Steele: ‘Noxious CAVE people’ oppose T-SPLOST

We have many critical issues and votes facing our community, state and nation in the coming months. Some of our citizens have very strong opinions, while others seem to be detached or turned off by the continuous sophomoric personal attacks of some members and candidates of the Fayette Issues Tea Party.

It is, indeed, hard to believe that an organization that supposedly espouses small government, low taxes and a free enterprise economy can be promulgating attacks on our very own business community. These are the very people we need to encourage as they provide the goods and services we need and employ our citizens.

One of the issues we must decide on July 31 is the fate of the transportation SPLOST. Numerous people have asked me why we need a new tax and that is a very valid question in these economic times.

The state of Georgia, along with most other states in the U.S., relies on the motor vehicle fuel tax to fund transportation. For over a decade this revenue source has leveled off and even declined for a variety of reasons.

When we trade in our 14 mpg car for one that gets 25 mpg we buy less gas. With the extended recession many people have altered their driving habits by combining trips, etc. The bottom line is that transportation needs have continued to grow and revenue has not kept pace.

The state legislature spent three years trying to reach consensus on new revenue sources and the “Transportation Investment Act” of 2010 is the result and it places the burden on 12 regions located throughout the state.

What we are being asked to vote on July 31 are 10 ROAD projects that will address the congestion and future transportation needs of Fayette County for the next several decades.

Most of us realize that many of our sister counties to the north have serious congestion problems. It does not really matter why, but failure to provide the infrastructure prior to growth surely is a factor and now they have limited options that are all extremely expensive to build.

We have the option, should we so choose, to have a long-term positive impact on the sustainability, livability and economic success of Fayette County. The choice is ours, as it should be.

I would be remiss if I did not address the “red herring” of public transportation and transit. We have a very small noxious group of folks that must stay awake at night to protect us from the invasion of the transit monster.

We have all heard of the acronym “NIMBY,” not in my backyard. Many of us fall into this group as we tend not to pay much attention to public issues until they impact “our backyard.”

We now have a subset of this group here in Fayette I call the CAVE people. These are “Citizens Against Virtually Everything.” They tend to congregate at County Commission meetings with a periodic foray over to the Board of Education.

They do not seek to learn and contribute anything positive to Fayette County but rather to demean and attack their fellow citizens, public employees and representatives.

Much has been written, locally, about MARTA and public transportation and it would make for a very interesting academic debate. However, it is not germane to Fayette County.

We are projected to receive dollar for dollar return on our investment for only road projects within our county. All transit projects approved in those counties desiring them will be funded by proceeds from their revenues, not by Fayette County. We are not a donor county.

One opponent of the plan recently reported the I-85/Ga. Highway 74 improvements would only save folks four minutes. There was no mention that you could multiply that by 15,000 plus cars a day.

More importantly the opponents never mentioned that traffic projections take into account the projected 2,500,000 more people that will be living in Metro Atlanta in 2040.

Thus, we can choose to ignore the transportation challenges facing us and kick the can down the road or we can move forward. If the CAVE people had their way Christopher Columbus would still be seeking funding for his exploration of the new world.

Looking at current discussions and the political climate locally, one must ask that old trite question: does life emulate theater/art or does theater/art reflect life? We now have our own character wanting to reprise the role of “Boss Hogg” from the old Dukes of Hazard series, costume and make-up not needed.

Then we have Commissioner Brown who, for an individual who does not seem to have a job would have us believe, as a result of his prolific editorials and public pronouncements, he is an expert on most everything.

I find it particularly humorous when he shares how he tells the professional graduate engineers of the Department of Transportation how to build roads, design interchanges and cost the projects.

I have never talked to Mr. Brown one on one. However, I have always given him the benefit of the doubt, recognizing that, I think, he is in the throes of a long-term torrid romance — with his own opinion.

Somehow I think William Shakespeare had several local would-be leaders in mind when he wrote his famed soliloquy from Macbeth, “Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Thus, if someone talks to you and tries to connect transit and the T-SPLOST as it relates to Fayette County, you know you are talking to someone who is uninformed, naive or just not being truthful. They are certainly not being credibly transparent; however, that is a story for another day.

Ken Steele

Fayetteville, Ga.

[Steele is the former mayor of Fayetteville.]

taxed too much
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taxes

Recently we have seen municipalities in AL, RI, PA and of course CA file for bankruptcy protection. Too much spending, out of control union contracts, mis-use of tax dollars and overall financial irresponsibility can all be blamed. When will we learn that most governments cannot and will not keep spending under control? Taxes never seem to go away, they just seem to increase, and the spending sprees continue. I do not believe that the T-Splost will be anything other than a financial disaster. Stop the spending, lower taxes and get government out of the way!

taxed too much!

YourGoodPalMike
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It isn't going to pass

Check out the latest poll on T-Splost from the region.

48% say they are voting against it with 36% stating they will vote for it. The rest are undecided, which means that the 12% difference will be very difficult to overcome in 15 days.

So, let it go. It's not going to pass.

Please, elected officials: Find ways to make do with what you have. Your grandparents would be the first to tell you this.

bladderq
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of T-Sploosh & Repugs

You have to love all this broo-Ha-HA. This tax was created by a Repug Govenor (Sunny can you grease my palms?) and Repug Senate & a Repug House. The 2 banking heads were part of failed banks; but I digress. Sen. Chambliss is for it in Moultree but he doesn't know about the rest of the state. I like that people against it, don't address what happens if it fails. There is a loss of grants, loss of federal funds and on and on. The real reason for this is because the GOP did not want to deal w/ the problems in Atlanta and give MARTA control over their own money. It is those tax and spend Repugs!!

ginga1414
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The Truth Will and Veritas ARE RIGHT

Click on their links and see for yourselves.

