost all functions of the city government (with the exception of police and fire) to a single company, which runs the town. That company is in charge of running all the vital functions of government, from the running the parks, to paving the roads, and even 911 calls!
The town is run very efficiently, with zero backlogs in permit requests. Call the city, and youll be surprised to find that you actually get a friendly person on the other line! The city has a 24/7 non-automated customer service hotline which fields about 6,000 calls per month. It also has a state of the art traffic system with cameras and a high tech command center.
(Excerpt) Read more at isil.org ...
privatized it to a single company.... no competiton? no choice? Who in city government was the owner related to?
Sandy Springs s a great town in the metro Atlanta area. This year Fulton county is trying to raise property taxes by 17%!!!! Sandy Springs doesn’t have to do this nonsense
Even fire can be privatized. Not sure I’d want police to be, but you could just do without and contract with the Sheriff. A lot of cities do that.
That was my first thought too.
The town sounds like it is well run but you do have to question at what cost?
From the article that you apparently didn’t bother to read
When the project first started, the University of Georgia estimated that the city would need 828 employees. But because the town is managed by a private company, theyve cut their workforce down to just 471 people. Besides fire and police, the city only has eight full-time public employees.
Because of this efficiency, Sandy Springs generates huge surpluses. They have no unfunded liabilities. The city specifically decided not to use the traditional pension model a model which has put almost every government across America in an unsustainable pension crisis. Instead, employees can choose their own 401K package to prepare for retirement, if they wish.
This has given the town of Sandy Springs lots of extra cash to work with a surplus that they put into building for the future. According to Sharon Kraun, The city, as a matter of policy, sets aside 25% of revenues into a reserve during each budget planning cycle. Capital improvements have been a major focus during our first eight years, with more than $185 million invested in capital infrastructure.
Just because a private company is running the city doesn’t mean it is sole sourced
It needs to be investigated regularly, without oversight it will become corrupt in time.
I am curious about this as well. I hope they have a yearly renewal contract.
We just went to privatized housing at my base. The company that won the contract promised much. As for their service, I no longer live on base.
I don’t like monopolies, especially politically-connected ones.
hopefully it is not like a giant HOA
‘Contracting-out’ means they have a contract.
They can be sued for failing to comply with the terms, or simply not rehired.
Try disciplining or firing a public employee union member:
It’s like trying to take a cheeseburger and fries from the Worst Lady.
Privatization works. Unions hate it.
I believe in privatization - just not in the way most leftists would do it
come on it’s a start. everyone knows private parks are better than the public ones. you can always split it up as you go along if service declines. proper monitoring trust but verify.
The left doesn’t do privatization. Their union masters forbid it.
i have the original fire emblem on my house here in philly. the insurance company was the fire department. no losses due to fire. philly in the early years had no major fire disasters. brick buildings and a fire/insurance program by ben franklin.
” If part of the government performs poorly, the city can fire that company, and bid the contract to another company In 2011, the city said farewell to the main company that was managing the vital functions of government CH2M Hill, and opted to go with another company. This saved the city over a million dollars.”
Sounds to me exactly what I would have suspected from a city that privatized damn near everything properly. It would be nice to see this catch on, but I doubt if the bureaucrat's and politicians in most places would stand for it. I would be interested in seeing the party makeup of the City Counsel. Libertarian majority?
more corrupt than the town you live in? i’m not accusing just making a statement,
“Not sure Id want police to be, but you could just do without and contract with the Sheriff.”
Be careful turning the LEO stuff over to the sheriff. Our town does that, and as a consequence we get cops who are “rotating through” and many have adopted the LEO tactics of other areas of the county where there is substantial crime. We have a nice up-scale town with big-city cops. No thanks, the city next door just cancelled their contract with the Sheriff and set up their own department for just the reasons I stated. The contract may save you money, but you may not get the quality enforcement you expect.
About half the cost of a similarly sized town with a standard municipal structure, apparently.
Because there is a profit motive, a private company will ALWAYS be more efficient than a government.
There is one thing I can say about a typical Fire Department, and it will probably be seen as controversial. I don’t mean to demean anyone by saying it, it’s just an observation.
Fire Depts have a lifesaving function and they have a property-damage mitigation function.
The lifesaving function is of course important.
As for the property-damage mitigation function; in the overwhelming majority of cases, the cost of maintaining and staffing the FD is much, much greater than the property they can actually save.
If only the lifesaving function could be isolated and optimized; it’s a heck of a lot cheaper to let stuff burn than to maintain a FD to put it out.
Read about how this corporation was created. This is way better in its function and design than anything else that your government monopoly does
What. makes you think it isn’t? It has been functioning very well for nearly a decade
lol. I’ll post this story to the mayors facebook page.
