Tyrone Mayor Dial to host June 5 ‘wireside chat’ on TSPLOST
It is being billed as a venue inspired by President Franklin Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats during World War II. A conference call pertaining to the July 31 vote on the Regional Transportation (TSPLOST) plan is being branded as a “Wireside Chat” and will be held for Fayette County residents on June 5 beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The conference call will be hosted by Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial, who also serves as Fayette County’s mayoral representative to the 10-county Atlanta Regional Commission.
An ARC press release pertaining to the meeting notes that Dial will be fielding the calls. But that’s not how Dial sees it.
“That I’m the only host listed is somewhat of a surprise to me. I welcome the difficult questions, and I’m going to be there to host the event and not to answer the questions. I’m in the process of putting together a group of people that can answer all the questions, including Fayette-specific questions,” Dial said, adding that Fayette County Public Works Director Phil Mallon and several ARC representatives will be on hand to field citizens’ questions.
Dial went further in his assessment of the TSPLOST conference call.
“Because I’m the mayoral representative to the ARC, I feel responsible to have both sides present their arguments for or against. So it’s important that we provide a venue for both sides to state their reasons why they are for or against the referendum,” said Dial.
“I’m not hosting this wireside chat to convince a voter to vote a given way. I’m hosting it to provide a venue so that people can understand the issues better. And I won’t be in there stating my opinion. I’m the host and nothing more, nothing less. And I know being the host may anger some people on both sides.”
Dial said his perspective on the July 31 referendum is one that requires that voters amass all the information they need to make an informed decision on the issues.
“From the beginning I’ve been very supportive of everybody having information on the referendum. So hearing from both sides is of paramount importance,” Dial said. “There are some people I respect who gave me good information. On the anti-TSPLOST side they’ve given me good information and I’m grateful. On the pro side they have also provided their information. I want to be able to provide a venue for the citizens to hear both sides.”
As for his personal take on the transportation initiative, Dial said he will be voting in opposition to it.
“I’ve stated all along that I have concerns about the way the dollars (in the initiative) will be appropriated so, personally, I cannot support the referendum when I cast my vote,” said Dial. “I have too many objections to the mass transit component so it’s primarily the mass transit component that’s problematic for me. Some of the projects are good, but the approximately 50 percent to be spent for mass transit brings very little to the county I represent.”
The Wireside Chat is expected to run for approximately one hour. Residents are asked to register in advance to receive materials they can refer to during the call. All questions will be answered, either live or as a follow-up email or phone call.
The same venue being utilized in Fayette County will be held the remaining ARC counties during June 4-7 and 13-14.
To register for the Wireside Chat visit www.wiresidechats.com or call 404-463-3227.