Gregory Ramsey, assistant public works director for Sandy Springs, was chosen as the new director of the at Monday night’s City Council meeting.
“I’ve lived in this area for a long time between Douglasville and Smyrna, so I like the local area,” the current Mableton resident told Patch after the meeting about why he chose to apply. “A small town’s a good place to be—there are always good people.”
City Manager Rick Eckert made the recommendation to the council, which was approved 3-1. Councilman Al Thurman voted against it, and Councilwoman Nancy Hudson abstained because she was unable to attend an interview meeting.
“We look forward to having you onboard with us,” Mayor Pat Vaughn said.
The city’s Public Works director and the department’s 26-person staff oversee the city’s water, sanitation, sewer and streets.
Eckert said the reason he recommended Ramsey out of roughly 17 applicants is because of his Georgia Professional Engineer certification and because he has experience with several firms from around the state. “He’s well rounded,” Eckert said.
Buddy Allison, who works for the city’s engineering firm, Croy Engineering, as interim Public Works director since on June 30. Swaim had been with the city for seven years.
Eckert said Ramsey will take on Swaim’s salary, which is listed at $74,200. That is about $10,000 less than his final salary of $85,000 with Sandy Springs, according to his application with Powder Springs. The application is attached to this article.
Besides being a Georgia Professional Engineer, Ramsey is an Alabama Professional Engineer, a Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Level II Certified Professional, and is a member of the American Public Works Association and American Association of Highway Engineers.
“It’s been a great profession,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it."
He graduated from in 1992 and from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in civil engineering in 1996. He was an intern with the Georgia Department of Transportation from 1995 to 1996.
One of his greatest pleasures in working with public works, he said, is giving “residents what they deserve for what they need.”
“Public works is something where you can deliver service quickly,” he added. “You see the people face to face, you see the needs they have, and you can take care of people in a personal way.”
Some of the major projects he’s helped with are:
- Widening four miles of Georgia State Route 400
- Widening and improvements to Johnson Ferry/Abernathy Road in Sandy Springs
- Redesign of the interchange of Windward Parkway and Georgia State Route 400
- Interchange improvements to Georgia State Route 8 and Interstate 285
Sandy Springs has about 100,000 residents and is the sixth largest city in Georgia, Ramsey said. Powder Springs had just under 14,000 citizens as of the .
Ramsey recognized there will be challenges when he comes to the city, “but challenges make life fun.”
Also on Monday:
- Charlie Sewell as police chief.
- Jordan Piper, a student at , was recognized for improving his reading skills by reading to Drew, a greyhound and registered therapy dog (see attached picture). Jordan reads to Drew every other Saturday at the . “I have improved very well” in my reading skills, Jordan said, adding that his CRCT score was “somewhere in the 900s out of 1,000.”
- Moore and Cubbedge was selected to perform the city’s annual audit services for a contracted amount of between $35,200 and $37,500, with an additional fee of $1,250 for a conversion from the city’s new software.
- Croy Engineering was awarded a $6,000 contract for the planning stages of on Lynn Court.
- The council tabled the second reading of an ordinance that would require those who install vinyl siding to be certified. The members did so in anticipation of an expert on vinyl siding to come speak with them before their next meeting, scheduled for mid-August.
- The first of two public readings of the millage rate, which is set to stay at its current 8.5 mills, took place.
- Eckert said the average monthly storm water fee of 13 cities in Georgia is $3.52, with a range of $1.92 and $5.77. The survey was taken as the city what its monthly storm water fee will be—the proposed range is anywhere from $2 to $4.
- After the public meeting, the council went into an executive session to discuss personnel matters. Though it wasn’t clear what exactly for, one possibility is to discuss the hiring of police officers. Eckert said before the session that at least four officers have left recently, noting that one headed off for the military, while another one quit for a private business. Applications are still being accepted, he said. To find out more about the position, .