Current Sandy Springs mayor Rusty Paul and public affairs specialist Dontaye Carter are running for Sandy Springs mayor.

Business owner and former reporter Dontaye Carter is running for Sandy Springs mayor. Born in Orlando, Florida, the 35-year-old was raised by his mother, an Army veteran. Carter attended Florida A&M University where he studied Broadcast Journalism before working in at several news stations before moving to Sandy Springs eight years ago. Carter served as the Senior Public Affairs Officer for Department Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and started his own media company, Carter Media Group.

According to his website, Carter’s vision for the city includes increasing ethics, transparency, and inclusivity within city government, prioritizing the needs of the community’s schools in order to better prepare children for the future and maintaining public safety, increase public trust, and improve the community’s relationship with police.

“I’m a problem solver, and we have problems that need solving,” Carter said. “And sometimes, the best way to solve a problem is to lay fresh eyes on it. A change in leadership is the best thing that could happen to the people of Sandy Springs because I want to move this city forward in a way where we’re bringing everyone along.”

Carter said Sandy Springs’ biggest challenge is the lack of affordable housing. If elected, Carter plans to create a comprehensive and compassionate housing plan based on the recommendations offered by the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and HR&A.

“Young people making entry-level wages, folks who are looking to downsize their homes—they’re all being pushed out,” Carter said. “And our first responders and teachers are leaving because they can’t afford to live here.”

Carter’s top priorities for Sandy Springs include creating more affordable housing, diversify water sources in order to decrease the city’s dependence on Atlanta and secure a sufficient water supply for the people of Sandy Springs and prioritizing transparency and integrity in the Office of the Mayor.

Age: 35

Occupation: Public Relations & Media Professional

Years Living in the city: 5

Relevant Experience: Director of Fulton County District Attorney’s Public Affairs Office Senior Public, Affairs Officer for the Superior Court of Fulton County

Twitter: @dontayeformayor

Current Sandy Springs mayor Rusty Paul is running for re-election. The 69-year-old has lived in Sandy Springs for 28 years. Paul was elected to the founding Sandy Springs city council in 2005 and then as mayor in November 2013.

Paul said the last 20 months were the most challenging in recent memory, but residents urged him to continue leading. He decided to seek re-election because he said he has unfinished business, including public safety concerns that evolved over the past year and a differing vision among some about the future of our community.

“I understand the challenges, opportunities, and the limits we face in solving problems and having overseen planning and development for the entire country, I’ve observed most mistakes other communities have made and can help us avoid them,” Paul said. “Yet, I have also seen the successes and know how to incorporate them into what we’re doing in Sandy Springs as well.”

Paul’s top priorities for the city are public safety, protecting neighborhoods and traffic congestion. Paul cited the rising crime rate, saying the city saw two recent home invasions and, if elected, plans to “ensure our first responders are the best compensated, best trained, best equipped force with the best facilities possible.”

Paul said the city’s biggest challenge is public safety, specifically efficient traffic movement.

“TSPLOST gave us the resources to attack pinch points while adding sidewalks and trails that give people alternate ways of moving through the community,” Paul said. “Our planned upgrades along Hammond Drive are designed to improve efficiency, but also dramatically reduce neighborhood cut through traffic. This is a direction we are taking on future projects, so streets designed as quiet routes through peaceful neighborhoods don’t become clogged with people looking for alternate ways to move through Sandy Springs.”

Age: 69

Occupation: Owner of iSquared Communications

Years in Living in the city: 28

Relevant Experience: Elected mayor in November 2013; elected as founding Sandy Springs city council member in 2005; former Georgia State Senator; former Stone Mountain City Council member; served three terms on the Georgia Municipal Association board of directors; Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations in the first Bush Administration under Secretary Jack Kemp

Georgia early voting runs from Oct. 12 through Oct. 29. The 2021 Sandy Springs Municipal General Election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 2, at all the regular precincts and polling places within the city of Sandy Springs. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. If necessary, a run-off election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 30.

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