The Economist reports,

This experiment in radical outsourcing began back in December 2005, when Sandy Springs went from being merely a part of Fulton County–which also includes most of Atlanta, Georgia’s capital and largest city–to an incorporated city itself. CH2M Hill, a Colorado-based engineering firm, signed a contract to provide city services, which it did until the middle of 2011. Then Sandy Springs took the experiment further and solicited competitive bids for different services. It also signed contracts with losing bidders for every winning one. These contracts came with neither pay nor work; they simply provide insurance in case the winning bidder fails to provide good service or raises prices. John McDonough, the city manager, estimated the move will save Sandy Springs $7m each year for the next five.

Read the whole thing. Pointer from Reihan Salam. I like (a) that the community was able to incorporate itself and (b) that it could outsource so much of its services. In the widely-unread Unchecked and Unbalanced, I advocate these sorts of reforms.