The Sandy Springs Reporter asked each of the candidates in the contested city election races the following question (the candidates were allowed up to 150 words to answer):
What issue or issues do you consider most important to your campaign and why?
Eva Galambos (Incumbent)
“I will strive for the continuing improvement of our wonderful city. I shall persist in our efforts to widen the Roswell Road bridge over I-285 — the greatest traffic bottleneck in our downtown area. This state-owned bridge is totally antiquated.
With the inevitable improvement in our national economy, we will see redevelopment of our downtown area. I pledge the city’s full support for a concerted effort by the downtown property owners to create a vibrant central city. All the city’s resources are available to assist the major property owners to redevelop our outdated business center. At the same time we will maintain our unique wooded and low-density residential neighborhoods.
The unfair water rates Atlanta charges us to pay for Atlanta’s sewer improvements must be changed.
Forbes Magazine rated Sandy Springs as [No.] 15 among the top 25 cities to live in the U.S. We will strive for an even higher rank.”
Robert “Bob” Brown
“Water, business, pro-neighborhoods, quality of life, equality, less government, balanced budget, keeping CH2 under control, and doing as many things that all the different constituents want and need [i.e., parks, sidewalks, safety, good roads, controlled traffic patterns]. Why? That’s simple. I am running for civil servant, not king. The wishes of the public are to be mine, and I am to administer those wishes for them as honestly and economically as I can, to the best of my ability.”
Donald Patrick “Donnie” Bolena
“I have made it very clear that I do have a few issues with the current administration. Currently, Atlanta has people who lost their home due to flooding and are being forced to find shelter and we are doing nothing, yet we have all of this money?
1. We out source the city’s operations to CH2M HILL OMI at a cost of 32 million dollars a year. These are jobs that we should award the local citizens to have instead of supporting the community of Denver, Colorado. Bottom line, it’s just wrong.
2. Who’s in charge in the Mayor’s office? If you ask me it must be Tibby DeJulio. After all he and the City Council seem to be the shot-callers and Eva just sits still and says nothing. Now why is that? Tibby, bragged about the 49 million liquid dollars that Sandy Springs has in the bank. Hmmm?”
Warren James Hull
“I would like to focus on: Communications within the business and residential communities, the alleviation of traffic, and the preservation and expansion of green space and parks. To facilitate this goal, I would like to hold town-hall meetings for each group to air their concerns, and set up a “communities task force” to brainstorm possible solutions. Also, I would set up a Web site in which residents could contact the mayor directly. The traffic alleviation might be addressed by a central hub and could include: development, green space, bus service, parking for MARTA, and a city hall. All of these are smart growth ideas for the future. As for green space, if we don’t plan now for the future, our resources will disappear.”
CITY COUNCIL, DIST. 1
“After over 30 years of neglect from Fulton County, the biggest challenge facing Sandy Springs is how to bring the overall infrastructure of this city up to acceptable, then to an excellent, level. This applies to the condition of our streets and intersections [and let’s not forget Roswell Road at 285], the addition of connectivity improvement, sidewalks and the task of storm water management and enhancement. All of these challenges are a combination of engineering, budget and prioritizing fairly for all that call Sandy Springs home. As a former neighborhood association president, 20-plus year resident and an engineer, I believe I can assist the city in the best ways to allocate the scarce resource, money, to these challenges in a logical and methodical way to achieve the best bang for the citizens ‘buck’ possible, and make us a world-class hometown we can all be proud of.”
Wilson James “Jim” Squire III
“Nothing surpasses public safety and solving our water issues. We have a world-class public safety team now delivering dramatically improved service.Yet, we have tough work ahead to boost cardiac arrest survival rates from today’s abysmal four percent to the 40 percent that other high-performing communities enjoy. Leadership is on the right path, but the situation needs more attention along with more citizens’ CPR training to keep individuals alive until help arrives. Water — both storm and drinking water — is next. Atlanta remains an unreliable, high-cost drinking water source. We must either negotiate better service or take over the system. Stormwater is an unseen cancer literally eating away our homes and property underneath our feet. While costly to fix, the city must accept the responsibility for storm water problems inherited from Fulton County and not push the cost off to individual homeowners who are victims of Fulton County’s poor planning and oversight.”
CITY COUNCIL, DIST. 3
William C. “Chip” Collins
“My preeminent campaign issue is the development of a unique and vibrant city center. The commercial corridor of Sandy Springs doesn’t look much different than when I was growing up in the area in the ’70s and ’80s — a hodge-podge collection of strip malls, fast-food joints and service businesses along a traffic-packed Roswell Road. During that same time, neighboring cities such as Decatur, Marietta and Roswell have vastly improved their downtowns, which have turned into aesthetically pleasing community gathering spots. Sandy Springs has some of the finest people and neighborhoods in the state, if not the nation, and we deserve a downtown to match. It won’t happen overnight, but the city has a foothold to affect change with the acquisition of the former Target site; the planning should begin now with that location as the linchpin.”
Willis W. “Bill” Cleveland
“My campaign for City Council has focused on three areas. First, the importance of neighborhood preservation should not be underestimated. When the city takes measures to protect our neighborhoods, it is doing more than just protecting physical properties, it is demonstrating its commitment to the residents of Sandy Springs and thereby encouraging residents to devote their time, creativity and resources into the improvement of Sandy Springs.
Second, the revitalization of the business district is important not only because the quality of the commercial properties impacts the long-term fiscal health of the city but also because a healthy community needs a central ‘gathering place’ that promotes social interaction.
Finally, we have an exciting opportunity to create a system of neighborhood parks that are linked to the surrounding neighborhoods. Not only do parks provide recreational opportunities, but by providing a meeting place for residents, they also strengthen community bonds.”
CITY COUNCIL, DIST. 5
Tiberio “Tibby” DeJulio (Incumbent)
“The most important issue in this election is experience. I have work for a city for 22 years, I have been on the City Council since the city was formed. With our current administration we have made substantial headway in repairing and improving life in Sandy Springs. My vision for the next four years is to continue to make Sandy Springs the greatest city in Georgia.
In uncertain economic times we must be ever vigilant in how we account for taxpayer money that is entrusted to us to better the lives of our residents. I will continue to work to deserve the trust afforded me by my constituents.”
“Sandy Springs faces some issues in which I feel are imperative to address. The No. 1 issue we face is the alleviation of traffic along Roswell Road. This has been and will continue to be a growing concern, unless we find solutions to manage the ever-increasing traffic flow through our city. Another issue I feel obligated to take up for is the conservation of our green spaces, as they are precious and are invaluable to Sandy Springs. We are the city that affords people the opportunity to live a stone’s throw away from a big metropolitan city, yet provide a feeling of living in a world removed due to the nature that surrounds us. If taken for granted these green spaces will undoubtedly over time dwindle away. Residents and business alike will benefit from preventative measures taken to ensure our community continues to evolve into a thriving and vibrant city.”