Reason.tv: Sandy Springs, Georgia - The City that Outsourced Everything

While cities across the country are cutting services, raising taxes and contemplating bankruptcy, something extraordinary is happening in a suburban community just north of Atlanta, Georgia.

Since incorporating in 2005, Sandy Springs has improved its services, invested tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and kept taxes flat. And get this: Sandy Springs has no long-term liabilities.

This is the story of Sandy Springs, Georgia—the city that outsourced everything.

Approximately 8 minutes.

Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I notice this report convenietly fails to mention the gang rapes and ritual sacrifices that take place as soon as a town outsources its services.

  • Jim||

    I was also wondering about that, Fist. I was the instigator of a few of those gang rapes and sacrifices, and let me tell you, it was brutal enough to deserve a mention.

  • STEVE SMITH||

    TELL STEVE SMITH MORE! STEVE SMITH WANT ISSUE IPO OF GANG-RAPE CONGLOMORATE!

  • Old Mexican||

    Since incorporating in 2005, Sandy Springs has improved its services, invested tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and kept taxes flat. And get this: Sandy Springs has no long-term liabilities.
    But, they will surely come a time when they will have starving children spilled all over the pothole-filled streets, just like Caroline Hedlman predicted it would happen if you let "profit motive" run things! You'll see! That time will come! You'll see!
  • Old Mexican||

    Ah, those broken tags...

    Since incorporating in 2005, Sandy Springs has improved its services, invested tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and kept taxes flat. And get this: Sandy Springs has no long-term liabilities.


    But, they will surely come a time when they will have starving children spilled all over the pothole-filled streets, just like Caroline Hedlman predicted it would happen if you let "profit motive" run things! You'll see! That time will come! You'll see!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ha! Beat you to it, and I didn't use any tags that could be screwed up.

  • Old Mexican||

    But the use of tags makes for more pizzazz, fist... ;-)

  • ||

    You should have outsourced your tags. Maybe then you would have had exactly the right amount of pizzazz!

  • ||

    I hereby propose that the somalia and roadz tags be added to the HTML5 draft specification.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I think the key to a fiscally successful city isn't outsourcing. It's having James Coburn and Miss Ellie Ewing run it.

  • Matt Welch||

    I was thinking more of Maggie Thatcher's southern cousin, but regardless, FTW!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yeah, Coburn was a no-brainer, but I struggled with Miss Ellie until I googled her. (How many times did Jock Ewing use the second clause of that sentence after a long day on the ranch?)

  • Warren||

    Coburn? Not Kenny Rogers?

  • Upgrayyed||

    Colonel Sanders.

  • Matt||

    Or... Colonel Angus.

  • ||

    One key to a fiscally successful city is to start off on the right foot. Before Sandy Springs was incorporated it was a wealthy white-flight unincorporated area of Atlanta. The main reason the city incorporated was that its generally wealthy, taxpaying residents were sick and tired of seeing much of their tax money sent to the poorer, less productive areas of the county. And yes the issue of race did rear its head.

    This does not diminish the city leadership's accomplishments. But it does help if a city starts out with essentially no underclass.

  • cynical||

    You could achieve the same results anywhere, so long as the underclass is denied the vote.

  • Gus||

    "And yes the issue of race did rear its head."

    Why do you hate white people?

  • JP||

    What are you talking about? No underclass? Drive Roswell Road between Abernathy Road and the river. It's lined with old apartments and tired condos filled with people that aren't white, and probably wish they were wealthy. Dunwoody Place, Northridge Rd, and Roberts Drive are not wealthy by any means. Yes, there are a lot of mega rich, but no underclass?

    /grew up in Roswell

  • ||

    I live in Sandy Springs near the UPS headquarters. This area is very affluent.

    We have tried to detach ourselves from Fulton County for years.

  • me too||

    I owned a condo on Roberts drive. Sold it recently for $54000. :(

  • Anna||

    Shhh. Don't disrupt the narrative.

