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Fayette Chamber questioned about support for controversial T-SPLOST

The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce recently published a statement supporting the upcoming vote on the regional transportation T-SPLOST initiative. Chamber President Virginia Gibbs last week addressed the reasons and the rationale behind the statement of support.

Gibbs said 18 of the 21 voting members of the board attended the meeting that resulted in the chamber’s support for the T-SPLOST. Of those, 14 voted in favor and four were opposed, Gibbs said.

The run-up to the vote included a very intensive and lengthy assessment period that began last year, said Gibbs.

“(Supporting T-SPLOST) was not a quick decision or an easy one,” she said. “There was an extensive amount of research and conversations with a cross-section of folks.”

A part of the process that led to the endorsement for the referendum came from the chamber’s Governmental Affairs Committee where speakers on both sides of the issue presented their positions, Gibbs said.

“Ultimately the committee reached a consensus and voted earlier this year to make a recommendation to support it,” said Gibbs. “Then the board discussed the issue and wanted even more discussion.”

Also prior to the vote on the T-SPLOST initiative, board members reached out to all facets of the chamber membership represented on the board, including small and large businesses, non-profits and community organizations, Gibbs said.

“We relied on that cross section of diverse members to talk with their constituents. They brought back information that led to a consensus,” Gibbs said, adding that the 14-4 board vote supporting T-SPLOST was the culmination of the effort that began in 2011.

The conversations and deliberation that led to the T-SPLOST endorsement were preceded by a 2011 chamber survey taken by approximately 24 percent of the chamber’s nearly 700 members. That percentage of members responding to such a survey is relatively high, Gibbs said.

Eighty per cent of survey respondents said transportation issues are currently adversely impacting them or their businesses. The top three issues identified were 1) the Interstate 85/Ga. Highway 74 interchange congestion, 2) significant congestion on a specific road or intersection inside Fayette County and 3) a lack of alternative routes into/out of Fayette County.

And pertaining to a question on transportation issues, 57 percent said they had reached a critical point where transportation mobility issues must be addressed to continue to sustain the quality of life and/or economic health of Fayette County in the future.

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Comments

Steve Brown's picture

Let's be serious. We knew the local Chamber of Commerce had to tow the line of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce all along. In fact, their lobbyist, Terry Lawler, told a state task force months ago that ALL chambers within the metro area were supporting the TSPLOST.

Here is what all of the chambers will not or cannot answer: “If we cannot pay the operations and maintenance costs of the current transit system then how will we cover the exorbitant costs of a significantly expanded version?”

Here is the dirty little secret they will not tell local voters: The transit projects are only half-funded and the voting public has not been told it will take at least two rounds of the 10-year regional sales tax to complete the projects.

The ultimate goal is a fully regional transit system (including Fayette): DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis said, “We need a regional system where everyone participates and everyone pays,” (2011 ARC Legislative Breakfast).

More proof: “Right now, the way this transit system is set up is doomed for failure,” said state Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, a member of the legislative committee that oversees MARTA. “The only way we are going to deal with this is to broaden the base because everybody benefits from it.”
(“Without state’s help, MARTA in jeopardy,” AJC, March 24, 2012)

Fayette County citizens are part of that "broaden[ed] base."

efdrakejr's picture

Steve - This is why people think you are obnoxious and don’t like you. Chamber President Virginia Gibbs said that supporting the TSPLOST was not a quick decision or an easy one and that there was an extensive amount of research and conversations with a cross-section of folks. But, instead of taking the word of an intelligent, well respected community leader, you try to minimize her and her statement by implying that she is somehow directed by the Metro Atlanta Chamber and has to “tow the line”. Nothing could be further from the truth and you look like a jerk for resorting to that but, honestly, we’ve all gotten used to it with you.

A few remarks about your statement,
[quote] “If we cannot pay the operations and maintenance costs of the current transit system then how will we cover the exorbitant costs of a significantly expanded version?”[/quote]
Who is we? MARTA was completed in 1975 and for the last 37 years, Fayette has paid very little to nothing to support MARTA. According to the AJC article that you reference, 51% of their funding comes from a one penny sales tax in FULTON and DEKALB, 28% from fares and the rest from advertising and other sources, particularly federal grants. You may be able to argue that through the federal grant, Fayette has paid for part of MARTA but it is miniscule and you know it. MARTA is paid for almost entirely by Fulton, DeKalb and its riders. We don’t pay for Gwinnett, Cobb or Clayton’s system either. Further, the vast majority of MARTA's projects on the TIA are for rehabilitation and improvements, not system expansion. You may be opposed to funds going for those projects but don't mislead the reader to believe there is some massive expansion of MARTA.

Finally, who cares what a legislator from DeKalb and the CEO of DeKalb want. Of course they want the whole metro Atlanta region to pay for MARTA but they and their predecessors have wanted that for the entire 37 years of operation and it hasn't happened and you know the counties surrounding Fulton and DeKalb aren't going to go for that any time soon.

Gene Drake

This is a tax; TSPLOST a 10+ year tax supported by the Chamber!!!!

We appreciate Mr Brown's time and research regarding this obnoxious scheme! Thank you for keeping the citizens informed!!!

[quote=efdrakejr]Steve - This is why people think you are obnoxious and don’t like you.[/quote]

Didn't we discuss the personal attacks already? Not very becoming of you, really. What type of support do you expect to garner with that type of attitude?

NUK_1's picture

[quote=Joe Kawfi][quote=efdrakejr]Steve - This is why people think you are obnoxious and don’t like you.[/quote]

Didn't we discuss the personal attacks already? Not very becoming of you, really. What type of support do you expect to garner with that type of attitude?[/quote]

Joe Kawfi lecturing anyone on personal attacks? LMAO.

Wow...I think it's pretty clear who the obnoxious jerk is.

ginga1414's picture

You said in one of your comments that the TIA is one big pot of money, or something to that effect.

It has been said that Fayette County will get out of that big pot of money what they put into it.

The thing is, if we are going to get out of the big pot of money what we put into it, why put anything into it in the first place?

I'm voting NO!

efdrakejr's picture

Ginga - If you read the Chamber Position Paper, you will see that we are actually getting more out of the TSPLOST than we put in. There is a great return for Fayette County residents.

http://fayettechamber.org/2012/06/tsplost-chamber-position/

One of the benefits of the regional approach is that we get some benefits in other counties that we might not otherwise get if we had just a county-wide SPLOST. The obvious example being the GA74/I-85 interchange which is in Fulton County but services a large percentage of Fayette County residents. As I have said here before, with the overwhelming vast majority of Fulton residents living north of the interchange, they have very little incentive to fix the problem but, because of the regional approach, we were able to get that project included in the TSPLOST.

I recognize that you are voting no but I appreciate the opportunity to reinforce these very important points.

Gene Drake

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]One of the benefits of the regional approach is that we get some benefits in other counties that we might not otherwise get if we had just a county-wide SPLOST. The obvious example being the GA74/I-85 interchange which is in Fulton County but services a large percentage of Fayette County residents. As I have said here before, with the overwhelming vast majority of Fulton residents living north of the interchange, they have very little incentive to fix the problem but, because of the regional approach, we were able to get that project included in the TSPLOST.[/quote]

My problem with this is that this project is not scheduled to start until the 2016-2019 time frame. I didn't do an exact count but it looks like we'll fund a lot of transit projects before we get to this.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

efdrakejr's picture

Going to the Interactive Project Map and unclicking everything except Transit and Road/Transit, shows that many of the transit projects span over more than one time frame but only 2 of 21 (if I counted correctly) are done in the first time frame but another 13 are started in the first time frame.

http://transformmetroatlanta.com/regional-projects/

All of the Fayette projects plus the 74/85 interchange are in the first two time frames so I think we're doing OK.

Gene Drake

G35 Dude's picture

Using your link it looks to me like we get 2 bike paths and 1 road project before 2016. There is a lot going on further north though.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

efdrakejr's picture

I think you probably also noticed that the widening of SR54, which has a Clayton County project number but half of which is in Fayette County, will also be done in the first time frame. In case you didn't see the details on that one, go back to the link, filter by Fayette, and the top right dot will be the SR54 Widening. Click on the dot for the brief description and then, from there, click on View Project Fact Sheet and you can see much more about the project, including its alignment. Or, I can just save you the trouble and send you the link but I wanted you to know how to get there.

http://documents.atlantaregional.com/tia/pdf/TIA-CL-012.pdf

Gene Drake

S. Lindsey's picture

We get to pay the bill for the majority of the work being done in Fulton and others counties. Then we get a bike path in a Golf Cart city here's a hint bikes already use those paths so.....and then they widen 54 no not add a lane just add a foot or so.. I didn't know we all drove Hummers and running off the road was an issue.

Who knew?

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

efdrakejr's picture

Perhaps you didn't check the link I sent G35 under the topic, "You're Welcome". Had you, you would have seen that the project calls for widening GA54 from McDonough Road in Fayette to Tara Blvd in Clayton to four lanes. I don't drive that often but a quick check of Google Earth confirmed that it is currently two lanes. So, I don't know where you came up with adding a foot but the project actually calls for doubling the capacity. In case you are interested, here is the link again.

http://documents.atlantaregional.com/tia/pdf/TIA-CL-012.pdf

Gene Drake

S. Lindsey's picture

If, as you whine, that they are too many prevaricators here (bet you used the dictionary for that one)then why are you still trying to convince the unconvincible?

Has ANYONE here said they support the NEW TAX? (Well besides you that is)

btw-As a fellow Professional Salesman calling potential clients Idiots and Morons doesn't seem to be a winning strategy unless things have really changed.

Like you said maybe the "other" residents of Fayette County are more inclined to add another tax to themselves for an admittedly small payback but as P.T. Barnum said: "There's a Sucker born everyday" and voting for this tax adds adminiclarity to this (see I can use the dictionary too).

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

efdrakejr's picture

I didn't have to use the dictionary for prevaricator but I admit that I did have to use it for your big word, adminiclarity. Oddly, I didn't find it in the dictionary, nor did I find it on Google. Perhaps you made it up like you made up the statement, "...for an admittedly small payback." I hope you weren't attributing that statement to me because I have demonstrated time and again, as has the Chamber in their statement, that the payback is substantial.

As long as we're using famous quotes, maybe I shouldn't respond to folks like you (who thinks GA54 is being widened from 2 lanes to 4 by adding a foot), AHG, MYTMOUTH and your ilk and should instead heed the words of Mark Twain who said, "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

Have a nice week.

Gene Drake

say I never expected that from you. But then, again,who should know better than you. But I must admit that as much as I admire Mark Twain I have to admit that in this instance I disagree: Discussing (not arguing in my book of definitions) with you has not dragged me down; in fact I have enjoyed it tremendously. Especially delicious has been seeing you disintergrate into a name calling boor. Also, under no circumstances could you ever drag me down to your level and beat me with anything.

S. Lindsey's picture

Ad`mi`nic´u`lar. a. 1. Supplying help; auxiliary; corroborative; explanatory; as, adminicular evidence :

BTW-you have your opinion I have mine..

You on the other hand admittedly will benefit financially I have no such horse in the race. I just see no real benefit for a tax that will last 10 years plus and I say plus because when has a tax ever expired?

Additionally until it happens it ain't happened now has it? What exactly guarantees that 54 will be taken to a 4 lane? Your word? A Government proposal?

Is it really needed? I travel that way EVERY SINGLE DAY and yet to hit that traffic jam.... so spending the money is it really necessary? See Government at work again...

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

[quote]Is it really needed? I travel that way EVERY SINGLE DAY and yet to hit that traffic jam.... so spending the money is it really necessary? See Government at work again..[/quote]

ARE YOU SERIOUS? For 'burbs' like PTC and Fayetteville - and other localities, there should be an improvement in the traffic patterns. One should not be reminded of LA anywhere on the 54.

S. Lindsey's picture

This morning never went under 50 mph. So do we need a four lane?

Sounds like a bridge to nowhere.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

An aggravating mess! What time do you go to work? I'm retired, and don't travel during 'work commute hours'. Your purpose in any of your contributions is to denigrate those who disagree with you. (the bully pulpit) Just interested in the 'truth' - not the 'spin'. Those who back their opinions with some semblance of 'fact' are most interesting and informative (regardless of their 'side') Is there any chance that voting yes on the T-splost will give money towards extending toll roads throughout Georgia?

S. Lindsey's picture

[quote=Davids mom]Your purpose in any of your contributions is to denigrate those who disagree with you. (the bully pulpit) Just interested in the 'truth' - not the 'spin'. Those who back their opinions with some semblance of 'fact' are most interesting and informative (regardless of their 'side') [/quote]
For the next time you tell us all what your purpose is on here call into question our educational status and we ask you to provide evidence/sources to back up that rhetoric of yours...

