A delegation of local leaders from the central Asian country of Kazakhstan visited local government officials and community meetings this month. The Sandy Springs City Council and the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods were among their stops.

The five-member delegation’s visit, part of a week-long study of local government agencies in the metro area, was organized through the Open World program, a U.S.-government-sponsored program that  brings leaders from countries that were once part of the Soviet Union to the U.S. to showcase its values and institutions.

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul (far right) gives gifts to the delegation from Kazakhstan at the Feb. 7 City Council meeting. (Photo John Ruch)

During their visit, the Kazakhs met with DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader, state Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) and other government officials. They also attended sessions of the DeKalb Commission, the state General Assembly and the Atlanta City Council.

In Sandy Springs, the delegation met with Mayor Rusty Paul and Councilmember John Paulson.

“They came to learn about our rather unique or at least uncommon form of government,” said Mayor Paul at the Feb. 7 City Council meeting, where he gave gifts to the delegation. “It’s always good to be able to share the Sandy Springs story” with such international visitors, he said.

Reporter Newspapers Editor-at-Large Joe Earle is a volunteer with the Friendship Force of Greater Atlanta and helped to organize the program and visits.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

One reply on “Leaders from Kazakhstan visit local governments, community meetings”

  1. So what did they learn about localized “Globalization” and the exporting of jobs out of state by a private company who makes a profit off us?

    What did you learn about what it’s like to be a “break away state” and go it alone against larger super powers around you?

    For a state that bleeds Red, hates government, yet takes more from the Federal Government than it gives those Red politicians sure like spending Federal Government Money. Now, How about the State of Georgia pays it’s share or more than it takes like we’re asking our NATO friends?

    Could you have learned as much as you did by a search as you did by spending a lot of Federal Tax Payer dollars?

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