Four days after qualifying for the Nov. 7 Sandy Springs mayoral election, David Crim has withdrawn from the race.
Crim, who qualified Aug. 25, was the sole candidate to challenge incumbent Rusty Paul, who qualified four days earlier. He withdrew Aug. 29, leaving Paul unopposed.
Crim is the president of BetterCE, a Sandy Springs-based company that helps insurance professionals with their continuing education needs. He said he withdrew for “several reasons.”
“One, I realized it was a daunting task, and after looking at (what the job entails) and trying to fix the problems that have been created (in the city), I realized it would require more time and dedication than I would allow to take away from my family,” Crim said. “I was told by deciding not to run early, the city would save (about) $300,000 from the results of not having a citywide election.”
His withdrawal from the election means only one council or mayoral race - the District 4 one between Le’Dor Milteer and Jody Reichel - will be contested. The five other council candidates, including four incumbents, are unopposed, so the city may not have to open voting precincts on election day in those districts.
Crim said he originally decided to run for mayor to make positive changes to the city.
“I was born and raised here and never wanted to be a public official, but I felt strongly that the mayor has totally gotten away from the reasons we were founded. Soon after Mayor (Eva) Galambos left office (in January 2014), apartment (developments) started going up and spending went up," Crim said, referring to when Paul took office.
He said he was not pressured by anyone with the city to withdraw from the race.
Sandy Springs will still have to host a citywide special election Nov. 7 to fill the Fulton County Board of Commissioners chair’s seat being vacated by John Eaves, who resigned earlier this month to run for Atlanta mayor. But since it's a Fulton race, the county will pay for it, Sandy Springs spokeswoman Sharon Kraun said. Qualifying for that race is Sept. 18 through 20.
Kraun said the city will only have to pay for its District 4 council election.
Paul said he is excited to know he will serve a second term.
“There are three initiatives we started that I would absolutely like to finish, starting with City Springs,” he said of Sandy Springs’ City Hall complex under construction. “I was hoping we would be able to move in there in December or January. But it’s going to be April before we get in there. Secondly, The Next Ten (comprehensive plan). We were able to wrap it up and get it done, but now it’s the most important part, the implementation of it. The areas of redevelopment, the older apartments, must be addressed. …
“Then there’s transportation. We’ve got the TSPLOST very first project started. We’re working on the Mount Vernon (Highway)-Johnson Ferry Road (intersection) project. It’s one of the most malfunctioning intersections out there. Transportation – and the lack thereof – is one of the biggest concerns we have in Sandy Springs but it’s also a regional problem.”
Paul also said he hopes to work with the new Atlanta mayor next year to renegotiate a deal with that city, which handles Sandy Springs’ water service.
“There are 500 fire hydrants in this city not working properly, which is unacceptable” he said. “We hope to have more control over the water system.”