Editor’s Note: Sandy Springs City Manager John McDonough, the first and only person to hold the job since the city’s 2005 incorporation, is leaving for a similar job in South Carolina. He provided the following statement reflecting on his time in Sandy Springs:
It is rare to have the opportunity to start up a new city, and as I look back at my time as the city’s first city manager, we have accomplished a great deal in our short 13 years. One highlight, of course, is starting up a new city.
I am happy to leave the community with additional parks and green space, including the creation of Overlook and Abernathy Greenway parks, Lost Corner Preserve and the Marsh Creek bio-retention garden.
Public safety is a top priority of the council and community, and Sandy Springs has made great strides in becoming one of the safest cities in the state. We have built strong police and fire departments who have positive relationships with the community. To help them in their efforts, we built a state-of-the-art 911 center and radio network, and we improved our ISO [Insurance Service Office fire risk] rating to 2.
The City Springs project is another rare gem in a career, and it has been gratifying to be a part of building a city hall and community-gathering place for the city.
Most importantly, I am proud of the quality of staff who are committed to providing outstanding customer service. I’m confident my senior leadership team will ensure continued progress in implementing the council’s priorities. I have been fortunate to work with a mayor and council committed to working in partnership with its city manager, and am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of that journey from early cityhood to the strong presence Sandy Springs now commands within the metro area.
I would like to thank the residents of Sandy Springs for their support. The city is such a strong, thriving community because of the involvement of its residents. They have been active and supportive, and have contributed a great deal to our strong growth. From the business community, to the nonprofits, to the HOA leadership, their participation is a critical factor in the city’s success.