Chris Burnett

Is Sandy Springs better off now than we were 10 years ago? Was incorporation worth it?

Whenever I attend community or civic events, I am always struck by the tremendous pride that our residents, business owners and government leaders have for their home town.

There is a passion and a spirit of cooperation that exists in Sandy Springs that I believe is the direct result of our incorporation 10 years ago.

Certainly, things like the groundbreaking of City Springs, new road improvements, the addition of sidewalks and parks, and the city’s strong financial condition and high bond rating are all tangible accomplishments we can point to, but it is the intangible component of our civic pride coupled with strong leadership that makes all these things possible.

Both our city and our chamber celebrate their 10th birthdays this year and this is an exciting time of reflection for us. In the past decade, we have seen iconic international companies move their corporate headquarters to Sandy Springs. We have also seen many budding small businesses get their start here, including our company, Bank of Sandy Springs, which opened here in 2014 to help invest in the future of our community.

We have seen the expansion of our public and private schools, and we’ve seen the development and construction of some beautiful neighborhoods and homes within our city. Our long-time residents are staying here, and new residents are coming here because of the quality of life and the quality of community that Sandy Springs offers.

We know that success and growth come with their own set of challenges, and building and maintaining a strong community infrastructure requires vision and hard work.

Because we are our own city, we control our financial and strategic planning decisions in ways that were unavailable to us 10 years ago. For these reasons, incorporation has given the residents and leaders of Sandy Springs more control over their city’s destiny.

Our mission will be to keep the fire that we feel for our city today burning for decades to come, and to pass on our sense of pride to the next generation of residents and leaders.

If we do this effectively, then Sandy Springs will continue to enjoy its current level of success and prosperity, and will continue to be Georgia’s greatest city.

Chris Burnett is market president of the Bank of Sandy Springs and chairman of the board of the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce.