Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul expressed his appreciation for Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens during his State of the City presentation before the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 18.
“I just want to go on the record. I think the world of the new mayor of Atlanta. He’s doing a phenomenal job,” Paul said.
Both mayors serve on the negotiation team for the 15 Fulton County cities that are in a stalled mediation with the Fulton County Board of Commissioners over the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenue distribution. The two sides must reach an agreement by the end of the year or LOST will expire.
“One thing that Fulton County has accomplished is gotten Sandy Springs and the city of Atlanta to actually work together. That had never happened before in the history of humankind,” Paul said.
At the end of Tuesday’s Sandy Springs City Council meeting, Paul said another mediation session was proposed for Friday, but he saw no point in it with how far apart the two sides are.
“I’ve worked with every mayor of Atlanta since Mayor Jackson and Mayor Dickens is truly a breath of fresh air, somebody who takes his responsibility as a leader in the region very seriously,” Paul said during the City Council meeting. “And it’s been a delight to work with him so far.”
He said all 15 cities have a good working relationship during his State of the City address.
“If you’ve been reading the newspapers and keeping up with the media or watching my social media posts, one of the most important things going on right now is our LOST negotiations, local option sales tax, and we are not making a lot of progress,” he said.
In the past five or six years the cities and county have done a lot of great work, he said, but “these negotiations have shattered a lot of that goodwill.”
He said another way needs to be found to make these distribution decisions.
The top goal for Sandy Springs is to keep all its public safety personnel, but if it takes a $30 million hit from the loss of LOST revenue if negotiations fail, that might not be possible.