Change is in store for Sandy Springs City Council, but asking a council member whether they’ll run for his or her council seat again is a bit like playing a game of poker.
The qualifying deadline is the end of August and the election is Nov. 5. That might sound far off, but keep in mind that’s only about 14 City Council meetings between now and Aug. 30, and the candidates will have to decide whether to call or fold.
The next five years hold promise and pitfalls for the city as leaders try to implement plans for downtown development and grow the city’s economy.
Some on the council have declared their intentions. Most observers and council members are interested in Mayor Eva Galambos’ plans, but she’s keeping her cards close. She’s been the mayor since 2006 and her plans could be the deciding factor for other candidates considering a run for the job. Galambos said she plans to make an official announcement sometime in late spring.
“I’m leaving that up in the air,” Galambos said.
Other council members decided there’s no point in building suspense.
“I don’t see why not,” District 4 Councilman Gabriel Sterling said. “At this point I’m fully intending to run for re-election. There’s too much left to do, on the economic development front, the city center … we need some continuity on the council.”
District 3 Councilman Chip Collins said he feels like he has unfinished business, but adds he needs to run it by his wife and family first before he’ll commit fully.
But, yes, he’s likely seeking another term, he said.
“It’s going to be an exciting next four or five years with the downtown and the new parks we have coming online,” Collins said. “As of now, I’d like to be involved in seeing those things through.”
District 1 Councilman John Paulson said he’s still making the decision.
“I’ve had a bunch of people ask me, obviously,” Paulson said. “At this point I’ve booked an appointment with myself to think about this hard.”
Collins, Paulson and Sterling represent the council’s newer members. The other three members have been serving on the council since the city began in 2006, and are more likely to be coy about whether they’re aiming a little higher in this election to become Galambos’ successor.
District 5 Councilman Tibby DeJulio said it’s too soon to make a formal announcement about his plans.
“Let’s see how the year develops,” he said.
District 2 Councilwoman Dianne Fries said she will definitely run for re-election but did not dismiss the idea of running for mayor.
“As for running for mayor, that door remains open until qualifying – as it is for all of us,” Fries said.
District 6 Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny said she’s not interested in running for her council seat again, saying she supports term limits. However, running for mayor could be in the cards for her, she said. “That door has not exactly opened, but it’s not closed,” she said. “It would certainly be an honor.”