Monday, July 30, 2012
In this letter to the editor a Smyrna resident offers her take on a TSPLOST alternative.
Monday, July 30, 2012
The T-SPLOST has not been designed to solve traffic congestion, that has been made crystal clear over the last few months. I hope, that as soon as the vote is in we will know Atlanta's leaders are being forced back to the drawing board which will include giving citizens an opportunity for input to what is needed & necessary. I for one, am perplexed over the silence of the elephant in the room. The 5 billion dollar Panama Canal Expansion is expected to open in April 2015. Simultaneously, the Port of Savannah dredging will be complete & ready for an onslought of Asian container ships. This was put on a fast track last week by a federal committment of 650 million dollars. The two interstates out of Savannah are I-95 through South Carolina …
Sunday, July 29, 2012
. . . and jobs, too! There is a far better alternative than what T-SPLOST supporters are claiming.
To hear supporters of the T-SPLOST speak, if the T-SPLOST does not pass, not only will the Atlanta area no longer be attractive to companies looking to relocate, we'll actually start running companies off that are already located here. How preposterous! For decades now, the Atlanta REGION has been a destination for companies to locate facilities here. Several have even relocated their corporate headquarters here. Many of those, though, have located regional offices here, primarily in Atlanta's suburbs. Over all those years, there has NEVER been rail transit EXCEPT in Fulton and Dekalb counties. Yet, companies STILL seek to move here. So, many of the supporters of the T-SPLOST claim the referendum will reduce congestion. Then, the Georgia …
Saturday, July 28, 2012
With the referendum days away, TSPLOST talk heats up.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Editor's Note: In the final days till the election, TSPLOST proponents and opponents are in overdrive trying to get their message out. Included here is an op-ed piece from the executive director for The American Conservative Center for Public Transportation providing an out-of-state point of view. Also a pair of videos as Cascade Patch has vocal TSPOST opponent Vincent Fort of State Senate District 39, which includes portions of Midtown, calling the transportation referendum “a bad deal” and a “trick against Atlanta” during a recent debate hosted by the Atlanta NAACP. Finally, Untie Atlanta, the pro-transportation referendum group funded by Citizens for Transportation Mobility, released its final ad on Thursday. The ad features real …
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and a host of Cobb County politicians called for voters to support the Regional Transportation Referendum at a Smyrna rally.
Politicians from past and present were out in full force to support the Regional Transportation Referendum at a Get Out the Vote Rally at the Smyrna Community Center Tuesday. On July 31 voters will decide whether to impose on themselves a one-percent special-purpose local option sales tax over 10 years to fund a list of more than 150 regional transportation improvement projects. The project list was compiled and unanimously approved by a 10-county committee comprised of elected officials from each county. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, the rally’s keynote speaker, focused his remarks on the Transportation Investment Act’s economic impact. “We’re having the problems that we’re having with our traffic because of our success,” he said. “We grew to…
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
A spirited debate over the July 31 regional transportation referendum drew a big crowd to Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church.
If you're still on the fence about the Atlanta regional transportation referendum, Monday's impassioned TSPLOST forum in East Cobb might not have done much to change your mind. For many of the more than 200 citizens who attended the forum at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church, their minds were made up a long time ago. And they weren't shy about grilling the pro-TSPLOST panelists, former Cobb State. Rep. Chuck Clay and WSB traffic reporter Capt. Herb Emory. But some TSPLOST supporters in the audence were just as vocal, pressing opponents State Rep. Ed Setzler (R-North Cobb) and Smyrna transportation activist Ron Sifren about alternatives if the sales tax vote fails on July 31. "We can come back in two years with a project list that's …
Sunday, July 22, 2012
The chairman of The Council on Public Policy explains why the organization encourages voters to oppose the Transportation Investment Act on July 31 at the polls.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Kent Gildersleeve, acting chairman of The Council of Public Policy writes: The Council on Public Policy, at its regular meeting this month, determined to recommend a “NO” vote on the regional transportation referendum, a.k.a. “TSPLOST.” This tax will not relieve traffic congestion; it will dry up other transportation funding for years, and it offers nothing to many suburbs. TSPLOST does not meet the declared objective of the legislation–reducing regional traffic congestion. Proponents admit that the 52 percent allocated to transit is intended to stimulate commercial property development. The Atlanta Beltline is not a regional project. Major regional needs, such as the I-75 to I-285 Interchange don’t get a dime. The monies allocated to …
Thursday, July 19, 2012
The Governor said the state can't pay off bonds tied to toll revenue until after Dec. 1, 2013, or it would pay a penalty.
Gov. Nathan Deal promises that an end to tolls on GA 400 is in sight, though that won't be until after Dec. 1, 2013–yes, next year. The Governor said bonds issued by the state will be paid off by that time, allowing the tolls to be removed. This will stop collection four years earlier than previously planned, according to a release sent out this morning. “Ga. 400 commuters have paid more than their fair share already, and this is the earliest we can bring it down without paying a penalty for early repayment of the bonds,” Deal said. “When the Ga. 400 toll went up, the state of Georgia promised commuters that it wasn’t forever. If we don’t keep that promise, we lose the faith of the people.” Commuters expected the GA 400 toll to come down …
Metro Atlanta votes on the TSPLOST on July 31.
There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the July 31 TSPLOST vote, but Ward 1 Smyrna City Council Representative Melleny Pritchett thinks one key point about the referendum has been overlooked. “If this TSPLOST passes, the city of Smyrna will receive between $8.5 and $9 million of the money,” she said at Monday’s City Council Meeting. “It will come to the city directly from the TSPLOST. It won’t go to the county. It will come directly to us (…) Nobody’s talking about that. I haven’t heard much about it. It’s all about the big picture, but it does benefit the actual cities.” According to the Atlanta Regional Commission, 85 percent of the funding collected from the TSPLOST would be used to fund a list of 157 approved transportation projects …
Charles Bullock, Richard B. Russell Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia, sees small chance of the initiative passing.
Georgia Republicans' aversion to any kind of tax, and concern about riling the Tea Party, are helping to consolidate opposition to the state's one-percent sales tax referendum for transportation, UGA professor Charles Bullock said in an analysis of a recent Patch survey. Patch's unscientific survey of about 60 state Republican activists, candidates and office holders showed overwhelming opposition to the TSPLOST referendum. Bullock, a longtime observer of Georgia politics, says that while the Tea Party didn't put up as many primary challengers to sitting Republican legislators as it had hoped, anti-tax pressure within the party remains high. "So although tons of money is being spent to encourage voting for the TSPLOST and the support of …
Sunday, July 15, 2012
It's time to refocus on Cobb County and Cobb Countians, for improving our community will improve metro Atlanta.
OK. This will be my last mention of the upcoming TSPLOST vote on July 31. Throughout the whole campaign for the TSPLOST, we've been told that regional cooperation is needed in order for all of us to prosper and thrive. In other words, those of us living "outside the perimeter" should buck up and vote in favor of TSPLOST because if we don't, it could mean lost jobs and economic development opportunities. To which I say "Baloney!" Just this week, the cable TV business network CNBC rated Georgia as the 9th best state in the country for business partly BECAUSE of infrastructure and transportation. If we did that well given our "massive traffic congestion" do we need to spend another $8 billion on many projects of dubious benefit? I've said it …