Atlanta mayor says to Sandy Springs, ‘as we thrive, all cities thrive’

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

The mayors of Sandy Springs and Atlanta formed a friendship bond while collaborating on local option sales tax negotiations with Fulton County last fall and they want their working relationship to grow.

The relationship between the two cites was prickly before Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens was elected in 2020. During election season of that year, campaigning candidates in north Fulton cities including Sandy Springs made Atlanta a negative talking point saying it was the opposite of what they wanted in their municipalities.

Dickens was guest speaker at a Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber luncheon held at Sandy Springs City Hall Tuesday. The Atlanta mayor said he feels connected to local business leaders and residents.

“I stand before you as somebody who feels united, feels comfortable being a part of you and you being a part of us; and us growing and thriving together as a region,” he said, adding that he wants to build on the success of the LOST negotiations.

“This meeting is important to me …” Dickens said of the luncheon.

Credit: Adrianne Murchison

Credit: Adrianne Murchison

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul told the crowd that he and Dickens spent a lot of time together when the mayors of 15 cities worked to reach an agreement with Fulton County on the distribution of Local Option Sales Tax revenue over the next 10 years. The parties came to a resolution in November with both sides saying they were satisfied with the rate of increase of Fulton’s share of the tax.

Paul said Dickens is now a friend and a significant regional leader effective in getting things done during meetings at the Atlanta Regional Commission.

“As we all know, as goes Atlanta so goes Georgia,” Paul said.

The luncheon drew a crowd of about 300 people including Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch, Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst and members of Sandy Spring City Council.

Dickens said that he has met municipal leaders throughout Georgia during his time as mayor and their common concerns – public safety, affordable housing, infrastructure and more – are the same as Atlanta’s.

“As we thrive, all of the cities thrive,” he said. “Even when we sit on opposites sides of the political aisle. Our desire for our communities must still be aligned. Peace and prosperity is something that everybody wants in their community, their city, and in their neighborhood.”