Does our city council give special consideration to industry lobbyists not afforded Sandy Springs residents? It is council policy to only allow public comment at the end of the second monthly meeting? Recently this rule was suspended to allow timber industry lobbyists to speak on an ordinance proposed to amend a section of the building code requiring steel and concrete construction in apartments rather than wood.

Thumbs up to Councilmember Tibby DeJulio for being the lone voice opposing industry favoritism.

The stricter building ordinance passed, but the industry lobbyists should never have received preferential treatment not granted citizens.

A similar issue occurred at a recent Planning Commission meeting. New text amendments were up for review, and a landowner’s zoning attorney and staff had crafted them to only apply to just a few parcels along Roswell Road. Should our code be “spot zoning” by legislation instead of review by full City Council? Why craft such narrow uses for just a few parcels of land? Kudos to the Planning Commission for denying one amendment and deferring the second proposal.

We did not become a city to favor the clients who hire powerful, connected lobbyists and zoning attorneys, but to have all of us represented.

Tochie A. Blad