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  • VIDEO: Georgia City Saves Big After Privatizing Services

    Just outside Atlanta sits the city of Sandy Springs, Ga., a community that, on its surface, looks a lot like many others. But if you look at a little bit closer at how the city’s government works, you’ll find a remarkably different model of efficiency that stands apart from the rest. Reason.com explains:

    While cities across the country are cutting services, raising taxes and contemplating bankruptcy, something extraordinary is happening in a suburban community just north of Atlanta, Georgia.

    Since incorporating in 2005, Sandy Springs has improved its services, invested tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and kept taxes flat. And get this: Sandy Springs has no long-term liabilities.

    How’d they do it? Privatizing city services like paving streets, picking up trash and maintaining parks, doing for $25 million what would cost $50 million under a traditional city system. And, as Sandy Springs’ mayor Eva Galambo says, ”In comparison to all these other cities and counties that are having to furlough and having these terrible pension problems, our situation is excellent.”

    Contrast to the city of Hamtramck, Mich., which has begged the state to allow it to declare bankruptcy, Harrisburg, Pa., which is bogged-down in millions in debt payments, or Prichard Ala., which stopped paying monthly checks to retired city workers when its pension fund ran out, as The New York Times reports.

    Now it’s your turn. Watch the story of Sandy Springs, then tell us what you think in our comments section, below.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to VIDEO: Georgia City Saves Big After Privatizing Services

    1. LaMarr Lilly Possum says:

      Is it true that the US Govn deployed forrest service firefighters to South America when we have such a huge wild fire danger here in the US. We have lost over 60,000 acres in a week just in three counties in Texas because of resources not avaliable such a airborn water drops.

    2. Bobbie says:

      "crisis" is all about a democrat and under democrat control they are most successful creating crisis. t's a good thing to know some city governments respect the freedom and economics of the people they serve and have the intellect of their position. Private contractors have the incentive to do jobs accordingly, being accountable and responsible for the job rendered. The expense is paid accordingly. Totally different set of rules with government. Not only more expensive, less quality work, no expectations under government union who fights for the dereliction of the job, etc…

      Short scenario: 3 people standing on a cliff. One slips off. The first one to the rescue is a Republican as the democrat knows it's not their job or waits for government assistance. Democrats show to lack individuality of feelings, thoughts and ability.

    3. Chuck @ The Southern says:

      Prichard, AL is a small municipality in the Greater Mobile area.. And it is a very poor one, at that. That city is in such poor shape because they raised taxes higher than the MUCH LARGER city it shares its' border with: Mobile (where I live), and most of the businesses simply re-located. This is what happens when Progressive politicians try the "Raise taxes on the rich!" – The rich leave, and since they were the only ones paying any taxes at all… that government entity loses much more revenue.

      You'd think they would learn from this, after decades of the same progressive ideas failing time and time again.. But they must be insane: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    4. George Colgrove VA says:

      I was at a vinyard here in VA and as I was setting there looking around at he children playing, the statues, the gazeebo and the gardens, I was thinking this is waht a park shoudl be. Simple, pleasent, well taken care of and full of people. City parks can be scary places at times. I was thinking would it be a bad thing to hand over parks to nearby coffee shops, restaurants and so on to have them not only manage the park, buit also expand their busnesses into the park. It would still be free to the public like any VA Vinyard are. But there would be more investment by people who have skin in the game to make such things better an more populated (i.e. less scarey).

      A group of businesses will pay for a private sector lawn care service to come in and manage the land far cheaper than public union workers would – i.e. more reasonably paid people who are never idle.

    5. Roger, Boise Idaho says:

      Fantastic! I would move to Sandy Springs given the opportunity…

    6. John, Asheville, N.C says:

      Sandy Springs is another clear example of how Capitalism works. When the functions of a city are turned over to companies who need to earn a profit to stay in business, they will beat the traditional government operation, every time. Taxpayer supported monopolies (government services) have no incentive to be efficient, so they grow, become bloated, and suck up more taxpayer funds.

    7. Bruce Smallacombe says:

      would love to hear more or even sit down and discuss how all this was accomplished, and what have been the negatives to this. I have thought about Privatizing our county road and bridge and parks system for years.

    8. Concerned, Mequon WI says:

      Great for them. It really doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. The government is too dumb to do it. And most state workers would be screaming because they would probably lose benefits. But, you gotta do what you gotta do and I think that is a really great solution!

    9. sam says:

      We need police and firemen. We the people will do the rest.

    10. Pingback: Georgia City Saves Big After Privatizing Services : USACTION NEWS

    11. George Colgrove VA says:

      Bruce Smallacombe

      "I have thought about Privatizing our county road and bridge and parks system for years."

      I think this is a bad idea. Where the feds and states are going wrong is that a bridge project can be caught up with bureaucracies with environmental review, historical review, cultural review and so on and so on. Transportation isoften a big pot for states and all the other useless agencies get into the action by putting more concern on a bridge replacement than on privae sector construction. It becomes a guaranteed revenue source for the state permitting agencies.

      Now mind you, we are taking out an existing bridge and putting in a new one and we need to go through years of prermitting t get the bridge through the system. Most of the time the bridge will never change!

      Highway and bridge costs would be far lower if we got out of the extreme measures in permitting. Also, transportation dollars shoudl go towards basic design. A bridge can often cost twice what it really needs to when locals (often democrats or even more extreme liberals) get into the action and start demanding signature structures.

      What we need is more transparancy and people need to understand how the money and time for highway and bridge construction is handled.

      The mess we are in with govetrnment roads started in the early 1900's when all roads were private. In order to have price control, you need competition. That means you will need multiple roads going in the same direction. Look at the intersections of toll roads. 10's of millions of dollars are wasted in controlled access intersections and toll booths when simple intersections would have sufficed. Public funding of highways makes sence so long as the dollars are stretched as far as they can be. We need to watch out for needless permitting, overpaid public workers and corruption with contractors. As with any public servant enterprize we need 100% transparancy upon demand. Goverment workers should not be laboring over piles of paper for months to get peolpe the information they want. Cost control in the public sector depends on what the people know.

    12. Bob says:

      Wow! May their tribe increase! There is wisdom in the hearts and minds of these self-reliant, industrious and productive senior leaders. Maybe Mr. Obama would visit this community and showcase their model, motives and management values.

    13. Walter, Oregon says:

      Great, so long as you don't forget basic moderators such as "checks-n-balances." After all, if I'm not mistaken, it was the band-wagon of privatization that bequest Maximus the front-door keys to California.

    14. Gary C, Waxhaw, NC. says:

      Bobbie brings up a great point: why is a crisis that's brought on by Ds or Rs never seen for what it is; a gov't created crisis? Rather, media reports the "crisis", says women and children will be hurt most and get gov't to the resue. Then we all pay.

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