The 15 candidates running for six City Council seats in Sandy Springs had a chance to voice their opinions on issues from affordable housing to diversity and inclusion.
Reporter Newspapers and the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber on Sept. 27 hosted a candidate forum, in partnership with WABE and Atlanta Civic Circle. Residents can view the entire forum online. Read about the mayoral forum here.
District 1 candidates Megan Harris and incumbent John Paulson discussed ways to redevelop the North End, along with creative approaches to ensure first-time homebuyers can find homes at their price points in Sandy Springs.
Melody Kelley and Linda Trickey, the District 2 candidates, spoke on the need for an expansion of trails and parks in the district, along with creating better relations with Fulton County Schools. Other topics included how to utilize the Chattahoochee River and how to cultivate diversity, equity and inclusion in Sandy Springs. Incumbent Steve Soteres is not running for reelection.
District 3 residents will pick from three candidates on the Nov. 2 municipal election ballot to replace another incumbent, Chris Burnett, who decided not to run for reelection. At the forum, Melissa Mular, Eric Newberg and Leslie Mullis addressed achieving balanced growth in the city. They also discussed traffic, affordable housing and how the city can succeed in recruiting police officers.
Incumbent Jody Reichel faces three challengers for the District 4 council seat — Vernon Graham, Michelle Sullivan and Tochie Blad. The four candidates described how they would address the worker shortage for Sandy Springs employers. They also provided ideas on how to improve traffic flow in the district. Term limits, early education and bringing more people to the table were some of the ideas given to improve diversity and inclusion in Sandy Springs.
Incumbent Tibby DeJulio was joined by challenger Colin Hubbard as the candidates offered their ideas for residents of District 5. As home to the biggest transportation projects in Sandy Springs, including the Transform 285/400 project, the candidates were asked what the city needs to do to reduce traffic congestion. They also talked about affordable housing.
Jeff Howe faces incumbent Andy Bauman for the District 6 council seat. Both candidates said the health and safety of the city’s neighborhoods was a top concern. They discussed creative ways to preserve and encourage affordable housing, but did not want to see zoning changes at the expense of protected neighborhoods.