  • ||

    Having lived in Atlanta for many years I suppose I have a warped perspective. Im used to driving thru Atlanta neighborhoods off Bankhead highway, around GA tech, downtown, etc and seeing entire neighborhoods of adults hanging around aimlessly, dealing drugs in the open, homeless people sleeping in doorways or passed out under bridges, teenage mothers walking around with a baby hanging on each limb, etc. Never saw anything like that in Sandy Springs, though I will acknowledge not everyone there is wealthy, and I only go there a few times a month on business.

  • Stephen Smythe||

    But no see man in cave? Good. Cultivate upscale image.

  • ||

    Oh, there is what you call an "underclass" there...it's all up and down Roswell Rd. for about 10 miles,it's just that that probably only makes up 20% of the poulation there...Proud to say I grew up in Sandy Springs ! What an awesome place to live.

  • ||

    Did you hear the part about how the police and fire-fighters don't have any benefits? Their medical "insurance" is money that is put into a savings account. The problem with privatisation is that the ONLY incentive becomes cost, and that isn't always as desirable as public accountability.

  • Hank||

    That doesn't look like Somalia...

  • ||

    It Smells like Somalia!

  • ||

    Privitization works well in affulent communties it seems. But holding up one of the richest communties in the nation as a model for what the rest of the country should do causes problems.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Meta_Man,

    Privitization works well in affulent communties it seems.


    But, since we're talking about privatization, who cares what happens in affulent communities? Or affluent communities, for that matter?

    I am going back to sell some affulents to some affulent communities.

  • ||

    The affluence of the community is irrelevant. Sandy Springs, through public-private partnerships, is providing services for less cost.

  • Jeffersonian||

    ^^^ This.

  • dantealiegri||

    And the irony is - because of that, poor communities would benefit MORE.

    The reason it was done with Sandy Springs first was that affluent people have more time to reflect on what is being done with their money.

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    ...and there was less at stake, so to speak.

  • IceTrey||

    "affluent people have more time to reflect on what is being done with their money."

    Bullshit. Affluent people are affluent because they are working their asses off 80 hours a week. Who has more free time. Someone running a successful business or someone with no job on welfare?

  • Cyto||

    But holding up one of the richest communties in the nation as a model for what the rest of the country should do causes problems.

    Right! 'Cause a rich community that spends less for services than a nearby less affluent community couldn't possibly serve as a model for the less affluent community... 'Cause having less money, they'd want to spend more, or something.

    Bill Campbell ran on a platform of privatizing Atlanta's water, sewer, sanitation, airport, etc. That got him lots of support in the Buckhead area that foots the bill for the larger population to the south. Too bad he was a fraud and never did any of that.

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    The voice of Philadelphia sports?

    http://www.amazon.com/Bill-Cam.....0975441965

  • Cyto||

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    As opposed to Detroit, which is an effluent community.

    "rimshot"

  • ||

    Yikes, the spelling police got me.

    Anyway, I'm just saying that the implication that because privatization works well for a rich community we should consider it for all communities is a flawed one.

    Reason has it backwards: Sandy Springs is not rich because they privatized; they privatized because they're rich.

  • ||

    So a poor community should throw it's harder to earn money down the government money hole? That's stupid.

  • mr simple||

    That makes no sense; there is no causal relationship between the two attributes. As someone above said, why would a less affluent city want to spend more on services when the could just as easily spend less?

  • ||

    I think the argument is that a poor city would require more social services. ie: More crime, more deliquincy, more desperate parents, etc..

    Not saying I buy it, just saying it's not completely crazy.

  • ||

    If a community has a fixed pie, then becoming more efficient at providing services means providing more services.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    And if it doesn't have a fixed pie, it means more money in poor people's pockets.

    Trying to find the downside here...

  • Robert||

    more social services. ie: More crime, more deliquincy, more desperate parents, etc..


    Those certainly are important social services. But couldn't they be outsourced too?

  • Cyto||

    Reason has it backwards: Sandy Springs is not rich because they privatized; they privatized because they're rich.

