Do you live in a city that leans toward nanny-statism? Perhaps you need a move to Sandy Springs,Georgia, an Atlanta suburb that has become a test case for pro-business conservative living. The town is an example of what would happen if you privatize EVERYTHING. Road repair, emergency call centers, permit services, city engineers–nearly everything but the education system, police and fire departments are outsourced to private firms. With local governments in budget crises and public sector unions in defense across the country, the balance sheet of Sandy Springs is in the black. The New York Times reports on the influences of one of Sandy Springs’s founders and architect-in-chief Oliver W. Porter:
After an election in 2004, both houses of Georgia’s legislature were controlled by Republicans for the first time since Reconstruction.
“It was like a dog that’s been chasing a train for years and finally catches it,” Mr. Porter says. “The question was, What do I do with it now?”
As a fan of Ronald Reagan and the economist Friedrich Hayek, Mr. Porter came naturally to the notion that Sandy Springs could push “the model” to its nth degree. His philosophical inclinations were formed by a life spent in private enterprise, and cemented by a visit to Weston, Fla., a town that had begun as a series of gated communities.
Porter went on to say that he sees Sandy Springs as a model for cities around the country facing bankruptcy. City Manager John F. McDonough joined “Real News” Monday to discuss the allocation of government services Sandy Springs, and how existing cities in crisis can move toward the the Sandy Springs model: