Letter to the Editor: Smyrna Heights Resident Sounds Off on Concord Road

In a letter to the editor Mary Kirkendoll said Concord Road has damaged her neighborhood.


This is a complete and utter abuse and waste of over 20 million of taxpayers dollars! What standard is the city using to guage 'improvements'? The medians along Spring Road from Atlanta to Campbell Road haven't improved any of the existing neighborhoods, nor resulted in attracting any new, quality businesses. We-buy-Gold shops, pawn shops, smoke shops and mega gas stations don't qualify as 'improvements', in my book. 

The only 'improvement' I can figure, is the bank accounts of the contractors and engineers working on the long, drawn out project. Or the improved commute of people that live far outside of the city limits of Smyrna and Smyrna neighborhoods. I would prefer the improvements improve OUR lives, instead of theirs! 

Visiting other cities & surfing the web results in an abundance of alternative options that would have greatly 'improved' Smyrna's image & Concord Road, at a much smaller cost and shorter timeframe. 

Concord Road IS a neighborhood street that cuts through the center of Smyrna Heights 400 of so bungalows and ranch homes. This neighborhood should have been preserved as just that, a neighborhood.

Is there NOONE in city hall that understands the importance of retaining and enhancing quaint, village-style neighborhoods, as a core attraction to residential home buyers? A mere 2-3 million dollars could have designed a wonderful 10 block, pedestrian friendly corridor w/ 17 million leftover to beautify and design other negleted areas thoughout Smyrna. 

What could we have seen done for 3 million , you ask?

If comparing 1,000's of similar sized projects done for between 2 and 3 million, this is what should have resulted by 2007 or 2008 from the 2005 SPLOST.

1) A clean, vibrant corridor that defines sense of place for the neighborhoods along Concord Road.

2) An asthetically appealing commercial corridor for the city of Smyrna.

3) Realigned roadway, w/ clear turnlanes, clear stripping, more marked, enhanced pedestrian crosswalks and buildouts for pedestrian safety.

4) On road, seperated , stripped  BIKE LANEs.  (these would continue along Spring Road to Cumberland Blvd. in  place of the redundant sidewalks at the curb)

5) Pedestrian enhanced walkways w/ benches, landscaping , decorative street lighting and directional sinage.

6) Street trees, street trees, street trees!! (bioswales & native, drought tolerant plantings, too!! No sod along roadway)

7) Facade improvements for existing businesses.

8) Incentives for new 'neighborhood' style businesses & resturants. (this should iclude art galleries, botiques, clothes & accesories, household goods & patio style resturants)

9) Entrance signs for all neighborhoods, including Forrest Hills & Smyrna Heights

10) Left turn on King Road w/ arrow ONLY!This could have already been a completed and attractive asset to Smyrna. As it stands now, and hearing more of the same, 'non anwer' answers from the city officials and engineers,.. this project has turned into the biggest UNimprovement and DRAIN on the city and citizens of Smyrna that will hurt for years to come. 

It needs to be STOPPED, CHANGED (w/ the help of the surrounding neighborhoods input)  and COMPLETE by the end of 2013!

We don't have a few more years of house value left , to allow this project to continue to look like it does. Enough is enough!!