    That much is true. But it wasn't because of the presence of money. It was because the voter base understood the economics of the situation. That's also the reason Sandy Springs incorporated in the first place. The city of Atlanta was on the move to annex more and more of the wealthy suburbs to finance their vote-buying and pandering. So lots of areas looked to incorporate or join other municipalities. ATL actually fought Sandy Springs on their incorporation.

    The economics of the matter are pretty straightforward. If you were able to run these services as a business, insourcing could make sense. But since there will be powerful constituencies created by blocks of workers, you can never achieve the same efficiencies as a group of private company competing for the bids.

    I only know one issue reasonably well, that of garbage pickup. In areas that were annexed by the city of Atlanta, they lost the right to privately contract their garbage pickup about a decade ago (maybe more). Racism and fairness were cited as reasons to prevent the mostly white northern burbs from having private pickup.

    So they went with city services only. The service is more expensive (by quite a bit) and the service is much worse. When there was private service, you could get backyard pickup of your trash for less than the city's curbside service. (You didn't have to carry the trash out, the private contractors would come around back and get it for you.)

    If other services show a similar disparity, I'd say that your notion of privatization only working in wealthy areas is well and truly debunked. If you think about it - it makes a lot of sense. The areas where competition would work best would be the high density population centers of cities. Places like North Dakota would have the worst time of it because the lower population density would have trouble attracting services from private companies.

  • Kristen||

    So they went with city services only. The service is more expensive (by quite a bit) and the service is much worse. When there was private service, you could get backyard pickup of your trash for less than the city's curbside service. (You didn't have to carry the trash out, the private contractors would come around back and get it for you.)

    NOt to mention rich folks paying for their own trash service would free up money to provide more efficient service to non-rich folks.*


    *Yes, I know - such a thing only occurs in a logical world. In teh real world, freeing up more money by having private trash pickup in some neighborhoods is like a crackhead winning the lottery.

  • monocle cynic||

    I'd say that your notion of privatization only working in wealthy areas is well and truly debunked.

    WRONG. Privatization will never work in poor places because they will elect mayors who siphon the money to cronies.

  • ||

    Private cronies are still cheaper than public cronies.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The city of Atlanta was on the move to annex more and more of the wealthy suburbs to finance their vote-buying and pandering. So lots of areas looked to incorporate or join other municipalities. ATL actually fought Sandy Springs on their incorporation.

    A bunch of communities did this in Denver in the early 70s when the busing controversy was going on. Up until then, Denver had financed most of its growth by annexing a bunch of smaller communities in an effort to increase its tax base. Middle-class suburbs like Wheat Ridge and Lakewood in Jefferson County incorporated as a way to keep their kids out of Denver Public Schools, so they wouldn't have to send them all the way across town in the name of Glorious Diversity.

  • Kristen||

    Yeah, the poor spending double what the rich folks do will certainly pull them out of poverty lickety-split!

  • ||

    Is that why wealthy sports team owners want to use their own money to build stadiums? Or why the wealthy don't want tax dollars to pay for the arts of which they are the primary consumer?

  • ||

    in this case, the 'wealthy' don't want to subsidize:
    A): Atlanta
    B): Turner Field
    C): Georgia Dome
    D): the next Falcons playsite.

    As you note, the government indebts it's citizens for many years for items like these...

  • NL||

    If privatization only works well with rich communities, and the nation as a whole is far richer than it was 50, 100, or 200 years ago, then shouldn't privatization work better than ever?

  • ||

    I'm eagerly awaiting the day when we start to see private police and fire services.

  • prolefeed||

    And then competition between private providers of governmental services.

    And only voluntary fees, and no taxes.

  • ||

    I'm glad The Cape was canceled. They made the private police force out to be evil, not just unfair or corrupt or unjust (it was all those things, too) but actually evil. If NBC went any further left they'd slingshot around the sun and travel back in time.

  • ||

    That, and the show sucked donkey balls.

  • Warren||

    I'd pay to watch Summer Glau suck just about anything, including donkey balls.