BAD call. BAD move.
Privatization means the corporation is answerable to no one. The problem isn’t government, it’s a liberal government. Corporations are not subject to the will of the voters. Privatized police forces may not afford you the same constitutional protections.
Privatization is a cash grab disaster.
Do some reading about public-private partnerships. This is a good model for how things can be done.
Yes, it certainly has.
Since government by its natur is a monopoly and controls everything in terms of services, I a am all for the outsourcing of those services. I live near Sandy Springs ( sort of) and it is a terrific place
most “public-private partnerships” are corrupt bad ideas.
You don’t know what you are talking about
Tell GeronL... He is a Texan and has no clue
This is certainly no problem...Put the contracts up for bid every year. Running government departments is not complex and people running it have no business making life long careers out of it.
This is a huge part of the problem with the corrupt running govenrment at ALL levels, as it exists now.
Privatization is the answer to several things:
1. Government waste
2. Government monopoly
3. Public unions
4. Out of control expenses
5. Political favors
6. And.....most of all the inability to fire anyone.
However, to privatize everything to a single company is extremely dangerous. The reasons are obvious.
That reason is lack of competition.
This will come around to “bite the citizens on the ass” when they have no pressure to apply in the name of “market forces.”
If the police force were privatized I would bet that these killings of dogs would almost cease (except where truly warranted) since private companies are more responsive to the citizenry than government is.
——Who in city government was the owner related to?-—
In a city manager governed city, the CM could establish a corporation and then transfer tasks to the corporation by contract.
I lived in SS for 5 years. Before that, downtown Atlanta for 10.
Most of the comments so far prove that few read the article; and none have actually been there nor understand why SS exists in the first place. It used to be part of Atlanta.
Our town has no police. It contracts with the sheriff.
I don't get the protests against privatization 'creating a monopoly', either. The company would have a contract renegotiated at mandated intervals which would give the city an opportunity to change companies, AND any breach of contract by the company would allow the city to drop them like a hot 'tater and pick someone else.
Its not the like a perpetual, unbreakable control 'regular' government has in most cities today.
This article’s information is out of date, and it’s a little misleading. Yes, initially there was a single contractor, CH2M Hill, providing all services outside of police and fire. But they bid the contract out periodically.
Currently, they have five major contractors for city services. See the box titled “Careers with Sandy Springs General Services Contractors” here:
The periodic bidding should allay your concerns.
Most of the new cities in the North Atlanta suburbs are using the Sandy Springs model.
I was with you up until “It used to be part of Atlanta.”
Sandy Springs used to be an area that was part of unincorporated Fulton County, which of course is the county that most of the City of Atlanta is in (for the non-locals).
I remember when the only Pizza Hut in our area was on the Sandy Springs/285 exit. We lived off of N. Peacctree Road way back when. At the time, Pizza Hut was about the only place to get a take out pizza. Otherwise to eat a pizza at home one had to buy the messy kits in the grocery store.
Background for the naysayers w/o the facts:
Articles on Sandy Springs:
Sandy Springs Incorporates, Inspires New Wave of ‘Private’ Cities in Georgia
City opts to contract out nearly all government services
Leonard Gilroy and Steve Stanek
November 1, 2006
Fed up with high taxes and poor service delivery, the nearly 90,000 residents of Sandy Springs in Georgia’s Fulton County voted in 2005 to incorporate, making Sandy Springs the first new city in Georgia in 50 years.
The incorporation has gone so well that two new municipalities are about to be created in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta. Residents of John’s Creek and Milton voted to incorporate in July. The areas will become cities on December 1.
Incorporation votes in other unincorporated areas of the county are slated for next year.
Bottom line: The icorporated, privatized city of Sandy Springs or the city of Atlanta? A no-brainer.
You get it.
This model is working pretty well, for Sandy Springs and the other nearby newly-minted cities - Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Peachtree Corners, John’s Creek, and Milton. And I’m probably missing someone.
Whoops: Fulton County as bad as Atlanta. I consider it part of generic Atlanta.
They can be sued for failing to comply with the terms, or simply not rehired.
1%, 3%, 5% or better?
Normally contracts are granted on “Politics” rather than on the merits of the contractor and their past history.
Failure to perform is usually negated by the contractor’s bankruptcy due to having a “Front” corporation established only to do the job or project.
In many cases, the contractor has no problem at all; for all is forgiven...and this is very common depending upon their ties to the party of the city concerned.
When it comes to the word “Professional”, it simply does not exist in a world of political correctness and politics in all levels of government...from the lowest to the highest.
Read this article and then scroll down to some of the last comments which discuss possible corruption still existing.
Whoa... what about Agenda 21?