Editor’s note: Throughout the week, Reporter Newspapers will be publishing portions of its voters guide for the upcoming Nov. 5 elections. Candidate info can also be found in the Oct. 4 and Oct. 18 editions of Reporter Newspapers.

Gabriel Sterling
Gabriel Sterling

Gabriel Sterling (Incumbent)

Occupation: President, SSH, Inc. (public relations/political consulting firm) & Founder, startup – Elbow Bend Brewing

Prior political experience: I was elected with 76% of vote in a Special Election in 2011 to District 4 of the Sandy Springs City Council. I served as House District Chairman for District 48 for the Republican Party. I was a member of the Committee for Sandy Springs and acted as the Referendum Co-Chair of the campaign to make Sandy Springs a City. I also served as the transition Chairman for Fire/EMS in Sandy Springs. Appointed as a negotiator for Sandy Springs in the transfer of assets from Fulton County. Worked on Capitol Hill in the Office of Georgia Congressman Charlie Norwood (R-Augusta).

Why are you seeking this position? I want to continue my service to the people of Sandy Springs as we build out our City Center. I want to bring the world-class program of environmental management to address water quality and tree canopy health using the latest technological tools. I want to continue to leverage our public/private partnerships to the benefit of the taxpayer and look for ways to save taxpayers even more money.

Why should voters choose you? I believe voters should support me because we are on the right track in Sandy Springs.  We have created a unique governing model that has attracted national attention for delivering excellent, efficient service while keeping taxes low.  We are protecting our neighborhoods while allowing for rational economic development, which is the main reason we became a city.  We are also working on our new City Center, which I am convinced will be the centerpiece of Sandy Springs for years to come.  We are making progress, and I believe people support the direction we are heading.  For that reason, I think voters should vote for my re-election, to continue on the successful path we are on.

Campaign webpage: www.GabrielSterling.org

Tochie Blad

Tochie Blad
Tochie Blad

Occupation: research librarian

Prior political experience: Appointed by Mayor of Sandy Springs to Tree Advisory Committee, Appointed by Fulton County Commission to the Fulton County Citizens Commission on the Environment (1998-2000)

Why are you seeking this position? With the advent of the new city, the Sandy Springs neighborhoods were promised protection from intrusive zonings and   a voice in the city’s development plans. That said, we need more balance on  city council. I want to represent the neighborhoods and stop intrusive zonings as well as seek  resident’s input on both City Center project and budget surpluses. This summer, City council approved a 26 story office tower next to residential in District 4 and new apartments on Peachtree Dunwoody Rd. As we know, with more density, our infrastructure and roads rapidly exceed their capacity.  I have worked with Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods to represent HOA’s to protect neighborhoods from unwanted density caused by redevelopment. I am now stepping up to represent you, the residents of District 4, in an elected capacity to ensure your voice is heard.

Why should voters choose you?  I moved to Sandy Springs in 1995 and raised my two daughters here. I have been involved in my community even before we became a city. I am stepping up to serve the public after working many years in leadership roles in both my children’s schools and community groups.   I have effectively worked acquiring land for parks and green space with the Sandy Springs Conservancy, protecting neighborhoods as a board member of Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods and addressing needs of the community as board member of Leadership Sandy Springs. We need a government that is open and transparent and accessible to its citizens.  Elected officials should be held accountable for their decisions. As your neighbor, I want to represent you and be your voice on the city council. As a member of the city council, I want to engage the citizens and improve the city with more public input.

Campaign webpage: www.tochieforsandysprings.com

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com