  • ||

    You may get your wish. At the rate her acting career is going, it won't be long until she's performing in donkey shows.

  • ||

    I've still never been convinced that private police forces and courts were good ideas. We already have private security forces, but they don't and shouldn't have jurisdiction to come onto my property and arrest me based upon whatever they feel like. It would seem that rival services could set their own conflicting laws and enforcement tactics that would violate rights far more than a standardized government monopoly with the sole purpose of protecting rights. Libertarians should be about maximizing rights regardless of actor, not acting as if government is the only violator of rights.

  • ||

    Your assuming that the contract entered into by the community and the police force would allow that type of discretion. A private police force wouldn't have any more/less power than a public one.

    How well does public law enforcement protect out rights? By sending SWAT teams to serve warrant in the middle of the night? With private law enforcement, a community could terminate the companies contract if they practice bad behavior. With public law enforcement, laws and rules are created to protect the members of law enforcement that violate your rights.

  • ||

    +1+1+1+1+1+1

  • Otto||

    I have a problem with private prisons. Until and unless people are only arrested for violating the rights of others, someone making money off of jailing people is a bad idea.

  • ||

    Why should you care if someone is making money running a prison? In the absence of private prisons, you would have public prisons. Either way, people will be put in jail. The only difference is cost.

    The concerns you state are problems with the law, not the prisons that confine criminals sentenced in violation of those laws.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    But when it comes to locking somebody up for a law that shouldn't exist, I prefer that the jailers : (a) be inefficient, and (b) not respond correctly to incentives. Therefore I'd rather not have it done by private entities.

  • ||

    private prisons are plenty inefficient. They usually have to be paying politicians for the right to run the prison...

  • ||

    More public prisons means more public sector union employees. The union bosses would lobby government to come up with ways to incarcerate more people, and to grow public sector prison jobs.

    In either case, the public is the one dropping the soap. Wouldn't you want it to hurt as little as possible?

  • ||

    I'm not sure why you want a prison to be "inefficient", when that means all-around worse living conditions for the prisoners. Even if you just want that to see prisoners punished, even then punishment is better done efficiently. But the actual living conditions should be humane.

  • Warren||

  • Warren||

    Looking at the communities served section of the website Sandy Springs is on there. But there's no details as to what services.

    Probably child enslavement and starvation and puppy kicking.

  • ||

    You forgot "raping and pillaging".

  • Warren||

    No, that's handled by ComCast.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    When people act as though private police forces are simply beyond the pale, I ask how would a negotiation between a city/municipality and a private company be any more acrimonious than the negotiations they currently carry on with the government-approved police union.

  • ||

    Private, nonprofit fire companies are commonplace in many parts of the US, and there are some for-profit fire companies: http://www.mackinac.org/565.

  • ||

    Ultimately, you can’t totally privatize some things like trash collection because you don’t want a situation where people can’t afford to have trash picked up and it ends up piling up in their houses or yards. Privatization of public services is a luxury good and is great for those who can afford it but doesn’t fit every situation.

  • Warren||

    Yeah, that's so true. No wait, my city doesn't have municipal trash pick-up. And we are not a city full of rich folk.

    So congrats on being totally wrong.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure that if I stop paying my garbage bill they'll stop picking up my trash. My garbage service is not private.

  • ||

    My private trash pick up costs $22 per month. If a home owner can't afford that, then trash pick up is the least of their problems.

    People who rent wouldn't have to pay for trash pick up, because the landlord would include the cost of trash collection in the rent, and make the necessary arrangements.

  • Warren||

    We have two major companies and you can hire from your choice of dudes with a pick-up truck that are just everywhere around here.

    That would be less for standard type garbage collection but maybe someone only needs such a service twice a month or so.

    Or just take the stuff yourself to the dump.

    In short no one is taxed to provide a service that is provided just fine through that free-enterprise thing everyone has been talking about.

  • ||

    "Or just take the stuff yourself to the dump."

    My mind is officially blown.

  • ||

    So they can afford to create their own trash, but not to have it hauled away? Or is it that I'm buying their goods, through welfare, that gets turned to trash that I also have to pay to pick up said trash?