The words "sustainable development" or "sustainable community" apply to Agenda 21.

If you will remember when Ken Steele was interviewed by The Citizen with respect to the West Fayetteville Neighborhoods development, it was referred to as a sustainable community.

It looks as if the West Fayetteville Bypass was part of the overall plan to establish a "sustainable community" within Fayette County. http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/10-12-2011/meet-west-fayetteville-nei...

If the Agenda 21 philosophy prevails, there won't be any more "rural characteristics" in Fayette County and we won't see individually owned parcels of land with cows or horses grazing in fields!

It might not happen in my lifetime but if regional governments continue it will certainly happen during my children's lifetime.

Please keep in mind that Jack Smith and Ken Steele have been big promoters of the West Fayetteville Neighborhoods, the West Fayetteville Bypass, and the Atlanta Regional Commissions policies and projects. Atlanta is a member of the Agenda 21 organization known as "ICLEI."

Veritas
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Interesting reading about T-Splost

GA Public Policy foundation not sold on T-Splost
http://http://tsplost.com/post/2012/07/09/TSPLOST-gets-bad-review-from-t...

Proponents say "Ga needs it for economic development"
Ummm not quite.
"One last angle that TSPLOST proponents have taken, briefly touched on above, is that the tax hike is needed to promote “economic development” — a catch phrase used by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and others often used to push lawmakers into doing what they want. The implication is, obviously, that whatever policy being pushed would be “good for business.” Interestingly, CNBC just yesterday released its annual study, America’s Top States for Business. Georgia ranks in the top 10. What’s more, the state is once again given high marks in the “Infrastructure & Transportation” category; ranking third overall."
http://www.peachpundit.com/2012/07/11/tsplost-deserves-a-resounding-no-v...

ginga1414
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istilldontknow, Perhaps You Don't Mind

Paying even more taxes.

I guess you don't mind having your state government punish you if you don't vote in favor of taxing yourself for the rest of your life.

Do you understand that the law says that if we don't vote in favor of the Transportation Investment Act (Regional T-SPLOST), we will be penalized?

Perhaps you don't mind being threatened by the government!

I do mind, and I am extremely grateful to have people like Steve Brown and Bob Ross representing my interests.

Say what you will about Mr. Brown, he has diligently represented the people who voted him into office. While long time Fayette politicians have twisted the truth, and resorted to calling citizens and other public officials names, Steve Brown has stuck to the facts.

When Mr. Brown participated in the latest T-SPLOST debate, he was representing the citizens of Fayette County in the most positive way. If he had attended the Commission Meeting, Chairman Frady, Commissioners Horgan and Hearn would have certainly rendered any vote Commissioner Brown might have cast as ineffectual.

Steve Brown was not duck hunting. He wasn't on vacation or playing golf. He was working to prevent the people of Fayette County from being railroaded by our regional and state government.

The Truth Will ...
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T-SPLOST = Agenda 21

. . . . . . . TSPLOST is part of the UNITED NATIONS Agenda 21 program. Agenda 21 is the integration of economic, social and environmental policies to reduce consumption and human population, achieve social equity, and to preserve and restore bio-diversity. Individual property rights are abrogated to the state and wealth re distribution is the means by which these objectives are accomplished . . . . . .

. . . . TSPLOST is the largest tax hike in Georgia's history expected to raise $18.6B in the Atlanta Region itself. It amounts to the largest re distribution of wealth from the taxpayer to the State of Georgia for road, rail, and environmental sustainability projects . . . . .

http://www.cumminghome.com/news50000/government/Tea-Parties-Throughout-G...

istilldontknow
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Here's the thing...

I am a resident of Fayette County. I pay taxes. I didn't ask Steve Brown to do anything (not even be a commissioner), but since he is a commissioner, I expect him to attend meetings and conduct the business of the County as a member of the board. The BOARD makes decisions on the County's business, not Steve Brown on his own. It's too bad that Mr. Brown may or may not be "ineffectual" in the role he was elected to do; perhaps if he had better people skills he wouldn't be so polarizing.

We pay him $6,000 a year and let him be reimbursed for up to $3,000 for expenses. All he needs to do is SHOW UP FOR THE MEETINGS and participate in the process.

By putting his personal beliefs on the T-SPLOST ahead of the County's business, he does me no favors. I'm sorry, you can't separate Steve Brown, private citizen from Steve Brown, elected official, try as you might.

When you go on TV and radio as a "representative" of the Transportation Leadership Coalition, LLC (which is what WABE introduced him as), he's blurring the lines he shouldn't be. It's not unusual for him, though, as he's done it before.

Restraint and diplomacy - two tenets sorely lacking in what I'm seeing portrayed here. There ARE two sides.

ginga1414
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istilldontknow, Would You Rather Have Commissioner Brown

on a duck hunting trip, a cruise, a vacation, or a golfing holiday with his buddies?

Did you know that some of our other commissioners have missed meetings due to those activities?

Did you ask former Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele, former Commission Chairman Jack Smith, or current Commission Chairman Herb Frady to represent you, me, the county on the Atlanta Regional Commission or the Regional Transportation Roundtable? I didn't. In fact, I would have voted for someone else to be in those positions had I had the opportunity to vote.

Did you ask Ken Steele or Jack Smith to vote in favor of mass transit in Fayette County, just to deny to the citizens that they had done so? When they were presented with the voting records that proved they had voted in favor of it, they said that "I was just one voice."

