Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens was the guest speaker at the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber Signature Luncheon held at Sandy Springs City Hall. (Photo by Bob Pepalis)

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens visited Sandy Springs and shared a message that the region needs to work together just as Fulton County’s municipalities did last fall to reach an agreement on dividing sales tax revenue.

Dickens spoke at the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce Signature Luncheon at City Hall on Jan. 24. Mayors and council members from Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and Dunwoody attended the luncheon, along with hundreds of business and civic leaders.

“I’ve known every mayor of Atlanta since Sam Massell and I’ve worked with all of them since Maynard Jackson in one form or another. And I want to tell you that Andre is an absolute treasure,” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said.

Dickens said the chamber gathering was important because it not only offered time to enjoy each other’s company but to network and find new connections for more success and growth.

Dickens confirmed that he, Paul, and their staff did a lot of work together on the sales tax negotiations, but they stood firm and made sure all 15 cities got their fair share of the revenue.

“This man Rusty Paul worked hard. He works on behalf of the people of Sandy Springs, but also works on behalf of folks all across the region,” Dickens said.

At the Georgia Municipal Association Cities United Summit, the Atlanta mayor said he saw leaders of cities of all sizes, demographics and political lenses. They all talked about some of the very same challenges that Atlanta talked about: public safety, affordable housing, infrastructure, green space, and quality of education.

“John Kennedy famously said that a rising tide lifts all boats. And so that is the outcome we want for Metro Atlanta. As we thrive all of the metropolitan areas, all of the cities thrive, everybody,” Dickens said.

Atlanta has the Safe Streets program, good jobs and affordable housing as the key to their growth and success, he said.

Atlanta regards Sandy Springs as one of its most important regional partners, he said.

“We know that crime doesn’t stop at city limits. Someone who is looking for crime, criminal activity, they go to where the opportunities are,” Dickens said.

As far as transportation, the traffic that people sit in, or if they ride on MARTA, the cities want to make sure everybody deals with the issues together. Safety, housing, homelessness, and even businesses are on a regional level, he said.

“So we want to make sure that we thrive and work hard together to continue to build this region. And at the end of the day, we all want to give our citizens the best quality of life that we can,” Dickens said.

He said he would as often as he’s invited to be a part of this region.

“We want to be a partner. I want to be a partner,” Dickens said. “Now we also definitely need to be ready for 2026 when the FIFA World Cup is here in Atlanta.”

Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst, left, speaks with Rough Draft Atlanta Publisher Keith Pepper as the chamber luncheon came to a close. (Bob Pepalis)

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.