-Mary Kirkendoll

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Neal Dow August 09, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Smyrna could screw up a lead ball with a rubber hammer.
Paul Smyrna August 09, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I agree with Mary that this project is long and drawn out and should have been done by now. However, I don't know how she thinks all of those 10 things could be done for $3 million. Also, where is King Road? Do you mean King Springs Rd or King Street?
Lissa K. August 09, 2012 at 05:28 PM
This project was from 2005. That's 7 years ago. So 2012 plus 7 years is 2019. Maybe by 2019 something will have been done.
Mike - Smyrna August 09, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Mary – Consider the switch to decaf. Concord Road IS a neighborhood street that cuts through the center of Smyrna Heights - The traffic count on Concord is over 30,000 Cars/Day Incentives for new 'neighborhood' style businesses & restaurants. – The medium income for zip 30080 $51,368 – that is not a lot of disposable income. What do you mean by incentives? A mere 2-3 million dollars could have designed a wonderful 10 block, pedestrian friendly corridor w/ 17 million leftover – You should share your feasibility study with your council person. If comparing 1,000's of similar sized projects done for between 2 and 3 million –Examples?
David Whited August 09, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Projects like these - by nature - do take a long time. It's not just design it and build it. There are environmental studies, right of way aquisition, utilities relocations, etc., etc. It all does take years. There are hearings in advance and citizens can shape the outcome of anything if they do it the right way. Pay attention to these notices. Too often the citizens do not pay attention to these public notices about stuff like this. They'd rather bellyache after it's gone through the process and is approved and is ready to happen.
30080 August 09, 2012 at 08:36 PM
I don't know what Smyrna you live in but the Smyrna I live in does not take input from citizens. There have been developments done all over the Cobb and Metro areas that were started and finished and this one hasn't even gotten started. Projects take time but not this much time.
Bruce August 09, 2012 at 09:20 PM
This is what happens when power and money and the "authority" to tax people for that money is concentrated in the hands of a very, very few. It didn't work in Russia; why would anyone think it would work in America... or Smyrna? Our various mayoral and city council candidates and county commissionn candidates as well as state and federal candidates are elected by 10 to 25% of registered voters in the primaries. The general election is not much better except in a presidential election year. How many people understand the issues, the candidates positions or anything else? And what happens when you have unopposed lousy candidates or even a spate of lousy candidates? The power of government far exceeds what it should be. A lot of the time, it's better to just leave something alone.
Amy August 09, 2012 at 09:46 PM
It might be nice if you proofread your rants prior to publishing them.
Smyrnan August 09, 2012 at 10:50 PM
What she makes very clear is that the $21 million price tag and scope of this project appears to be an unnecessary waste with little result. Streetscapes, restripping, repaving, crosswalk, and street trees could be accomplised for a fraction of the cost. Buying up businesses & widening the road will not benefit the neighborhood. Rethinking how we do things in Smyrna could help attract businesses and save millions at the same time.
David Whited August 10, 2012 at 01:29 AM
It is necessary to show up at these meetings, etc. You can make a difference. Power to the people.
Oscar G. August 10, 2012 at 03:04 AM
While I don't disagree that these things SHOULD be done, my question is shouldn't they have been done BEFORE they project was even proposed? How can you know what type of budget to even ask for if you've not surveyed, appraised and negotiated before submitting your plan? You know what hasn't been slow? Those medians in on Atlanta Road. Those came up quick as a flash! And I'm pretty sure they're made out of concrete. That aspect of your statement doesn't ring true to me. Sorry. And as far as Spring Rd looking "good" you must not have been down it recently. It's anything BUT. That "Linear Park" is nothing but a huge path. And a large number of home owners who's property edge up to Spring Rd along that stretch are anything but enthusiastic about it. But don't take my word for it. Go ask them yourselves. Especially the people who've lived in those homes for 30+ years. I do not agree that Smyrna needs one more so called "park." We have an inordinate amount already. Again, please ask a Smyrna Ranger next time you see one, since they're "responsible" for them about the number we have. With tumbleweeds blowing across most of S. Cobb Drive due to vacancies, and areas that need much more immediate attention than Smyrna Heights, I find the expense, timing, planning and execution of this project poor at best. Negligent and wreckless at worst. But what's done is done. Too bad the rest of Smyrna is going to have to suck up this very expensive error.
Lissa K. August 10, 2012 at 05:25 PM
If, if, if. If it ever gets done. You could take care of these issues by restriping, making clear turn lanes, and installing new pedestrian crosswalks. This could be accomplished for probably a million. You could have sidewalks, streetscapes, and trees for several million. Or Smyrna can keep making promises for years while nothing gets done. Let's hope the city can find the money? According to the mayor the city has money in reserves. (But cancelled the fireworks to save money.) The problem with not being truthful is that you've got to remember what story you told so you can continue with it. Or use people like you to keep the propaganda coming.
504ATL August 12, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Mary K. you said "This is a complete and utter abuse and waste of over 20 million of taxpayers dollars!" IF this were even remotely close to the truth; don't you think the GBI, FBI and State Attorney General would be swarming around City Hall? These outlandish statements are an indictment on the staff and outside auditors that are educated and trained professionals and would not risk their career if those allegations were even close to the truth.
30080 August 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM
