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PTC sacks commission change

A plan hatched by Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix to perhaps avoid a 1 percent sales tax for regional transportation initiatives is likely dead in the water after his own city council voted a measure down 3-2.

Haddix proposed petitioning the Fayette County Commission to initiate a process that would result in Fayette County leaving the Atlanta Regional Commission planning agency and joining the Three Rivers Regional Commission instead.

That would have lumped Fayette County with Coweta and a host of other rural counties south of Atlanta including Spalding, Upson and Heard counties.

Councilwoman Kim Learnard noted that 2008 Census data showed that 73 percent of Fayette residents commute outside of the county for work, and of those people, 77 percent work in a county that is part of the Atlanta Regional Commission, which includes the counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Clayton, Gwinnett and others.

Learnard said Fayette officials should be concerned with where its residents live and work in terms of planning future regional transportation projects. She also noted that Haddix, who is a member of the 21-person regional board that will devise a project list for the sales tax, is responsible for bringing projects up for consideration.

Haddix contended that no Fayette County transportation projects qualified for funding from the tax revenues, but minutes later he also suggested that the Three Rivers counties might be more amenable to approving regional transportation projects.

Councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch questioned how that could be possible since both regional commissions have to follow the same deadlines for project submissions. Haddix was unable to explain that discrepancy.

Without the approval of the Peachtree City Council, the initiative will be dead in the water, and time is of the essence as the measure not only requires approval of the City Council and the Fayette County Commission, but also approval via local legislation initiated in the Georgia legislature.

Haddix contended that the Three Rivers counties were far less likely to vote in the regional transportation sales tax in 2012 than the counties in the Atlanta Regional Commission.

The measure was voted down 3-2 with Learnard, Fleisch and Councilman Eric Imker in favor and Haddix joining Councilman Doug Sturbaum in opposition.



Don Haddix's picture

You failed to mention I said the current data shows 63% as even quoted by Mayor Steele, not 73%, which ties in with what I have said about people wanting to work where they live. As well I said from 2000 to 2000/10 on 74 while the population increased the DOT data also shows there was only about 3,000 increased car trips per day, with an actual decline 2000-2007, after which the bump up came from the construction in the Fairburn area while the economy slowed.

Further I did explain the claimed discrepancy. I stated there had been desires expressed for Shuttle Bus service for handicapped, elderly and some others, a value to seniors not being considered. That is an existing program in Three Rivers but not in ARC that we could opt into if we chose to do so. As well there are some Three Rivers plans connecting to Fayette we could review for potential benefit.

I also admitted there was actually some Regional projects, being the East and West Fayetteville Bypasses and roads in the current proposed County transportation plan to also form a Bypass. But those can be submitted in either Region, if there is a desire to do so.

Four points were the big ones, the scare tactics seniors were going to loose services, unproven, the difference in home values, which is irrelevant since the Region you live in is not a factor, but a fear for the Realtors when sales to retirees is considered, and Councilwoman Learnard has openly stated before she supports Transit. Last was the question of the $15 million that will go out for the Northern counties, which was only answered with we need to contribute to pay our part.

Everyone is entitle to their opinion and reason and the vote is done unless a reconsideration is called. I made mine very clear. So I move on and focus on the criteria, which we vote on in December. Just please report accurately on this very complex issue.

That is my one post on this article. Others can have the last word.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Mike King's picture

...In office. Surely, Don, you owe the citizens that elected you some competency. You remind me more and more daily of the Brown Clown. You have lost control of council, and fail to realize that it is due to your own doing.

I have no opinion yet on Haddix's results in 10 months, but do you mean he should have bargained something to get one more council vote to vote against the Transportation law? Why?

It won't matter anyway Fayette would be the only county to vote nay!
What the state capitol wants, they get in Georgia!
Aren't they conserves? Don't know any Independents there, a few black democrats, maybe.

Georgia and Fayette remind me of the Democratic Hawaiian Senator Inouye, I think, in the Nixon administration, who they needed for a bill, and an aid of Nixon's said, "ain't no way", is the name!

It would make history if just one prominent GA republican voted with the current administration unless it was for a handout to GA!

Mr. Mayor...
Take your stand on that simple premise...

WITH THE POWERFUL ADVANTAGE THAT THIS SAME ARGUMENT greatly amplified thru the proposition that we are going to be "taxed & spent" by voters & local governments in other jurisdictions.

