Before transitioning into their first meeting of 2014 Tuesday night, Mayor Rusty Paul and council members — including newcomers Ken Dishman (District 2), Graham McDonald (District 3) and Andy Bauman (District 6) — took the oath of office from Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua amid a packed house of dignitaries, relatives and supporters.
Before convening the inaugural meeting, Paul presented his administration’s chief objectives while reflecting on the city’s evolution. For starters, he paid homage to predecessor Eva Galambos, who was on hand.
“None of us would be standing here tonight without your vision, tenacity and leadership,” Paul said to Galambos, inciting a standing ovation. “As long as this community exists, your legacy will be honored, cherished and indelibly etched in the history and fabric of Sandy Springs.”
Looking forward, Paul invoked a quote from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address.
“Tonight the torch is passed to a new generation,” Paul said. “As the first mayor of Sandy Springs who is not named Eva and three newly elected council members, that, in many ways, is true.
“After eight years in existence…we can no longer accurately say we’re a new city. We’re maturing; the structure’s in place…”
The new council’s agenda for the night included an update on the Heards Ferry Elementary School relocation.
The new campus, to be situated on about 15 acres along Powers Ferry Road, will likely remain on schedule to open in 2015, said David Knotts, director of land management for Fulton County Schools.
“Our next meeting will be with the community itself. Mike [Wilburn, director of capital improvements for Fulton County Schools] will be heading that up with the appropriate engineering consulting, through the PTA and the governance board and the group from the school,” Knotts said. “Then, we’ll come back one more time to show [council] where we are and when we plan on to start … and hopefully have a brand new school next year.
In other business, returning District 5 Councilman Tibby DeJulio was unanimously re-elected mayor pro tempore by his peers.