Yes, Steve Brown doesn't play the "go along to get along" game that most politicians play. Steele, Smith, Frady, Horgan, and Hearn do have certain "people skills" with a certain faction. However, I can attest to the fact that they are greatly lacking in "people skills" with respect to the majority of Fayette voters. Mr. Steele's "Noxious CAVE people" letter is a prime example of that statement. Steele, Smith, and Maxwell lost their last bids for re-election due to the fact that their "people skills" were directly tied to the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Regional Transportation Roundtable, certain state government factions, developers, a developer friendly bank and not the people they were elected to represent.

Would you rather have your commissioners voting on items not published on the Agenda? That happened under Smith and Frady.

Did you know that Steve Brown was the only commissioner who did not participate in an evening of entertainment provided by Mallet Consulting during a commission trip to Savannah? You and I helped pay for that trip to Savannah. Did those commissioners show "restraint and diplomacy" by politely turning down Mallet Consulting's evening of entertainment?

In order to keep prices competitive, which commissioner has repeatedly proposed that county business be spread over a wider range of companies?

Yep, there are two sides. However, for far too many years Fayette County Government has been completely one sided. The majority of voters here are fed up with that. We the people pay the salaries of our county commissioners, but until very recently it has been the county hierarchy's way.

Now that someone is trying to give us another choice, they are called "polarizing." If a door knob suddenly sprouted a head, two arms and legs and tried to buck the "good old boy" system, that door knob would be accused of being "polarizing."

istilldontknow
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I agree with Ginga!

(someone call up to North Fayette County and check on her).

I think that commission members should be able to schedule their other activities around meetings, so I don't appreciate scheduling vacations, etc. when there are meetings - they signed up for this when they ran for office.

The Mallett Consulting "entertainment" was more than likely paid by Mallett and not by us; hopefully the commission members followed all appropriate rules established regarding receiving gifts. Does it look funny? Yeah, I'd agree with that, but there's always been this fine line - take a look at what we're trying to deal with in the State Legislature and how slow that process is moving to eliminate gifts.

It's good to have competition in bidding, I'll agree with you there.

But your Commissioner Idol isn't a saint by any stretch of the imagination. Take a look back through the last six or seven years of history on this website to review his missteps along the way; they are all very well documented by those of us who paid attention along the way.

And an excellent analogy on the "door knob" - seems this County may vote some more of that hardware in before we understand that the only way government really works is GIVE and TAKE - not all GIVE or all TAKE.

MYTMITE
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ISDK, unless you were using another name, you have only been on

this site since 3/06/11, so you must have silently been paying attention along the way; and seeing how voraciously you have posted on this subject that hardly seems reasonable. Perhaps, like Drake, T-SPLOST is just closer to your heart--or is it your wallet?

istilldontknow
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Motivation

I guess my motivations will just have to be speculation and conjecture :)

Perhaps you missed my other comments on a variety of topics...here are a few:

http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/03-25-2012/ptc-stays-track-tech-review

http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/05-29-2012/4-ptc-council-want-haddix-...

In fact, use Google to see what I've posted:

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22istilldontknow%27s+picture%22+site%3A...

I don't need to comment on every topic to be allowed on this site, do I?

MYTMITE
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Ginga, isdk cannot find anything else to gripe about so he harps

on this. It is plain that his/her aim here is to promote T-Splost. Would he be knocking Steve Brown if he took part on a debate on the side of T-SPLOST? Like Drake, he just does not want to accept the fact that most of us in this area are not taken in by all the slick advertising and slicker rhetoric being thrown around. Like Drake, he will soon find out we are not that easily swayed.

ginga1414
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istilldontknow

MYTMITE hit the nail on the head with her assessment of isdk.

When isdk can't produce anything factual, he just fabricates what he considers humor.

Oh well. I guess we all have to amuse ourselves every now and then.

istilldontknow
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Facts versus Conjecture

Perhaps some definitions are in order:

Fact - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fact
a piece of information that has objective reality, something that has actual existence.

Example: The T-SPLOST will fund a list of projects determined by a committee. These projects include road, bridge and transit projects as spelled out on the ARC's website (for metro Atlanta) and GDOT (in other areas).
2nd Example: MARTA ridership has decreased over the past couple of years after funding cutbacks, as shown in the AJC article here - http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/marta-loses-riders-after-778226.html

Conjecture - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conjecture
an interpretation of omens, inference from presumptive or defective evidence, a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork.

Example: The T-SPLOST will improve commute times.
2nd Example: The T-SPLOST will make our lives worse.
3rd Example: Transit projects are doomed to failure.

I don't believe any of us here are truly speaking of facts at all. You cite things, I cite things, so we all come to our last definition:

Opinion - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opinion
a view, judgement, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.

Example: I will be voting for T-SPLOST because I think it is a good start.
2nd Example: Steve Brown likes to hear the sound of his own voice and is supported by some who may appear to be short-sighted.
3rd Example: The world will end if we don't vote for the SPLOST, because the Mayans are coming!

We are allowed to disagree, but please understand none of us are working in facts. Not even your quoteasaurus county commission hero.

istilldontknow
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Knocking Steve Brown...

Found this old gem on an archive search of Steve Brown debates - whoever wrote this must have been brilliant :)

Mr. Brown has been an attention seeker since day one.

And I know all of you folks who aren't supporting the TSPLOST have your reasons; I just don't agree with them. And, shockingly, I don't work in the road paving industry! I'm a citizen who thinks that government in and of itself can actually help!

Enjoy the comedy gold below...

--------------------------------
from the link http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/1237

Debate Coverage You Can't Count On....

So - anybody go to the debate? I can't make it, as I'm having my cat washed. I'd love to get an OBJECTIVE view of how it all went.

