Sandy Springs hires new city manager as it leaves privatization

Sandy Springs hired a new city manager, Andrea Surratt, from Montana. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Sandy Springs hired a new city manager, Andrea Surratt, from Montana. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Sandy Springs has tapped a new city manager from Montana.

Andrea Surratt will be the second city manager in Sandy Springs, and will help lead the 14-year-old city into a new era as it changes its privatization model to one that is more typical of local government.

In Bozeman, Mont., Surratt manages a $118.8 million budget and 427 employees, a statement from Sandy Springs said. She has 28 years of experience.

“I’m delighted,” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said Tuesday, as city council voted to approve Surratt for the job. “I think we’ve got an excellent selection here.”

John McDonough, the former city manager, left Sandy Springs in August. He was making $249,750. Surratt's salary would be $222,000, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported. A Sandy Springs spokesperson was not available to confirm that number.

Over the summer, Sandy Springs — which had just 17 employees who were not police officers or firefighters — made job offers to 139 contractors who had been working for the city.

Hiring employees would save the city $14 million over five years, Sandy Springs leaders concluded in May, and they elected to bring workers on full-time, instead of renewing $21 million in existing contracts.

In a statement, Surratt said she was “honored” to come to the city “during this exciting time.”

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

Surratt told the Bozeman paper that she was moving to Georgia to be closer to her father, in North Carolina. Her mother died in January.

“My father is 83 years old in North Carolina and that changed the time horizon for getting closer to spend time with him and be a part of his life,” Surratt told the Montana paper. “My life took a shift, and I need to do the right thing going forward.”

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