Fayette holds ‘Wireside Chat’ on TSPLOST vote
Fayette County on June 5 had its version of the “Wireside Chat” designed to field questions pertaining to the July 31 referendum on the Regional Transportation TSPLOST initiative.
According to an Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) press release, the questions were diverse, as more than 3,500 people took part in the Wireside Chats for Douglas and Fayette counties on June 5. The reason for ARC hosting the telephone town hall meetings was to give residents of the region a chance to learn more about projects that are part of the upcoming Regional Transportation Referendum on July 31, the press release said.
The press release noted that the questions covered a broad range of topics, from how long the tax will last to specifics about some of the 157 projects on the referendum list. In Fayette County, participants on the call were interested in learning more about specific projects planned for their county and many expressed a desire for transportation options for the elderly and disabled, according to ARC.
Attending the Fayette County version of the Wireside Chat were ARC representative Kathryn Lawler, Fayette County citizen representative to the ARC Bob Reeves, Fayette County Public Works Director Phil Mallon along with Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial who also served as the host for the event.
Dial before the meeting told The Citizen that, as Fayette’s mayoral representative to the ARC, his role would be that of a host for the event rather than a participant answering questions. Dial said previously that he would be voting in opposition to the TSPLOST initiative.
Asked Friday his assessment of the telephone town hall meeting, Dial said, “I actually enjoyed it. It was truly educational as opposed to being any kind of advocacy event for or against (the initiative). We said regardless how the vote goes we appreciated people calling and being informed. Not even the ARC representative advocated for a way to vote.”
Even though he set out not to respond to questions, Dial said he did field a few.
“I didn’t want to put out my opinion and I didn’t want to be a torch-bearer. I didn’t have to answer questions but I ended up choosing to answer some,” Dial said of questions such as those centering on Tyrone’s future plans for cart paths or Fayette’s County long-held stance on opposing any form of mass transit in the county.
Polls taken during the calls revealed that about 90 percent of participants found the Wireside Chats helpful in understanding the transportation referendum vote and what is at stake, according to ARC.