But, assuming I won't, let me guess how it all went down:

(Moderator): Uh, good evening. The Young Democrats and Young Republicans of McIntosh High School proudly present our first ever Mayoral Runoff Debate. We'd like to thank Mayor Steve Brown for suggesting the idea, booking the room, and writing the questions for tonight. Unfortunately, Harold Logsdon couldn't be with us...
(boos and hisses resonate from the back of the auditorium)

(Moderator):...Harold had an unforeseen conflict this evening, as he has a life. In his place we have an opponent worthy of constructive discourse and verbal jousting. Direct from the new Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, may we present Gasper, the Beluga Whale!

(Gasper splashes in the tank).

(Moderator): Ladies and gentleman, if you wouldn't mind moving toward the front of the room so we can have more people sitting closer to the camer...I mean, the podiums.

(Mayor Steve "Boom Boom" Brown): Please don't be shy, there's plenty of room. Don't forget I'll give each of you a chance to introduce yourselves before we get started.

(Moderator): OK, thanks, Mr. Brown. (stage whisper) I'm bound to get into Emory now for SURE!

(Mayor Steve "Shuck N' Jive" Brown): I'd like to begin this evening's debate with a prayer, as long as there are no objections.

(the Young Democrats, en masse - both of them - raise their hands)

(Mayor Steve "Is this thing on?" Brown): OK, hearing none, Dear Lord, we ask that you please bring your power upon tonight's discussion so that I can destroy my opponents into tiny little bits...in thy mercy.

(Moderator): Ok, thanks, Mr. Brown. Now, the first question is for Gasper. Given the gross illegalities that the Developers of Peachtree City have been perpretrating on the unsuspecting residents of Peachtree City for well over a decade, how will you, as Mayor, rise above the immorality and restore the values of truth, honesty, and truthfulness--

(Young Republican #3): You said truth twice.

(Moderator): They're TWO DIFFERENT WORDS! (to Gasper) I apologize. As I was saying, how will you, in specific details, resolve all the corruption and illegalnessitude that is ongoing in our beloved city?

(Gasper swims errantly across the tank, occasionally flapping his head around).

(Mayor Steve "Horshack" Brown): OOH! I can answer this one, young citizen! Look at my record these past four years. I personally launched several investigations into improper conduct across all levels of City government. I had the Police Department stake out the Public Works facility because I just KNEW they were up to no good! In fact, I even blew the whistle on corruption at the highest levels of City government!

(Young Democrat #2): Uh, Mr. Brown, do you mean the ethics violation you filed on yourself?

(Mayor Steve "Hey, can you watch my kids while I save the world?" Brown): PRECISELY! See, I can spot evil from any distance. My superpowers let me do that.

(Moderator): OK, thanks Mr. Brown. For the next question, we'll take one from the audience. You, sir, with the loud acronymic t-shirt, what would you like to ask?

(T-shirt guy): Mayor Brown, how do you explain the findings of the environmental report regarding the Police Department site that state the area that was built on contained nothing harmful or toxic, when you specifically went to the media with unrelated sections of the report and claimed that several city staffers were aware of the toxic nature of the site and that it shouldn't have been purchased?

(Mayor Steve "Sewer Plants Are the Devil" Brown): Thank you for your comment.

(T-shirt guy): Uh, that was a question.

(Mayor Steve "That wasn't on the script" Brown): Thank you for your comment. Next question please, yes, you, little old lady in the back?

(Elderly Woman): What time does Mass start? Is this the Catholic church? I'm so confused.

(Mayor Steve "Mass Confusion" Brown): I'm sorry, ma'am, did you say that the masses didn't get their opportunity to vote on Election Day because they just didn't know the issues? I'm glad you said that. See, that's what this is all about...the issues. I said from day one, look at my issues. They're the shiniest issues you ever did see! None of my opponents could challenge me on the issues! Did you know that I single-handedly brought the City from the pits of economic despair and am in the process of leading us to the cusp of a brighter tomorrow? I alone brought the values of truth, righteousness and fair play into the dank, dusky smoke-filled rooms of City government. Did you know my opponent thinks it's OK for children to breathe in harmful second hand smoke, probably dispensed from developer's fat cigars? Did you know that my opponent wants to repay the illegal, satanic loans the Development Authority wrongfully and with, extreme malice of forethought, secretly did while having "public" meetings that no one attended?

(T-shirt guy): Why haven't criminal charges been filed if this was illegal?

(Mayor Steve "My lawyer doesn't want me talking about this" Brown): It's just WRONG! WRONG WRONG WRONG! It doesn't matter that we haven't prosecuted anyone for this...it's WRONG, and I don't have to justify it to anyone! This attack is unwarranted...I'm only trying to help you, my beloved citizens.

(Moderator): Next question. Mayor Brown, did you go to a prominent land developer independently of Council to try to broker a plan that would bring about annexation, a topic that you said should only go to the voters?

(Mayor Steve "Wow, I really should have done my research" Brown): Well, I, uh...I didn't know at the time...what's wrong with working with developers, anyway? As long as they do what I say, I think they're swell!

(T-Shirt Guy): And what was with buying the property at Wynnmeade for what appears to be an exorbantant sum? What was the market value of that land, anyway?

(Mayor Steve "Find your happy place" Brown): Thank you for your comment...next question.

(Unnamed reporter in the background): And what about your insistence and campaigning against the SPLOST on regional cable television, stating that you were just "a private citizen" instead of in your role as Mayor?

(Mayor Steve "Et tu, media" Brown): But didn't I look good?

