If you want to provide your input on the city of Sandy Springs’ charter review process, you have until July 1 to do so.
The Sandy Springs Charter Review Commission is seeking public comment as it completes its charter review process. The commission has met six times this year since Feb. 4, and will meet again June 3 and 17 and July 1 before sending its findings to the Georgia General Assembly, which could then decide to pass a law to amend the city’s charter based on the commission’s recommendations.
“This is the second time it’s been reviewed,” said Tochie Blad, the commission’s vice chair. “It’s been a long 11 years between the reviews. We will make recommendations to the state Legislature and then it’s up to them to adjust the charter.”
Though the commission’s report will be sent to the city council, it won’t require the council’s approval before being forwarded to the Legislature, Blad said. Sandy Springs incorporated in 2005, and the commission last met in 2010.
“The last time I think they had over seven or eight changes in the (commission’s review) report, and only a couple of them were adopted (by the state),” Blad said. “The one on charging water fees was changed because if the city ever considered adopting its own water system, it had to include a provision to charge water fees.”
How often the commission meets is one topic that’s been debated. At the commission’s May 20 meeting, Sandy Springs Together, a nonprofit that aims to bring a culture of respect and inclusiveness to all residents, released the findings of a survey it conducted.
In the survey, where comments from a diverse group of more than 400 residents were collected from April 22 through May 20 via Facebook and email, a majority said they would like to see the city’s charter reviewed more often than every 11 years. Their responses are broken down as follows:
♦ 64% of respondents want to see a review at least once in five years or even more frequently.
♦ 34% want to see a review every three years.
♦ 30% want to see a review every five years.
Blad said the neighboring city of Brookhaven renews its charter every five years, so Sandy Springs’ commission may meet more frequently in the future. She added that at the May 20 meeting, Sandy Springs Together also presented an analysis on the charter from a racial equity lens.
For more information on the commission or to submit a public comment, visit https://bit.ly/3fWDsx2.