Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul and local business leaders will travel to Israel this weekend for a five-day visit to a group of sister cities.

The Sandy Springs delegation arrives Sun., Oct. 11 at the “Western Galilee Cluster,” an ethnically and religiously diverse group of cities in northern Israel. The intent is to promote economic development, especially in medical technology, “data security” and tourism, Paul said at the Oct. 6 Sandy Springs City Council meeting.

Joining the mayor on the trip are: Tom Mahaffey, president and CEO of the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce; Andrea Hall, the city’s economic development director; Sandy Springs City Councilman Andy Bauman; Jennifer Cruce, executive director of Sandy Springs Hospitality and Tourism; and Jan Paul, executive director of Leadership Sandy Springs, who also is Mayor Paul’s spouse.

The trip will include a visit to Jerusalem as well before the group returns Oct. 16, according to city spokeswoman Sharon Kraun. Paul described the trip as “one day to play tourist, and the rest is all work.”

City Council approved a sister-city agreement with the Israeli cities earlier this year.

The city is paying for Mayor Paul and Hall’s airfare at a total cost of $3,811.12, according to Kraun. Mahaffey and Cruce’s expenses are covered by their respective organizations, while Bauman and Jan Paul are paying out of their own pockets, Kraun said.

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