(suddenly, Gasper leaps out of the water, into the air, and with a resounding thud, causes a great deal of water to splash out of the tank and onto everything - the a/v equipment, the illustrated charts and maps, and the debate panel. A voice comes over the intercom, bringing an end to the evening's proceedings). Will the owner of the circus trailer parked in front of the kitchen please move your vehicle to allow the band bus to unload? Thank you.

--------------------
The preceding, of course, is satire. I have to state this because someone just might be offended and want to file criminal charges against me. Let me know if the debate went anywhere near any of these topics...these discussions are getting as silly as this "drama" was! Go vote on December 6, and tell Steve Brown to go away.

mudcat
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Wow, the good old days. Thanks for sharing

This is priceless. Don't think I saw it when it was first published, but it is great. I wonder who wrote it.

And even though it may be satire, the events were all real - Wieland meetings on annexation, Gloria babysitting his kids, Police station land, Wynmeade land for 1/2 a bridge $845,000, campaigning against the SLOST as a private citizen and so much more.

Ah yes, the bad old days. So much to read, so much to do.

istilldontknow
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I forgot how much fun this site used to be...

...when I was just reading it and before I started posting :)

Here is another gem from the past about Mr. Brown and a letter he wrote after he lost the PTC Mayor's race back in 2005:

http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/1831

------------------------
Requiem for an Idiot

Please forgive the double posting of this and my tone, but I read this and just about broke a tooth.

"A month ago, if anyone would have told me that the number one issue going into the runoff election was going to be a Christmas tree, I would have said they were crazy.

A month ago, the squirrels in Dover Square told me that Steve Brown was going to get trounced in the runoff. The number one issue was Mr. Brown's abject stupidity, as he so eloquently indicates throughout the remainder of this "concession".

The extensive television coverage regarding a segment of our Christmas program called "Lighting of the Grand Tree" drew significant vocal opposition from local citizens and came as a total surprise.

It must really stink to be killed with the sword you used as a weapon. I'm really surprised nobody saw this one coming. And what is the cruelest irony of all? The mayor doesn't let his family watch TV, from what I've heard. I mean, even just a little bit of flipping through the channels would've given him fair warning that this wasn't a good idea.

The irony of it all was that a local church pastor came up with the name for the tree lighting and his intention was to make it a big occasion.

Ladies and Gentleman, Steve Brown 101. Blame, shift the attention. Kevin Haglund already said his piece, but there's no need for him to fall on the sword on this issue.

The full page ad for the Christmas event run in the local newspaper contained the word "Christmas" four times and "Christmas trees" also.

I mean COME ON! It was EVERYWHERE! Didn't you see it????? That's not the point, kids. The tree "controversy" was not even the angle. Let's consider something...the press believed that the tree lighting was on MONDAY evening, but the lighting was actually on SATURDAY. How could journalists make such a glaring error? Maybe someone planted this....perhaps to have a ready-made excuse when he lost.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, we will not put this one past good old Steve Brown. Master of the media that he is, he did not employ the strongest two defenses he had at his disposal to combat the naysayers - the story was "old news" and the tree's name was an homage to trees like the "Great Tree" at Lenox Square. Had he said those words, the attention might have been deflected. But Mr. Brown wasn't quick enough on his feet then....or was he? Conspiracies abound.

But that, my friends, as we well know, is NOT the number one issue going into the runoff. We'll get to that in a moment. But now, back to the holiday fun! Oops, I mean Christmas/Kwanzaa/Chanukah/Festivus fun.

There was no effort being made to extract Christmas from the program and the content of the program at the amphitheater was overtly Christian in nature. This was truly an out of the ordinary ending to the campaign process.

Overtly Christian, meaning run by a Christian-based church, the same church, I believe, Mr. Brown attends. It's still such a brutal irony that there was flak regarding a non-Christian based term suggested by a Christian minister, and ultimately approved for marketing by a clueless wonder of a Mayor. Head...rear...you know the drill.

And now for something completely different...

I want to personally thank all of the citizens and the city staff for allowing me to be a part of four wonderfully productive years in elected office as your public servant. The outstanding relationships made at the state, regional and local levels will always be appreciated.

City staff, I am fairly confident, didn't get a choice in the matter. If they did, they either a)quit, b)were forced out of office or c)would've strongly considered performing gruesome acts of masochism to ensure they didn't have to report to work the next day. And what of the citizens? Well, at least a few of them felt the love, but they were all out of town on November 8 and December 6. He never mentions the business community. I wonder why...

I hope that the advancements in land planning, multi-use path and environmental protection ordinances and standards endure for generations to come.

Well, since most of them are common sense, I would hope so too. But you're a true visionary, Mr. Brown.

It has been an honor to serve our city over the past four years and promote open, honest government. I enjoyed working with the council on creating our many high marks and historical firsts.

First time mayor publicly called "moron" in a council meeting. First time City staff members were openly criticized for providing their professional opinions.

It is my prayer that our local government will continue to be an advocate for all citizens and will disavow any effort to promote corruption within our system.

Didn't God get you into this mess in the first place? I digress...disavow any effort to promote corruption - but don't worry about actually being corrupt yourself. I mean, you negotiate with developers outside your authority, you violate the City charter by ordering staff to do tasks for you, and you have not one but TWO ethics complaints filed against you - one you FILED ON YOURSELF!

It is paramount that the council protects the interests of the ordinary citizens from the inevitable accumulation of power by the entities desirous of government decision making capacity.

I had to read this sentence three times in order to fully comprehend the retardedness of it. And hey Harold, congrats on a hard-fought victory, too!

My best wishes go to our future councils and our citizens.

We appreciate your sentiment. Move to Serenbe, they'll need a new mayor soon.