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

[quote]For the next time you tell us all what your purpose is on here call into question our educational status[/quote]

I said:

[QUOTE]For 'burbs' like PTC and Fayetteville - and other localities, there should be an improvement in the traffic patterns. One should not be reminded of LA anywhere on the 54.[/QUOTE]

How fortunate that you have never been behind a Georgia driver who is afraid to exceed 35 miles an hour on a two lane highway with no or few passing zones. Or behind the school bus on 54 (anywhere). Or behind an accident - where no one pulls over to allow traffic to proceed. You have admitted that at times there has been a problem near Newnan, etc. There is a need for a passing lane in certain areas of the 54. (and it appears that on the 54 to Tara Blvd is one of the areas noted in the project plan.)

Just remember Sports Fans, whatever is done to relieve tfc in the morning will also apply to nightime travel from E to W for whatever reason!

DM, what part of 54 are you traveling? I, too, am retired and drive 54 from PTC to Fayetteville and also into Coweta (Newnan). As you get into Newnan it does tend to clog up some but I think that is more the way is set up than the fact that it is overcrowded. I often have appts in early am so am also on 54 when commuters are going to work and have never really seen a boondoggle. Sure, there can always be improvement but not to the extent to add another tax that we all know will not end in ten years. And I am so tired of hearing proponents of T-SPLOST say it is only a penny, indicating that what they have to offer is only going to cost us a penny--not it is not only going to cost us a penny---just add that tax to your groceries, your gas, necessary clothing, and other necessities and we will be inundated with this 'penny' tax. If they keep saying we will get back all we put in for Fayette County, then why don't we just keep it in Fayette County to begin with and spend it as we see fit in our county?

efdrakejr's picture

I have posted the link to the GA54 widening project, which runs from McDonough Road in Fayette to Tara Blvd in Clayton, on this very site, not once but twice, and my buddy MTM posts something about 54 between PTC and Newnan. Does anyone have a map they can let him borrow.

Gene Drake

replying to DM who posted about traffic in the PTC-Fayetteville area. To paraphrase the kindergarten teacher who says "Put on your listening ears"--put on your cognitive brain and read what people are posting and what they are replying to.

Your real frustration comes with your inability to follow strings correctly and the fact that you don't really KNOW anyone here. If you did, you would know that MYTMITE is a Senior Female resident Grandma who anyone would be proud to know. You just make assumptions to fit your perceptions. Not terribly good public relations.

to get to know anyone. His one and only purpose is to try to sway people to vote for the T-SPLOST and his real frustration is that he has not been able to convince anyone. If he were a true poster here he would be aware of the fact that the majority of us make up our own minds. He would also know that I like to stick pins in pomposity and that I do not get frustratd or mad. As my dear departed Mother once told me "Only dogs get mad, people get angry" and you know I don't even get angry. I save my energy for the important things.

Anyway, once the vote is over regardless of the way it goes, I think we will hear no more from Mr. Drake. Me thinks he has only one song in his repetoire. That is unless another big program including cement comes along.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Of course he is the only one who actually gets paid to blog on here (except maybe Cal) and as a lobbyist for concrete, he is entitled and perhaps is required to do so. I saw a pickup trick yesterday with a "MR CONCRETE" license plate. False alarm though, it was a black dude.

News flash, Gene - we are all voting against the concrete and rail tax. NO, NO, NO, Got it?

Live free or die!

efdrakejr's picture

Ive got to admit I've got a wife, kids and friends and I don't use the blog to meet people. I also had a few retorts in mind to answer the misinformation but instead I'm enjoying my third Corona, sitting on the dock, enjoying my family and will not grace you with my presence for the rest of the week. I'll be back rested (and combative) next week.

Have a good week (no really, I mean it).

Gene Drake

able to wait? Please, please watch your consumption of those Coronas. Wouldn't want you to fall off that dock. Guess it will take you six days to come up with the "few retorts" you have in mind. Now, why would a fine, upstanding citizen like you who's only heartfelt desire is to inform the uninformed feel the need to be combative? After all we are only engaging in adult intercourse. Well, at least some of us are.

efdrakejr's picture

I'm not interested in having intercourse with you.

After you borrow a map, maybe you should borrow SL's dictionary.

