Mayor Issues Veto, Council Overrides

Sandy Springs City Council members overrode the veto, however, during, Tuesday’s City Council meeting.


A difference of opinion on how city staff came to recommend a new arborist to improve the permitting process, led Mayor Eva Galambos to issue her first veto since Sandy Springs’ incorporation.

City Council members overrode the veto, however, during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Galambos announced her intention to issue a veto When Council members approved staff recommendation for an arborist/landscape architect in a split vote during the March 20 meeting. The part-time position would cost $17,146.

The Mayor believes the position would add a step to a permitting process that is already negatively perceived, by the public.

“I think this is a total waste of taxpayer money,” said Galambos, at the March 20 meeting. This did not emanate from the City Manager. The City Manager was jostled and told to come with figures.”

During her veto message on Tuesday, the Mayor said: "Adding personnel by Council initiative supersedes the normal process whereby the City Manager, who is supposed to be closest to the administrative and day to day activities of the Departments, would initiate a request for more staffing."

Councilman Tibby DeJulio echoed the Mayor at both meetings saying the Council had moved from making policy to operational decisions, which is the job of city staff, he said.

“I’m not opposed to tree inspections,” he said. “What I’m opposed to is this Council micromanaging the process. If [Commuity Development] can’t get the job done…they would’ve come to us…and said, 'We need to go ahead and have additional staff…' But for us to tell them they can’t do the job, and they need people to do the job, that’s micromanaging the city.”

The Councilman added that Sandy Springs is a $90 million business that is run like other businesses of its size vs. other municipalities such as the City of Atlanta. 

Chip Collins and other Council members disagreed with the Mayor and DeJulio’s take on how city staff came to recommend the part-time position.

"My recollection was that we decided or at least had a consensus that we were in favor of exploring the concept of pre-inspection.,” Collins said. “And then my recollection is that we asked; we weren’t ready to just go ahead and say, ‘And we want you to hire…' We asked staff to come back to us and let us know if that is something that they can do with their existing staffing levels."

Collins added that he agrees with the Mayor in her desire to improve delays in permitting. "I get hounded all over the community about the process," he said.

Anthony Poselenzny April 04, 2012 at 06:03 PM
By the way, I am not pleased that you and the other council members approved this. From my point of view you've done a poor job in this particular instance. You have now sent a message to the city manager that he can play you for more money in his budget. That is a very bad precedent. He should be scolded for letting these complaints build up without resolving them and be told that we don't ever want this to happen again. Very poor. A bad job.
Gabriel Sterling April 04, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Anthony, you and I will have to respectfully disagree on this one. We have been trying to find innovative ways to make things better for all parties involved. This is worth a shot. If it doesn't work, we change it. We have tried things before, the paving in place for instance...it didn't work...we changed direction. We will keep an eye on this as it is implemented....let's remember, this is the Council that rebid every contract we had to save millions in taxpayer dollars. I personally have been digging into ways to repeal certain antiquated laws and find additional ways we can save money. This is, in my opinion, an example of our system working. I put this under the " an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Catching issues on the front end is cheaper for all involved than finding them in the middle.
Jan R April 05, 2012 at 12:57 AM
I didn't realize that I have a chip on my shoulder - I'm just someone who has gone to many a City Council meeting and had many communications with council members and our mayor. I did read your comments. The council was not added into the process - all they did was authorize an additional expenditure of $17k and 1 part-time employee. I think you're the one overreacting. BTW, I don't know why you think I rely on the government. I don't. My area has been targeted for redevelopment simply because it isn't made up of new mini-mansions. That is the snottiness I refer to. That, and having our city council and mayor choose which developers they'd like to have redevelop the properties that they consider necessary to redevelop. Talk about intrusive government? BTW, I just reread my comments and reread yours (all of them). I didn't call you any names, nor disparage your character or opinion. But you made several such comments about me and people "like me". Who is being emotional?
Jan R April 05, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Thank you for your comments Mr. Sterling.
Brian Oravetz April 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Jan, this is your statement that earned the tenor of response that was delivered to you: "The snottiness in our city and the lack of consideration for some residents' neighborhoods is disturbing." It implied that people have a snotty attitude towards those who do not live in McMansion type neighborhoods. That's why it comes across as if you have a chip on your shoulder.


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