And now, the litany of misdirection:
Steve Brown Term Highlights:

1. Our council pulled the city out of the biggest budget shortfall (across the board pay increases of over $750,000, excessive spending, added 14 new staff positions and roll the millage rate back at the same time) in the city's history in the midst of the worst economy in the city's history. Took bold steps and showed fiscal discipline by making immediate budget cuts in 2002 in excess of $1 million and cut over $10 million of city projects in the public improvement program.

Well, at least he doesn't take sole credit here. But what about the staff that actually recommended the cuts? And hey, perhaps some of those projects were just DELAYED, further upsetting citizens expecting things to get done.

2. Created the strongest environmental protection ordinances (tree preservation, stormwater) in the city's history.

Ordinances that will be battled in court for years to come once they are challenged. A good start, however.

3. More funds appropriated for roads and cart paths (a record $66 million with an additional $11 million from SPLOST) than any other time in the city's history.

Thanks, DOT. Thanks, Clean Air Act. Thanks, Fayette County for passing the SPLOST AGAINST STEVE BROWN'S OPPOSITION.

4. City's Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program won nearly $2 million in grants and was given regional recognition.

Thanks, planning staff. I was 3rd grade spelling champion once. Didn't make it to the regionals. By the way, "regional recognition" may just mean listed on the ARC's website along with all of the other recipients of the grant.

5. The city's bond rating was elevated to the highest ranking in the city's history with only two local governments in the entire state ranking higher.

Thanks, Finance staff. Now, let's see the City actually try and GET a bond with all the litigation ongoing...WITH A BANK. Settle while you still can, guys.

6. Placed more funding, new equipment and personnel into cart path paving than any other city administration.

Thanks, Public Works staff. Thanks, City Manager. Thanks, time and tree roots. It would've had to happen if Bozo the Clown was mayor. And some say he was....

7. Creating the city's first ever Stormwater Utility that will create the city's first stormwater infrastructure maintenance program and implement $9 million of overdue repairs.

Stormwater Infrastructure Maintenance Program = if it's broke, fix it. Innovative. Thanks, tree roots. Thanks, Federal Government. We like receiving federal funding for roads, so we'll do whatever you ask, regardless the cost (but seriously, stormwater maintenance is a good thing).

8. Created the city's largest public-private community program, Community Action Day, that utilized hundreds of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of dollars to help citizens in need and local schools.

It’s a great cause. I hope next year all the churches, scout troops and community organizations can get together under the auspices of Hands On Atlanta or another worthy non-profit. Government should NOT be in the business of fixing your broken house. They should tell you it's broken and give you the opportunity to fix it yourself. The government can participate, but they shouldn't take the lead.

9. Created the city's first ban on smoking to protect the health of the citizens. Our ordinance became a model for the state ban.

Man, so what were all those green and red signs on public buildings for all those years? Oh yeah, THE FIRST SMOKING BAN. Way to be innovative again, Steve-o.

10. Created ordinance (and state legislation) allowing 15-year-olds to drive a golf cart and seniors to drive a cart without a license providing both groups with unprecedented freedom of movement.

Unnecessary if the city didn't decide to zealously prosecute a man cited for a litany of traffic violations, including DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE. Yes, kids, you could be drunk and drive a golf cart, but if you had a license when you did it, you'd lose it. Isn’t the law magical?

11. Created a golf cart safety training program for middle school and high school students.

Thanks, Police Department.

12. Built the city's first Smoke Training Facility and renovated several fire stations.

Thanks, Fire Department. Didn't you ask for that YEARS ago?

13. Hired additional firefighters and police in addition to purchase more vehicles and equipment.

I've mentioned this before, but this ranks up there with "ate breakfast" and "brushed my teeth" as accomplishments. Thanks for doing YOUR JOB.

14. Created the city's first in-house City Solicitor position to be more efficient and reduce costs.

I wonder if we really reduced costs?

15. Created the first ever Educational Impact Statement for every rezoning and annexation request to measure the development's impact in order to protect our schools.

Thanks, Planning Department.

16. Approved the very successful Approved Citizen Emergency Response Training (CERT) program.

Thanks, Police Department. And I think this is where Steve started to lose it - "Approved the very successful Approved..." I can't emphasize enough the omnipotent majesty that is Spelling and Grammar Check in Microsoft Word.

17. Co-Founding and leading the Metropolitan Atlanta Mayors Association (MAMA)

Whoop. Eee. Pat yourself on the back for creating another way to network for another job.

18. Fought government corruption put an end to the mismanagement of the Development Authority.

Sentence fragments RULE! Yes, the era of bad management is over. And the bills are due. Pay up, Peachtree City.

19. Created the city's first overlay zone with architectural and landscape controls. The overlay and the LCI program were the most significant land planning projects in our city."

Thanks, Planning Department. Without you, Steve Brown would've looked like a fool. And to think he thanked you by lambasting you when your opinion differed from his.

To sum it all up, ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, Steve Brown didn't lose because of a Christmas tree. He didn't lose on the issues. He lost because he doesn't understand the most important, most vital, most critical thing any good leader understands:

You don't do anything unless you have the support of those you work with, and those you work for.

Steve Brown lost because he is Steve Brown, self-centered, self-absorbed, oblivious to the will of the people. Steve tried to change the world, and the world fought back.

Good luck to you, Citizen Steve. May you find comfort and peace in your new role, hopefully far away from us here in Peachtree City.

Morning has arrived in Peachtree City. Let's greet the new day. And to Harold Logsdon, the new council and all who follow - don't forget the moral of this story, and remember who got you where you are today.