Gene Drake

As for borrowing SL's dictionary---I have several and because I have used them for many years I now hardly ever have to refer to them. Wish I could say the same about you. For someone who is always insisting that someone check their facts before speaking, you are certainly remiss. If you had opened your dictionary before opening your mouth (figuratively speaking, of course) you would know that the main definition of intercourse is communication between two or more people, the exchange of ideas, etc. If I remember correctly the reference to a sexual connotation is about the third or fourth definition. Ah, first it was Mad Mike and now you. When will you blowhards ever learn? And that was a rhetorical question.

but I am tired of fighting on the bully pulpit.

S. Lindsey's picture

Thanks....

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

As you know - there are people who have the time to read this 'stuff' who don't agree with all that you and yours have to say. It is good to read another opinion. Thanks Mr. Drake.

S. Lindsey's picture

*

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Misleading info is being put out. Don't contribute.

Two quotes-
"Eighty per cent of survey respondents said transportation issues are currently adversely impacting them or their businesses

57 percent said they had reached a critical point where transportation mobility issues must be addressed"

Well, duh, but here is the relevant answer to a very important question not asked -
0% think the problem can be solved by a ten-year (fat chance), one percent sales tax that raises billions of dollars to half-fund critical projects and prop up MARTA.

The transportation tax was not ever, ever, ever mentioned on the survey - only the problems. I took the survey, I answered as did the majority on the two points mentioned above, but those answers in no way support this idiotic, expensive and wasteful 1% tax.

Like most Chamber members, I said yes transportation is a problem and on July 31 I will vote NO and declare that the transportation tax is not the way to solve anything.

Shut up Gene, I don't want to hear from you. Take the day off. My mind is made up.

Live free or die!

efdrakejr's picture

...being on Steve's side!!

Gene Drake

Robert W. Morgan's picture

that the transportation tax is a silly half-measure that won't end in 10 years, won't cut commute time very much and places too much emphasis on rail. As a result we will all vote no - well maybe Manson won't, but he would if he could - all those years in the progressive mecca of California must have convinced him to be more conservative in his life and with his vote. You make it sound as though there are two sides to this issue and we are choosing sides in order to field a stick ball team or start a commune. Not so, it is a simple vote. And our vote is NO, just like the overwhelming majority in Fayette. I don't expect any contact with the other 3 after the vote.

NO on transportation
YES for Oddo, Ognio, Huddleston, McMillian and Sanderson
YES for anybody on the school board not named Smola or Smith

BTW, all these politicians who say they will vote against the transportation tax are simply saying they are using their personal vote on July 31 to vote no - just like Stevie, Donnie and Charlie. I think when they say this in the context of their campaign they are misleading possible voters with the idea that their vote means more than that if they were to be elected.

Live free or die!

efdrakejr's picture

The law says the tax will end in 10 years or when the projected revenue is collected, whichever comes FIRST. There is a provision that it can be renewed but with a new list and another vote of the people. I'm sure your argument will be that the legislature can change the law any time they want but I would submit if they had the guts to raise taxes themselves, they would have just done it and saved us all the trouble of the TSPLOST.

If you go to the link I often post and unclick everything but Transit and Road/Transit, you will see that there are very few actual rail projects.

http://transformmetroatlanta.com/regional-projects/

There are eight Marta rehabilitation and improvement projects for everything from elevator repairs to electrical upgrades to communication upgrades. There are several transit studies but, as far as I can tell by reading the descriptions, there is only one rail line expansion of Marta which is the 3.7 mile extension to Emory University / CDC. There are several bus projects that terminate at Marta but they are typically run by other agencies like Cobb Transit or GRTA.

As for the road projects, there are some great projects that will relieve congestion considerably. Just in our back door, the 74/85 interchange will be huge. I know Bob Ross estimated it would save 2 minutes but, quite frankly, Bob pulled that number out of his pants and anyone who actually sits through the congestion will tell you it is much worse. Add to that all of the other interchanges around 285, and that's just some of the projects, and you will get significant congestion relief.

As for the commissioner and BoE positions, I would ask that you watch the candidate interviews that will be on Comcast 25 and the Chamber web site, hopefully by Monday, before you make a decision. I suspect you may change your mind about one or two of your picks.

Gene Drake

Can you say GA 400?

efdrakejr's picture

1. There is no law that says the state had to take down the toll booths on GA400. It is a law that the TSPLOST ends in 10 years. In fact, the legislature built in the safeguards to this law specifically because they knew the public wouldn't trust them otherwise because of the broken GA400 promise. Now to reasonable people, a promise and a law should hold the same weight but, unfortunately, in reality it does not.

