Dontaye Carter

Candidate for Sandy Springs Mayor


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1) What would be your top priority if elected (or re-elected) mayor of Sandy Springs?

Without a doubt, it is COVID-19. My team and I have spoken to thousands of residents, and we’ve heard their valid fears and frustrations about the handling of COVID-19 in Sandy Springs. The impact of the virus has single-handedly exacerbated every issue in our city limits. My top priority is saving lives and livelihoods, and it starts with slowing down the spread of COVID-19. 

2) As the metro region continues to add more people, how will you balance the growth in Sandy Springs, especially as it relates to traffic congestion and increasing the housing supply?

Traffic congestion and lack of housing go hand in hand. It’s essential to develop a comprehensive and compassionate housing plan starting with the recommendations provided by the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and the housing study by HR&A. 

3) What’s the best way to achieve redevelopment in the City’s North End without displacing lower-income residents?

First, we must improve communication between the City and our residents. We have to meet our residents where they are and invite them to the table to share their views on the community they desire to see. Second, create anti-displacement laws and re-examine zoning to ensure these laws match the values of the community our elected leaders serve.  

4) How will you deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic?

Our City must do more than encourage our residents to follow the science; we must act on the recommendations of doctors and scientists. I’ve learned from physicians in Sandy Springs that we can’t compare COVID-19 to the flu, it’s much deadlier, and we must treat it as such. If we want life to resume as it did prior to COVID-19, we must mandate the vaccine. Our public health epidemic is a public safety issue, and we have to tackle it the same way we would any threat to our lives or the lives of the people we love. The data is there, and we’re continuing to see the death toll rise. We can’t afford to play politics with the lives or livelihoods of our residents. It’s time to make the difficult decision.

5) Sandy Springs will have at least two new council members in 2022 as two incumbents aren’t running for reelection. What will you do as mayor to ensure the City Council can have civil discourse while making sure that all voices are heard?

Transparency, communication, and accountability are most important to me. However, it doesn’t work without the ability to listen. I will listen, and we’re going to work diligently to move this City forward in a way where we are bringing everyone along. 

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Reporter Newspapers.