Robert W. Morgan
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A must read for Fayette County Commission candidates

This and the other one above spoofing the runoff debate between Brown and an empty chair (yes, that actually happened) about the Brown years in PTC - or as we called it then his "reign of error". Truly a troubled individual. My advice to all you candidates who might just win a seat on county commission is to study up on Mr. Brown and his past antics before you get sworn in and 2 minutes later are asked to vote for him as chairman.

His history is also useful as an example of what not to do after you are elected.

NUK_1
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Well stated, Istilldontknow

Brown has always had a major problem with his perception that he's Steve Brown, private citizen on some issues, and Steve Brown, elected representative on others. He blurs the line whenever it suits his particular agenda. This already happened with Weiland/Westside after he had pushed so hard for the soon-to-be-overturned moratorium on even discussing development and it also happened with his usage of the Comcast public access channel. Him heading off to a TSPLOST debate instead of a commissioner's meeting is just a continuance of the same behavior.

I don't need Steve Brown lobbying or telling me how to vote on matters that are beyond the scope of the FC Commission. There is a chunk of FC voters that in fact 100% rely on him on how to vote, so I guess they feel like he's serving them well and vice-versa.

istilldontknow
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Steve Brown's facts...

...also aren't facts - they're scare tactics.

You can't have it both ways, folks. Don't cry when you don't vote in the tax and then the government, hearing you don't want to spend the money to fix transporation, moves their limited resources to somewhere else.

And watch our neighboring states and big cities lick their lips to get the new jobs and industries because Atlanta won't be able to handle its traffic needs. I can see the "rural character" argument only going so far when folks can't afford to live here anymore.

Robert W. Morgan
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Correction on scare tactics

What will actually happen when this stupid transportation bill does not pass is that other cities around the country will point to Atlanta's traffic and that will indeed hurt DOWNTOWN development and job growth. The rest of the story is that development and job growth OUTSIDE the perimeter will flourish in towns and counties that are smart enough and resourceful enough to take advantage of the traffic situation. Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Chattahoochee Hills and Douglasville are all positioned to be winners of that lottery. You will even see more downtown employers - especially banks and law firms who have already started to abandon downtown - bailing out for the suburbs.

That is precisely why I think Peachtree City leadership is being short-sighted by farming out economic development to Fayette County who itself is only marginally invested in serious job growth. We have infrastructure, sewer capacity, a self-sufficient (in theory) government, superb housing and recreation - in short everything a community needs to attract businesses and jobs.

Oh well, at least we have grown to the point where we can't fail - just a lot of empty buildings and devaluation of all types of property will be our fate. Could have been a great, world-class community, but we shall settle for fairly good and just be happy we are not Jonesboro.

MYTMITE
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Scare tactics? Sort of like those slick ads showing the little

tykes sadly waiting for mommy who is all bound up in that nasty ole traffic? Steve Brown is a neophyte when it comes to scare tactics and is put up against those pushing T-SPLOST. Sort of like your scare tactics that the govt will move their resources somewhere else if we don't buckle under and vote in T-SPLOST?
Hope your pay is commensurate with your blogging.
Oh, nice save,sticking in that line about it being so much fun just hanging out but not blogging all that time. It wasn't lost on those who pay attention.

MYTMITE
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OOH, you scare me!

Oooh, we're all trembling in our boots. You have convinced us we are all voting in T-SPLOST. Can't wait for the chance to pay that 1% tax for the next fifty or so years. Can't wait to ride those new air-conditioned, well-maintained Marta buses that will be self-sufficient and able to pay for themselves. Yeah, T-SPLOST!!!

istilldontknow
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Thanks for stopping by...

I appreciate your thoughtful analysis of the issues.

istilldontknow
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Did Steve Brown miss a Commission meeting for a T-SPLOST debate?

Inquiring minds want to know why elected officials are trying to sway public opinion on a tax issue - I think for other votes in the past that effect a jurisdiction, isn't it a violation of election law to do that?...and I have larger concerns if they are shirking their responsibilities to attend business meetings for their jurisdictions to push their lobbyist views (and yes, if you're for or against something and you're persuading others, you are a lobbyist).

Steve - is it true?

Steve Brown
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Sour Steele

First of all Ken Steele has the right to say whatever he wants, but I disagree with his support of Fayette in regional transit plans and his support of a deeply flawed TSPLOST.

His full support for implementation of the West Fayetteville Bypass was tragic as well.

Ken got into the bad habit of saying one thing and doing another.

littleoleme
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Learned from history

Did you see the foolish way Fayette County spent the proceeds of the last transportation SPLOST? That's why I'm voting against it. That, and the fact that we're being taxed to death from every direction, and it's only getting worse.

istilldontknow
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foolishly spent the proceeds...

...by spending the money on the planned projects in the SPLOST list. Wake up, folks - it's not the government's fault you can't read what is proposed before the election when they provide it to you!

In this day of Google and local government websites, citizens don't have an excuse to know what's going on anymore.

Robert W. Morgan
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Good analysis, Mr. Steele

Wrong conclusion, but you did touch on several good points.
Brown in love with his own ideas and even the sound of his own voice - yep. We do need to get YouTube of someone doing the Shakepeare thing to his image (or Haddix's).
Harold Bost as Boss Hogg - yes indeed. He is a clown.
NIMBYs - yes, that is why most of us moved to Fayette County - single most important feature - the interstate highways don't touch our county. I love that.
4 minute comute time for ONLY 15,000 cars? So if 2/3 are Fayette County residents, that's 10% of the population and that is cost effective? Huh? Are you nuts?
The recession has produced more unemployed Fayette Countians than the 10,000 who may commute through that intersection.
MARTA red herring - agree completely. It is a bunch of phony populist crap. You can tell because Steve Brown is spouting it.