2. Keeping the tolls on GA400 was a terrible political decision but I think it was the right decision (and don't we want politicians to do the right thing instead of the political thing). GA400 is one of the most heavily traveled roads in the state. For a mere 50 cents per vehicle, it carries tens of thousands of vehicles per day. But roads don't last forever. They need maintenance and in some cases, like GA400, additional capacity. GDOT currently has several big projects ongoing and a couple more close to bid on GA400 that will address those issues. Some things are worth paying for and I think maintenance and new capacity on one of the state's most used roads qualifies for that. It didn't help Gov. Perdue's popularity but it was the right thing to do.

Gene Drake

to do the right thing instead of the political thing. Like spending a fortune on slick advertising to push something down our throats that we do not want. I cringe every time I think what all that money could have been used for instead of the propaganda we are being fed. As for laws, we have seen recently just how much water they hold on both the local and national scene.

Going along with your argument that tolls on 400 had to be extended to pay for maintenance on said road; have you invented a new miraculous cement or paving device where no maintenance will have to be done on roads provided by TSPLOST? If, by some miracle, and it would certainly have to be a big one, all projects were completed with the money allocated to them in TSPLOST, where is the maintenance coming from? Will they then become toll rolls to provide this maintenance as per 400?

Let's not fool ourselves; laws can be changed or new laws enacted and as we have seen our politicians and our lobbyists are good at doing this.

Good try but no cigar.

efdrakejr's picture

The advertising campaign is being paid for through private money, not government money. As I have posted here before, companies that are truly invested in GA, like Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Delta, Newell Rubbermaid and hundreds more, have donated the millions of dollars for the advocacy campaign. So, don't cringe, it isn't your tax money going to the campaign.

The maintenance will be paid for with the gas tax as it always has been but there will be more available for maintenance if that pot of money isn't having to be used to redo the 74/85 interchange, all the interchanges on 285, etc. etc.

As I said before, if our legislature had the stomach for raising taxes themselves, they would have just done it instead of putting us through the TSPLOST.

Gene Drake

ginga1414's picture

What happens at the end of the 10-year SPLOST if a project is only half finished and there is no money left in the SPLOST fund to finish that project? Is that project left unfinished?

I would imagine that the powers that be would ask for another 10-year SPLOST. Okay, suppose another 10-year SPLOST was put before the people and it was voted down. What would happen with that half finished project if there is still no money to finish it? What would happen if there were 10 unfinished projects and no money to finish them?

I'm just not a gambler. There are too many unknowns when it comes to suppositions and projections. Remember, projections have projected Fayette citizens into having to pay for school buildings without any students in them. Projections are the reasons we are having to close schools.

In addition, I'm really not wild about the fact that a REGIONAL GOVERNING body is trying to take away/water down/diminish the power of the people. I don't want to be governed by someone I didn't have the opportunity to elect.

When it comes to the Regional T-SPLOST and Fayette County's representation with the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Regional Transportation Roundtable, think about one of Jack Smith's responses during his bid for re-election back in 2010. He was questioned about the fact that, as Fayette County's representative, he voted in favor of mass transit in Fayette County because he wanted to secure that option in case we wanted it in the future. HA! THEN HE SAID THAT HE WAS "JUST ONE VOTE!" HA, HA, HA!

Do you see what I mean? We are not only being asked to vote to tax ourselves, but if the referendum doesn't pass in Fayette County we will still be taxed if it is approved within the REGION. Our right to HOME RULE is being taken away. In my estimation, THAT IS WORSE THAN THE TAX!

efdrakejr's picture

Here are the different scenarios for addressing our traffic congestion issues:

1. The TSPLOST where we had our county commission chairman and one mayor help determine the project list and where we got a substantial return in our county plus the 74/85 interchange in Fulton.

2. The legislature raises the gas tax by about 25 cents and all the money goes to GDOT where our local elected officials have no say in the selection of projects. There is congressional balancing but the representative for our district, District 3, is Sam Wellborn who lives in Columbus.

Vote how you like but at least be aware of the Home Rule scenario you are selecting.

Gene Drake

Your insinuation is that Wellborn wouldn't help out because he lives in Columbus--what you didn't say was that the Area Office is in Griffin! You saying his physical residence has effect on his decisions in the 3rdDistrict? He's no newcomer and no dummy, so why insinuate such behavior. Slanted opinion?Well just maybe.

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