  • Warren||

    It makes you a better person...somehow.

  • ||

    you are wrong. try not paying your public trash bill. see how long they let that stand.

    in my neighborhood, we have at least 4 different private companies competing for our trash. I pay $15 per month.

    Show me a better public deal.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    So...what is the difference between have your waste disposal service terminated by a private garbage company and the city/municipality?

  • ||

    I'm in a liberal Iowa community with public trash services, but I think they've handeled it pretty well. The service is $9.95/mo flat, then you have to buy a sticker for $1.25 that you stick on your trash bags.

    My wife and I cram 3 or 4 smallish kitchen/bathroom bags in to one large Hefty sack every two weeks, so our trash costs are about $14/mo.

    But there is also a mandated, pain in the ass recycling program

  • Shannon Love||

    Are there any communities that actually have free trash pickup? Doesn't everyone have to pay for trash service everywhere? Don't most poor people rent and therefore don't pay for trash service directly?

    Back around the 1890s, there were a lot of problems with urban trash and that and other sanitation issues played a big role in growth of the centralized state at the local level. However, any such "free" services for the public good have long since vanished. Now, the city trash pickup is just a fee based, compulsory service. In most communities, the city runs the trash service as a profit center.

    I fail to see how that benefits the poor or keeps the community clean.

  • robc||

    My trash pickup is covered by city taxes, which are property.

    Of course, I live in two cities, so I deserve some service out of the 2nd city (although they are the one Im generally happy with).

  • ||

    I think that "privatization" is being defined way too narrowly by meta_man. It does NOT only mean that individuals must contract with private companies, it also includes governments doing so.

    BTW, this is not to say that there everything MUST be privatized.

  • Richard White||

    I just arrived here by following a link from http://www.black-and-right.com. I have sometimes wondered if it would be possible to outsource *everything*. I have read that, at one time, some cities in England had no police; their jobs were done by private security companies. I don't see why all other government "services" couldn't likewise be outsourced to advantage.

    As Jerry Pournelle frequently points out on his web site (http://www.jerrypournelle.com), no nation's prosperity ever grows in the absence of cheap, abundant energy and a free market economy.

  • Mr. Pink||

    Welcome, Mr. White.

    You wanna trade names?

  • ||

    Having lived in and around Sandy Springs most of my life, I had a hearty laugh when one of the comments above called it one of the richest communities in the country. Bull! At least half the local high school, North Springs, is non-white. Lots of Hispanics, Asians, and blacks have moved in to the various mega-apartment complexes in the area. And the only time I was ever the victim of a violent crime was while sitting in my car at a stop light on Roswell Road. I feel safer in midtown Atlanta than Sandy Springs. And Roswell Road in Sandy Springs is one of the most over-commercialized, trashiest looking strips I've ever been on.

    This wasn't about racism or white-flight, it was about the people who live there, no matter their color, having the right to make their own decisions and not be controlled by a city and county government whose main purpose seems to be to move money and services from north to south.

  • ||

    What you must remember is that this is an unique situation. This area was part of greater Atlanta, until they managed to create their own cities (Milton, too). They were avoiding having all their tax dollars spent elsewhere (inside the perimeter).

    Not too many municipalities can have such a clean sheet - no hundred year backlog of departments and employees.

    So it's kinda neat (Milton is having troubles, may start doing things themselves)but you need to include this disclaimer.

    But then the story wouldn't be so compelling.

  • ||

    That is the point I was trying to make above, and you did it better than I. The article shows what happens when you can start off with a clean slate and, from the ground up, adopt the policies that have been shown to work, without the baggage of government employee unions, entrenched interest groups, political patronage, etc.

  • robc||

    Reboot. There is a switch in the back of city hall.

  • Highway||

    It would seem that the '100-year backlog' of cruft and flotsam that impedes going to a privatized, or even just more efficient system, is justification for doing exactly that.

    "Hey, we're spending way more than we need to on all these folks who don't do as much for us. Let's get rid of them."

