Just outside Atlanta sits the city of Sandy Springs, Ga., a community that, on its surface, looks a lot like many others. But if you look at a little bit closer at how the city’s government works, you’ll find a remarkably different model of efficiency that stands apart from the rest. Reason.com explains:

While cities across the country are cutting services, raising taxes and contemplating bankruptcy, something extraordinary is happening in a suburban community just north of Atlanta, Georgia.

Since incorporating in 2005, Sandy Springs has improved its services, invested tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and kept taxes flat. And get this: Sandy Springs has no long-term liabilities.

How’d they do it? Privatizing city services like paving streets, picking up trash and maintaining parks, doing for $25 million what would cost $50 million under a traditional city system. And, as Sandy Springs’ mayor Eva Galambo says, ”In comparison to all these other cities and counties that are having to furlough and having these terrible pension problems, our situation is excellent.”

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