Fayette holds ‘Wireside Chat’ on TSPLOST vote

Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial and Fayette County citizen representative to the Atlanta Regional Commission Bob Reeves were two of the participants in the “Wireside Chat” held June 5 to answer questions on the upcoming regional transportation (TSPLOST) vote. Photo/Special.

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.

Shoebox
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Joined: 12/09/2006
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER

NEVER VOTE FOR MORE TAXES! NEVER!

Joe Kawfi
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TSPLOST

The largest part of MARTA’s current $413.8 million in transit costs is paid by local sales tax. MARTA gets $201.2 million from the penny tax collected in Fulton and DeKalb counties and the city of Atlanta.

On top of this, the federal government kicks in $37.8 million.

Why would we the people want to expand Marta when it doesn't operate in the black without taxpayer funding. Those that choose not to ride Marta are subsidizing the tickets of those that do.

You T-SPLOST zealots better go dig another hole. This well is dry and the taxpayer will refuse to pay for your inability to spend wisely.

Davids mom
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Participation

Fortunately many participated in this wireside chat - and became informed. They will make up their minds on how to vote - and many realize that there may be more at stake that a 'fear' of MARTA coming into Fayette County involves. The questions were intelligent - and handled well. Thank you.

Dondol
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Fear of Marta coming?

I don't think that A fear of Marta coming to Fayette is the major concern, its that we don't want to pay for something that has lost money from day One! You take Marta off of the table and you will have a lot more support.

Davids mom
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Dondol
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its that we don't want to pay for something that has lost money from day One!

Very good point. There are projects that would benefit Fayette County. I think citizens are giving this sincere thought - and not listening to the Kawki's of the county. At least an informed vote by the majority of citizens is progress.

Joe Kawfi
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Dondol

Pay no attention to DM - she thinks that everyone makes decisions based purely on race like she does and therefore accuses some of 'fearing' MARTA coming to the southside when nothing like that was ever stated.

The 'Wireside Chat' was a partisan joke. They screened the questions and only picked the easy ones. It was a completely one-sided discussion and just a tool for the folks that are pro-TSPLOST to pitch their policy of taxing of all for the benefit of a few.

I highly doubt that it will pass.

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