    Of course, this conflicts with the idea that the purpose of government is to provide jobs for civil 'servants', whether they get it done or not.

  • ||

    The people in the video itself pointed out the same difficulties of converting existing cities. But it also made another excellent point - when a municipality is on the verge of bankruptcy something is going to change even if you don't want it to. Is not a carefully planned but painful change preferable to a rapid and even more painful change?

    Something that can't go on forever, wont. So if you don't set about to fix it it will fix itself, and panicked people make poor choices.

  • James||

    I have nothing totally constructive to add, I think Sandy Springs rocks, but.....

    File that old woman under "Old Women Who Look Like Old Men."

  • ||

    Ditto Ben's comments. I grew up in Sandy Springs, and they've been trying to go their own way for at least 25 years. But to call the area "affluent" is ridiculous. It's a mixture of social and economic classes.

  • Jerryskids||

    I try my best not to pay attention to anything that goes on in Atlanta on the grounds that if you choose to live in a sewer you deserve no sympathy when you complain about the smell, but there is something you should know about Sandy Springs.

    If you look at Sandy Springs just by itself, they are not doing better just because they privatized services, they are doing better because they incorporated. By incorporating, they are selfishly keeping tax dollars in Sandy Springs rather than allowing the rightful owners of the money - Fulton County - to have it.

    These people who are lucky enough to be rich are selfishly and greedily insisting that they have some sort of right to keep this money on the grounds that it is somehow "their" own money. They seem to have this crazy, right-wing extremist sort of idea that they are sovereign individuals and as such are entitled to claim ownership of property.

    Of course, the progressive, right-thinking morally-superior self-anointed elites who know better realize that the poor unfortunates in the rest of Fulton County have a greater need and therefore a greater claim to this money that somehow accidentally wound up in the possession of those evil people in Sandy Springs. They only want what is best for everyone and are selflessly dedicated to seeing to it that everyone gets what is best for them, even if they know that everyone but them is far too ignorant to know what is best for themselves.

    By pointing to Sandy Springs as some sort of 'success' story, Reason is simply attempting to mislead people into believing that they are capable of thinking and doing for themselves, which is not just foolish and dangerous but downright evil. Now, I am all in favor of freedom, but when you use your freedom to advocate for freedom... well, that is just beyond the pale. For shame, Reason, for shame.

  • ConfederalRepublicBy2030||

    Yeah! It's like those retarded free people that don't want governments utilizing their power of eminent domain to skull-fuck everything they own in order to build a shitty public school that makes sure, pretty much, that all the black kids end up sticking their penises in someone's vagina too early (teenage pregnancy stereotype LOL) and generally ending up really low on the social standings table.

  • mr simple||

    Meh. C+, because I'm feeling generous.

  • robc||

    I was falling for it until paragraph 3, I would give it a B-.

  • ConfederalRepublicBy2030||

    It's been said again and again, and nobody listened. Ever.

    Tiny governments. Private enterprise servicing infrastructure and providing services to paying customers.

    Of course, libert-ARYANS drink the blood of liberal children, according to His Efficacy Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Comintern, and government GOVERNMENT GOVERNMENT GOVERNMENT GOVERNMENT GOVERNMENT GOVERNMENT GOVERNMENT GOVERNMENT. Government.

  • yonemoto||

    Government governmint.

  • Warren||

    Here are some links to private provision of services.

    Just found out about this one, so I have not read it but the title is intriguing.

    http://www.as.ua.edu/history/h.....rivies.pdf

    And this is for a book on the whole concept. I have this book and it is excellent. One of the sections takes a piece of textual rebar to the concept of HOAs which was fun to read. Cause, fuck HOA's. It present a comparison between HOAs and wholly-owned entities like shopping malls and the HOA's which is not favorable at all to the concept of the HOA.

    http://www.amazon.com/Voluntar.....0472088378

    So there is no reason a "city", including all housing and commercial space, could not be totally owned by a person partnership or corporate entity and provide all services thereto.

