Privatization of new cities has changed since Sandy Springs began

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Privatization of new cities has changed since Sandy Springs began

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Rusty Paul, mayor of Sandy Springs, shows off concept photographs of new Sandy Springs City Center at his office. For years, the city of Sandy Springs was held up as a model for how to keep government efficient by outsourcing almost all services to private companies. But that model has changed over the years, with the city using more specialized service providers instead of one large private company. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

When Sandy Springs became the first of metro Atlanta’s new cities, it pioneered a novel way to run local government, with services delivered by companies and just a handful of public employees.

The outsourced model of government soon became the template for each city that followed. Those new communities sought professional management of parks, business licensing, courts and more.

But 12 years into the cityhood movement, these young municipalities are straying from their original, rigid reliance on privatized government.

“It wasn’t all that it promised to be,” former Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams said.

To read more about the privatization model, and what cities are doing, read the full story only at myAJC.com.

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