http://open.salon.com/blog/sb4justice/2012/03/19/georgia_ranked_the_most_corrupt_state_out_of_all_50_states http://www.foxbusiness.com/investing/2012/03/22/americas-most-corrupt-states/ http://www.stateintegrity.org/georgia http://www.iwatchnews.org/2012/03/19/8427/georgia-worst-score-country
30080 August 12, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Did Mary Kirkendoll make oulandish statements? No, she said the most accurate and true statement that can be made about Georgia. Maybe IF the GBI, FBI, and State AG actually swarmed Atlanta City Hall and other local city halls the state wouldn't be in the postiion it is. If you don't know who Gene and Herman Talmadge were you know nothing of Georgia's history and therefore nothing of what kind of state Georgia is.
30080 August 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM
So if you live in the city of Smyrna you have the distinction of living in a corrupt city, in a corrupt county, in a corrupt state. And another fact. Ron Fennel (Ward 7) a lobbyist who worked on state ethics reforms (still having problems wrapping my mind around that one) said "abusers will be weeded out". BY WHOM? With Georgia having the most corrupt state goverment in the country you've got the fox guarding the hen house. http://pba.org/post/state-ethics-reform-view-former-lawmaker-now-lobbyist
R. Anderson August 12, 2012 at 03:46 PM
"Sure I stole, but I stole for you." Supposedly said by Eugene Talmadge Georgia Governor in the 1930s and 1940s. His son Herman was denounced for improper financial disclosure in the late 1970s. Corruption is systemic to Georgia's political system.
Jonquil Gardener August 12, 2012 at 06:01 PM
What a bunch of bunk. Of course this letter is completely outlandish. Its fine to have an opinion but please try to recognize when an opinion is based only on personal contempt for the City and is not based in any way shape or form on the actual details of the project. Mrs. Kirkendol said "Concord Road IS a neighborhood street", yet is common knowledge that Concord is a major artery with thousands of users daily. She also said "If comparing 1,000's of similar sized projects done for between 2 and 3 million". WHAT BUNK!!! She has not compared 1000's of projects and she is not a city planner or a traffic engineer. So she cloud not possibly have the first clue as to what is really needed and how much it cost or why it is needed. Reading about other projects does not give someone the insight to understand what may be involved in this particular project. One road project might be a simple as making the paving wider in an existing ROW. Yet another very similar widening type project might require purchasing additional right of way and moving major underground utilities. In the end they both may have the exact same road width and look the same but one could have legitimately cost twice as much as the other. Its sad that this site keeps giving Mrs. Kirkendol a podium on which to spread so much nonsense.
Freya Stark August 12, 2012 at 10:10 PM
You're free to write your own rant - I mean Letter to the Editor - typo free.
Freya Stark August 12, 2012 at 10:14 PM
If Concord Road provides a linear greenspace? That's your plan. You will see that it's created. Let's hope the City can find the money? According to The Man Who Calls Himself Mayor Smyrna has money in reserve.
Freya Stark August 12, 2012 at 10:21 PM
You are clueless. TMWCHM invented creative accounting and moving money around. And he's been investigated by the GBI & FBI. Haven't you heard of Security Exchange Bank being seized by the federal government. TMWCHM, the city attorney, and member of downtown development were on the board. Larry Freeman (downtown development) was CEO of this failed bank. (The question that hasn't been answered is why it was allowed to function at such a huge loss for so long.)
Freya Stark August 12, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Jonquil Gardener you, just like Amy, are free to write a LTE. Then you'll be able to spread your nonsense.
Jonquil Gardener August 12, 2012 at 11:45 PM
FS - MORE BUNK! Your post is a typical ploy. The whole security exchange bank insinuation is a complete red herring. Security and exchange bank appears from all available reputable sources to have closed for the same reason hundreds of other banks closed and there was no evidence or investigation that led to any charges or accusations against any of those you have sullied on the above post. There is nothing on the internet or the FDIC websites or any reputable news agency that even begins to insinuate any kind of wrong doing by those individuals. Freya by the way, exactly who is the "He" you are saying is or was investigated and if that is really true please provide the evidence or proof of how you know this. And by the way who or what is TMWCHM? I am guessing you have no proof and like Chris Long waits on Neal Dow on another post, I think I will be waiting here forever to hear or see your proof of what you are insinuating.
Freya Stark August 13, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Magical thinking doesn't work. It's something you outgrow as you mature. Those in power don't work with the citizens in Smyrna. They have them arrested, shouted down, and silenced. You're guilty of making comments every time she posts on MDJ. Some would call it stalking. Your comment is another attempt to carry out your assigned role as spokesman for Smyrna.
Inside-Out August 13, 2012 at 06:23 AM
I am sure that if there was anything to investigate at Smyrna City Hall then the G.B.I, F.B.I and the state A.G. would be right down. We know Alex Bakery has made enough calls to anyone that would listen to his ramblings and false complaints. Not one of these constant complainers nor the bash Max Baconers have ever proven a single fact on here. They complain and scream and they take their complaints no where. Haven't you ever wondered why ?. They just stand in the street and yell FIRE, when there is no fire in actuality. Not one complaint that has been brought up has been turned into an actual violation. Maybe they should stop screaming FIRE on here and at the council meetings and actually take their complaints to where they would be looked into. Oh, I get it. They don't do that because they may be looked at as being Kooks. Gnome has the rest of the night off. I will be filling in for him as a representative for the City.
Bryan Marquardt August 13, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Every time I pull out of a small business on Concord Road, I say a little prayer in hopes I wont get killed by the oncoming traffic.
Jonquil Gardener August 13, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Your delusions of maleficence are truly entertaining. Just how long did they let you out?
David Whited August 13, 2012 at 11:06 PM


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