  • Warren||

    And because the squirrels would only let me post two links here are a couple of more:

    These next two are about tiny private municipalities:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_place

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....g_District

  • robc||

    fuck HOA's

    I would agree with you except for that completely inappropriate "'".

    fuck HOA's what?

    HOAs. HOAs. HOAs.

  • Eliot Spitzer||

    fuck HOA's

    That's always been my policy.

  • ||

    A few notes:

    1. Sandy Springs is one of the most affluent cities in America. Google it. This does not mean that there are no poor people in the city or that there are no bad areas. It just means they collectively have a lot of money so they can afford top-notch private services. Not every community can afford such arrangements. Like I said, it’s a luxury item.
    2. Yes, in theory you can say that everybody is responsible for getting their own garbage to the landfill. But there are some people who are going to not have enough money to both buy food and have their trash removed and they will probably choose to buy food and dump the trash in somebody else’s yard or allow it to pile up or whatever. So it becomes a public problem, no matter how badly you may wish it not to be one.

  • Warren||

    If it was *my* city as in I owned it they'd find themselves on the other side of the city limits. In fact I would do my best to make sure such inconsiderate, improvident folks didn't live there at all.

  • Warren||

    Of course in my city the cost of collection would already be included in the rent and I would design a system (like Montreal IIRC is thinking of) where it's JUST A SERIES OF TUBES that would work like a giant sized pneumatic toilet/sewer system for carrying heavy solid rubbish away.

  • ||

    I did google it. Didn't make the top 100:

    http://wealth.mongabay.com/tab.....20000.html

    Your turn, provide a link to make your case.

  • ||

    Those were zip codes, not cities, and of course AGI is but one measure of affluence. Try this instead, and note the burg occupying the No. 9 spot:
    http://www.portfolio.com/resou.....enters.pdf

  • ||

    "Not every community can afford such arrangements. Like I said, it’s a luxury item."

    The city of Sandy Springs collects tax revenues to pay for services. This means that the revenue stream is the same, whether the city provides services directly (public), or contracts them out (private). In Sandy Springs case, they have contracted services to private companies, and are doing so at a lower cost than public services. Your statement about the affluence of the city, therefore, has ZERO relevance to the discussion, because in either case the city is working with in the same budget.

    How do the poor pay for trash removal now? They either pay through property taxes, or their land lord pays through his property taxes, in which case, that cost is factored into the rent. Whether someone pays for a service as a separate charge, or it is factored into the cost of something else, they are still paying for it. Their is no such thing as a free lunch.

    So, after all of that, we are still left with the best option for the poor, is the option that can be done most efficiently and at the lowest cost.

  • Robert||

    3 thoughts on viewing this video:

    1. They outsourced everything? Wouldn't it be cool to find out that included residency, so that anyone living anywhere could be legally in Sandy Springs?

    2. Score one for the Republicans.

    3. That poor guy whose awful chuck at 3:41 was captured on video to embarrass him before the whole world via the Internet.

  • ||

    It just means they collectively have a lot of money so they can afford top-notch private services. Not every community can afford such arrangements. Like I said, it’s a luxury item.

    Did you miss the part where they are paying less, not more, for these services?

  • ||

    But if more cities started doing it, the price would increase because of the additional demand...and eventually the communities with lots of money would attract the best service and the communities with less money would attract no service. So you’ve got garbage piling up again.

  • ||

    "But if more cities started doing it, the price would increase because of the additional demand"

    And then prices would fall again when more companies rushed to provide services where there was obvious demand.

    Welcome to the free market. It's only the most successful form of market regulation ever tried.

  • ||

    The free market works fine for some things. But not everything. If my neighbor chooses not to buy beer or not to have his carpets cleaned or not to get his hair cut, that does not affect me. If my neighbor chooses to not have his garbage taken away, that would start to affect me at some point.

  • robc||

    And the city would give him a ticket.

