Sandy Springs has named Andrea Surratt as its new city manager. The appointment was recommended by Mayor Rusty Paul and approved by the City Council at a Dec. 3 meeting.

Andrea Surratt. (Special)

Surratt’s annual salary will be $222,000, according to a city document. Surratt will begin the position on Jan. 6, 2020, Paul said at the meeting.

“Cities are strengthened by meaningful community discussions about growth, neighborhood preservation, revitalization, and inclusive community identity,” Surratt said in a city of Sandy Springs press release. “I look forward to working with the Sandy Springs City Council, citizens and staff to shape this young city, originally envisioned by [founding mayor] Eva Galambos, into an uncommon and timeless community.”

“It is my sincere delight to recommend the approval of Andrea Surratt,” Paul said.

“This was a very thorough and inclusive process,” District 6 City Councilmember Andy Bauman said. “I think she will be an extraordinary leader and mentor in this community.”

“One of the things I was very concerned about when we started this process was the caliber of the candidates,” District 1 City Councilmember John Paulson said. “The concern I had is out of my mind…I am sure she will do a great job.”

“She is an exceptionally strong candidate,” District 5 Tibby DeJulio said. “Her tenure here will really be of benefit to the city.”

Surratt will replace Peggy Merriss, who was appointed as interim city manager in July as a temporary replacement for Sandy Springs’ founding city manager, John McDonough. Sandy Springs has said it aims to hire a permanent replacement by early next year.

The city utilized an executive search firm to conduct a national search for its new manager after McDonough’s departure.

“We had over 500 applicants,” Paul said at the Dec. 3 meeting.

Surratt has over 28 years of city management under her belt, according to her resume.

Surratt resigned from her city manager job in Bozeman, Mont. on Dec. 3 in the wake of her new position in Sandy Springs, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She has held the position since 2017 and served as interim city manager before being appointed permanently.

Surratt is a native of North Carolina and served as the planning and development manager for the city of Wilmington, N.C., and the town manager for Wrightsville Beach, N.C. Surratt was also the assistant city manager for the city of Hickory, N.C. for ten years.

Surratt earned a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Clemson University in 1991 and a bachelor of arts in political science from Guilford College in 1989.

Hannah Greco

Hannah Greco is writer and media communications specialist based in Atlanta.