Inside The Branches Residents say they found a neighborhood for life where you live 2
Target site City of Sandy Springs ponders eminent domain community 5
Sandy Springs Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net
March 22 — April 4, 2013 • vol. 7 — NO. 6
Gets her kicks
‘Spiteful’ cuts Fulton chairman warns that tax cuts have high price commentary 8
Perimeter Bu s pages 9-
City authorizes $3.5 million for new fleet of fire trucks By Dan Whisenhunt
It’s time to replace the city’s fire trucks, Sandy Springs City Council says. During its March 19 meeting, the council didn’t flinch when considering the proposal to spend $3.5 million in taxpayer money to buy the new fire trucks. The fleet was nearly seven years old, and when the trucks broke down, they took longer to fix, according to information provided by the city. After a unanimous vote to replace the fleet, Councilwoman Dianne Fries summed up her feelings on the matter. “Shiny new trucks,” she said, smiling at Fire Chief Jack K. McElfish. The city will finance the purchase over seven years. Here’s what the Fire Department will receive: Six new
Local clergy plan simple Easter sermons faith 21
Standouts These students excel in sports, athletics and drama education 24 - 25
Continued on page 30
Rep. Wendell Willard quietly secures his legacy By Dan Whisenhunt
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Gracie Bomar, a member of the girls’ rookie softball league Tigers, shows off her moves during opening ceremonies for Sandy Springs Youth Sports at Morgan Falls Overlook Park on March 9. More photos on page 23.
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Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, might be among the most influential state legislators in recent memory, but it’s sometimes easy to forget. He’s passionate about what he does, yet he’s not a firebrand. Throughout most of his political career he’s been a quiet source of sage counsel, both as an attorney to local governments and a state lawmaker. Willard’s party took control of the state House in 2004, but he distinctly remembers when Democrats ran the show in Georgia. “We just sat there and shook our fist at them,” Willard Continued on page 7
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