By John Schaffner
Two boys in middle school and one in elementary school had an idea for the Sandy Springs mayor and City Council on how to turn a vacant car dealership into a benefit for the community and the city’s youth.
Turn it into a skateboard park, they said.
The three – Sherif Grady, Devon Key and Tanner Ashcraft — were introduced at the Oct. 5 council meeting by a Sandy Springs police officer who had spotted them skateboarding in the parking lot outside City Hall and was about to run them off.
The officer said he had cautioned them that skateboarding in the parking lot was not safe. They responded, “the city needs to build a skateboard park and we wouldn’t be doing it here.”
The officer invited them to come inside and present their case to the people who could make that happen — the council, who happened to be meeting that night right inside the building.
Grady, who is in middle school in Sandy Springs, did most of the talking for the group.
“Instead of skating around in places where we shouldn’t be skating, we were thinking that you guys should build a skate park, so that we wouldn’t be everywhere. We would just be at one place.”
The young skateboarder suggested that the former Tom Jumper Chevrolet site on Roswell Road would “be a great place to put it.”
That drew a bit of laughter from council.
“Who is going to pay for this?” asked Mayor Eva Galambos.
The boys offered to help build it.
“Thank you very much for the suggestion,” Galambos said. “We have thought about it. I guess you know whenever we build something, we have to have tax money to pay for it. That is always our problem. If we can find money to do it, we will do it.
“Thank you,” the mayor said to the youths.