    Everyone in my city has to mow their own lawn or hire it out. Lawn service has been "privatized" (since 1797). But when the empty lot next to me gets waist high the city mows it and bills the owner. Actually, not true. The city hires a private lawn company to mow it (once on Derby morning, which has to be like pentuple rates) and then bills the owner.

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    That's bullshit. Piled up garbage is a health hazard. The grass too high is aesthetics. Big difference. And don't give me that shit about people with allergies.

  • ||

    Free loaders who can't carry their own water is a health hazard.

  • robc||

    I think the city goes after high grass too soon, the law saws 12 inches. I agree that is just aesthetics. In actuality, they often dont do anything until it is waist high and at that point there is vermin, which is more than just aesthetics.

    But I wasnt defending the action, I was saying how it would work. The point is, works the same for garbage.

  • ||

    Meta_Man, are you suggesting that wealthier cities have "better" companies providing cable and internet than poorer ones? What about mobile phone service?

    Have you ever considered that if more communities had private trash collection, that it might be a business opportunity for lower income people, just like construction, and other trades?

  • ConfederalRepublicBy2030||

    Go away. Rich people suck. There's a pink invisible unicorn in my closet. /Logic.

  • ||

    Is it true that they had to outsource for their minority population too by bringing in temps on monthly contracts?

  • ||

    Did they outsource the schools? Strange there was no mention of that.

  • robc||

    I dont think Sandy Springs has a school district, pretty sure it is all of Fulton County.

  • ||

    They are Fulton County schools, but most (all?) schools in SS are charter schools which is the best we can do without vouchers. If we had vouchers, then schools would have to "bid" for those student dollars and the schools could also "bid" for the best teachers. Maybe then the schools would get better, too, the way our city government has.

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    I think it is important to not that there are two types of public-private partnerships. There's the type here, which is for essential government services. Then there's the kind that we have in NJ. That's when a group of investors get together with government officials to provide what would normally be a private enterprise, such as: stadiums, racetracks, downtown revitalization projects, senior housing, etc.

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    I think it is important to not[e]

  • Z||

    I live near Sandy Springs and I can honestly say that since it incorporated the entire area looks a lot better. Fresh pavement, crisp landscaping and excellent EMS. However, the downtown Atlanta democrats are trying to use Federal courts to reverse the formation of the city. The Georgia Black Legislative Caucus has filed a lawsuit.against the governor of Georgia. Here is a quote from a local paper; "a group of legislative leaders and residents led by Rev. Joseph Lowery sued Gov. Nathan Deal in federal court over claims that forming new cities that include Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Milton, Johns Creek and Chattahoochee Hills was a violation of minority voting rights. The plaintiffs want to dissolve each city’s charter citing a violation of the Voting Rights Act and state legislative procedure. The caucus wants a preemptive strike against the formation of Milton County as well". It may very well been good while it lasted.
    http://sandysprings.patch.com/.....orporation

  • ||

    Atlanta, the shining blue star in our great red state.

  • ||

    Those that believe Democrats and Municipal Unions provide better services to their community than private enterprise need only to look to Bell, CA as an example.

  • Austin||

    I was born and raised in Vinings & Sandy Springs, so I've seen the shift the community has made firsthand my entire life. The past few years have been great, with new roads, the tennis facilities, upgraded opportunities for soccer players, etc. So I make this comment not completely being a smartass: This piece is well assembled but might as well say, "Rich people can afford nice stuff."

    I'm not saying the concept of a public-private partnership incapable of functioning in a low-income community, but that would be much more impressive to the non-CL crowd. Does anyone know of an example that has worked with, say, $35-40k median income? Or a study that gives concrete suggestions to such a community?

  • ||

    This is fashism. Make local municipalities independant from the feds debt and let the fed fail. outsourcing to a private corporation with no accountability is a bad idea as you will find out in the long run.

  • ||

    Rather one-sided of the filmmakers to happily relish in the public having more money for services - while neglecting to consider the impact the city forces on it's police and fire staff by denying them the services of health care, dental care, retirement plans, etc. I dont care how much money you save, leaving your workers vulnerable to illness and elderly poverty is immoral and absurd.

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