BOB BROWN PROFILE:
Editor’s note: Bob Brown did not reply to an email message last week seeking answers to questions about his campaign. Information in the article below came from statements Brown made at a recent candidate forum.
Bob Brown is running for Sandy Springs mayor, he said, to help steer the city past its current obstacles.
“I’ve been here a long time; I understand the workings of business and I’ve listened about the [city’s] problems over the years,” Brown said. “I have some great solutions.
“Complaints are real easy — everybody can complain about this and that — but, I have some ideas to do something about it.”
Brown, the owner of Red Baron Antiques, ran for mayor in the 2009 election and lost to incumbent Eva Galambos, who is not seeking re-election this year.
“The mayor has to be a leader, has to have some sort of vision of what needs to be done in the community. [He/she] sort of has to direct the staff and city council in different ways. … That’s where I feel I can probably [be most effective],” said Brown.
The candidate called the major issues facing Sandy Springs anything but new.
“The challenges haven’t changed much. I was on [a] Sandy Springs Revitalization [Inc. committee] some years ago — the challenges were the same then,” Brown said. “Everyone complained about the traffic. To be honest, the traffic is still bad and it definitely needs to be improved.
“I’ve had a business here for about 35 years; I’ve got a pretty good idea of what can be done, what’s legal and what can’t be done. I know that the road belongs to the state, I know the city goes around the road, but there’s still ways to get around [the problems].
“The next problem, of course, is the same problem also: the neighborhoods. The whole idea was to protect our neighborhoods. Somehow or another it looks like we’ve moved away from that. We need to get back to protecting the neighborhoods and not just verbally.”
According to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission’s website, Brown had not filed a campaign disclosure report for the third quarter, ending Sept. 30, and was fined $125.
He does not have a campaign website.
RUSTY PAUL PROFILE:
Rusty Paul’s candidacy for mayor of Sandy Springs is guided by his “leadership you can trust” mantra.
“The biggest challenge we’ve got is concerning our quality of life and it’s wrapped up in a wide range of things,” the 61-year-old said on his website. “It’s traffic, it’s protecting neighborhoods [as well as] making sure that we have safe areas, that the community feels comfortable and safe, that we have more partnering in trying to make sure we have an environment where families want to come here and raise their kids and [those] kids want to stay here.
“We want to raise our grandchildren here … We’ve done a great job over the last eight years of improving our quality of life, overcoming the neglect that we had for 35 years from Fulton County and now it’s about taking it to the next level — putting all these things together and making sure we have a place where everybody wants to come live.”
Paul is a former state senator, Sandy Springs city councilman, Stone Mountain city councilman, Georgia Republican Party chairman and HUD assistant secretary. He and wife, Jan, have five adult children — Katie, Russ, Lauren, Emily and Andrew — and own iSquared Communications, an advertising, public relations and public affairs firm. In an email, he said his experience makes him uniquely qualified for the job of mayor.
“After 35 years of running businesses and serving at the federal, state and local level, I can bring a lifetime of public/private experience and connections to bear to help my community through a very important period where significant decisions and resources are needed,” said Paul, who has been endorsed by outgoing Mayor Eva Galambos. “I’m the only candidate who has served both in the public sector while managing a business ... both of which are critical in overseeing our unique public/private sector governance model.”
The mayoral candidate listed the following objectives as being key to his agenda:
“[First], protecting neighborhoods from incompatible development,” he said. “[Second], ensuring the downtown redevelopment initiative is done right. This is a long-term decision that must be done well. [Third], redeveloping deteriorating apartments to ensure a balanced housing mix while also assuring decent, affordable housing so our first responders, nurses, teachers and other key professional who serve our community can also afford to live here.”
According to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission’s website, Paul had $37,873.56 net cash on hand through the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30.