(I am not yet sure that this entire funding scheme is even legal or Constitutional.)

All you have to do is INFORM THE TAXPAYERS....

Merely make your case for leaving the ARC simply and plainly--

As you name the names of all those who seem to be in favor of:


<strong> --AND--


Easy math... Common sense principles...
The right ideas and strategeries win the day!

The worst move is <em>giving in</em>...

--Followed closely by <em>doing nothing</em> to protect us from this looting.

NUK_1's picture

Did you fail to notice the council just voted 3-2 to NOT leave ARC and join Three Rivers? There isn't anything Haddix or Sturbaum can do at this point except wait to see how the voters decide.

Frankly, as a commuter, I am in favor of the ARC and even the proposed tax. I'm not only concerned about what happens to Fayette County and I don't live in a cocoon and never leave the county. Like it or not, Fayette IS a part of the same region as big, bad Atlanta and some of the other counties.

As far as being taxed, the state and feds already take taxes and spend it on projects that "help other people, places and things" that may or may not be of my choosing. At least with this tax, I and others will get some direct benefit from it as will the "region."

One of the reasons for horrendous gridlock has been the absolute lack of coordinated planning up to this point to go along with the state running out of road money long ago to satisfy the needs all over the state of GA. The ARC proposal is far from perfect and I hate any increased taxation enough already, but the time has come for this idea to be given a chance because business as usual has been a failure.

PTC Observer's picture

Nuk what of those that don't commute to Atlanta? Is it “fair” to make them pay as well?

The problem with this tax is that it starts with the wrong principle and will likely be as wasteful as all the other SPLOST taxes. Sales taxes are regressive and penalize lower income individuals because it takes a greater percentage of their income to pay for them. Use taxes on the other hand center on those that use the service and give a choice whether to use the service or not. Road use taxes can come in the form of tolls or in the form of indirect taxes.

If you want to solve this problem then we need to increase the gasoline tax, those that use more gasoline pay more tax. This is the way Georgia currently has it set up. The roads are paid through the state gasoline tax. By law the only way these revenues can be used are to build and maintain roads. However, with fewer workers (unemployment) the numbers of trips taken have decreased dramatically and tax revenues have decreased right along with it. Therefore, there is a shortfall in revenue for this purpose. So, the fair way to solve this is to let those that use their automobile the most pay most of the upkeep of the roads. Let’s simply adjust the gasoline tax that is already in place and be done with it.

Let’s ask our state representatives to reconsider this poorly conceived TSPLOST tax. I believe both our representatives voted in favor of the TSPLOST provision for ARC. I can’t imagine why.

I can't believe it. You want another tax on gas?

Why not spend less on roads as you say on everything else?

Don't you drive?

No SPLOST either!

PTC Observer's picture

I want people who use a service to pay for it.

Use a service---pay for it!

OK, but the several thousand who have a heart operations every month are going to have a hard time "paying" for it at about $200,000!

Insurance you say---Isn't that socialism? Many don't have insurance anyway!

I know, we will over-tax potential heart patients! Or Maybe the surgeons!

--And we will vote again when they each come up for re-election.

Your points are well made and well taken.

My objections remain centered around giving un-elected bureaucrats (ARC) our precious resources to be doled out making improvements in other jurisdictions.

By the time the greater ATL political-machine passes our tax money around there will be "payments" and then (someday) there may be a few "improvements".... "somewhere".

I don't trust this "regional approval" set-up whatsoever.

This strangely concocted device invites corruption from the voting to the planning /allocation and final disposition.

<em>The Parable of the Unguarded Cookie-Jar</em> about to be acted out.

The fact that the money in our pockets is going to be appropriated by the voters of other jurisdictions -- may well be unconstitutional. You can't make this stuff up.

None of us live in the cocoon you mentioned. And we are all taxed well enough.

Yes-- the needs are there to improve traffic flow and highway patterns-some long overdue.

There are also much better ways to accomplish these goals-- and getting a heckuva lot more bang for the buck along the way.

Just my humble... enjoy the weekend.

You also must not be aware that Georgia gets back far more money than they pay into taxes!

Some of the biggies are roads, stimulus, TARP, schoolteachers, cops, firemen, dams, water, power, etc.

Stuff we would never have the guts to pay for here!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Will you (and of course, Doug) please stop wasting time and energy on this stupid ARC stuff and go do something productive like recruit some industrial users or extend the sewer service so we have some new users. Please?

Live free or die!

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