So thanks for all that.
Still voting NO. NO, NO on the transportation tax.

suggarfoot
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caveman or whatever you want to call us...we don't want it

you can call us anything, but we have a right to our ideas, and we have a right to vote what we think.

It does all go back to being over taxed for nothing that makes our lives better. That is how we see it and that is how we will vote.

Along those lines comes MARTA, yes, everyone doesn't want it, and smells it in the wind if you and your enlightened friends get your way.

The deal is you are preaching to the wrong bunch. Instead of for years trying to push MARTA down people's throat, you have never looked at the valid reasons people don't want it. You should be preaching to MARTA to clean up its act. Never have ya'll tried that. If you had a decent, well run, crime free transit system, people would accept it. You don't. People are not willing to talk about it till you clean it up, something that has never entered your minds. THAT KIND OF THINKING MAKES YOUR GROUP THE NEANDERTHALS!!!

suggarfoot
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caveman or whatever you want to call us...we don't want it

you can call us anything, but we have a right to our ideas, and we have a right to vote what we think.

It does all go back to being over taxed for nothing that makes our lives better. That is how we see it and that is how we will vote.

Along those lines comes MARTA, yes, everyone doesn't want it, and smells it in the wind if you and your enlightened friends get your way.

The deal is you are preaching to the wrong bunch. Instead of for years trying to push MARTA down people's throat, you have never looked at the valid reasons people don't want it. You should be preaching to MARTA to clean up its act. Never have ya'll tried that. If you had a decent, well run, crime free transit system, people would accept it. You don't. People are not willing to talk about it till you clean it up, something that has never entered your minds. THAT KIND OF THINKING MAKES YOUR GROUP THE NEANDERTHALS!!!

wisent70
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Ramblings of a Defeated Politician

I read with amused interest the petulant contentions of Ex-Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele. Apparently he was so confused when he waxed poetic with the Bard he did not see himself in the mirror.

Sore loser, or just loser ?

ptctaxpayer
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Kenny's The Grand Loser

You are right wisent70. Kenny thought he was smarter than everyone else. Kinda like Jack Smith. Well, Horgan is gonna join 'em on July 31. Maybe he can light up a number to ease the pain for all three of 'em. LOL. Next up--- Ding Dong Dell.

G35 Dude
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Mr Steele - Really?
Quote:

Most of us realize that many of our sister counties to the north have serious congestion problems. It does not really matter why,

I totally disagree. It very much matters why. In a previous exchange with Mr Drake I asked if anyone had done any research on the effect that the Clean Air Campaign had on road development in the last few years. He admitted that the CAC had blocked some development but he wasn't sure of the total effect. He promised to look into it but I never saw a response. You want to fix this problem? Drop the inspection requirements, or better yet drop CAC, and replace it with a clean air fee of $25 for each car at tag time. Every since this requirement has been in place I've never had a car fail. I'd rather that money go for reducing traffic by building roads, buying forest land, making low or no interest loans to the airlines and Ga Power to fight pollution of planes and plants. The Government needs to be smarter with the money that they have instead of always hitting us up for more.

Quote:

I have never talked to Mr. Brown one on one. However, I have always given him the benefit of the doubt, recognizing that, I think, he is in the throes of a long-term torrid romance — with his own opinion.

Seems like he may not be the only one.

Quote:

We are projected to receive dollar for dollar return on our investment for only road projects within our county. All transit projects approved in those counties desiring them will be funded by proceeds from their revenues, not by Fayette County. We are not a donor county.

Once again this caveman must disagree. You see based on this link provided by Mr Drake it appears to me that all Fayette County gets in the first phase is one road project and 2 bike paths. Mr Drake wants to include the widening of Hwy 54 as a Fayette County project so lets say 2 road projects and 2 bike paths. Why do we have to wait 4 years to see any real relief?

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

Look at all the work up north that we'll be paying for up front before we start getting a decent return on our money. Is it a good business practice in your opinion to make interest free loans? That is what it looks like we're doing.

S. Lindsey
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G35 who said those projects

would even be done? These types of "plans" are notorious for changing or getting delayed when the inevitable cost overruns hit them.
That widening of GA54 for instance is going to use Eminent Domain to take property. It would have to if you four lane it not just add a turn lane so I can see this being delayed for years while in court.

All the while we keep paying the taxes so Fulton can throw more money at a failed and mismanaged system.

Robert W. Morgan
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No worries guys, even the AJC smells defeat of the 1% tax

Today they are focused on what happens if it doesn't pass - i.e. "There is no plan B". Well fine, but then they go on to list several Plan B's. Maybe they think all the Plan B's are so bad it will intimidate voters into voting yes, but I think they are convinced it is going down from looking at the early voting turnout in obvious "NO" places - like Fayette.

For me the one Plan B that sticks out is toll roads. Fine with me, just factor that into your trips or use surface roads or don't go. I think $2.50 to go up I-85 from 285 to Brookwood sounds about right. Might only charge $1 if you are only going to the airport. Only charge a toll for going into town, leaving is free. Helps afternoon traffic move quicker, kinda symbolic as well.

Funny thing, they openly admitted 52% goes to bus and rail and they also admitted MARTA will lose a cash infusion if this thing doesn't pass and then they quote some dude from DeKalb who is upset they are only getting millions in bus expenditures (if it passes) instead of more rail.

meanoldconservatives
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Some dude from Dekalb....

That dude is none other than John Evans, president of the Dekalb NAACP. They are opposing the TSPLOST because it is "racist" and "unfair". The Dekalb NAACP goes on to warn that if the measure passes, there will be subsequent "loss of jobs for blacks and others". This is the same John Evans who was the first black Dekalb county commissioner, and if memory serves later convicted of extortion and income tax evasion.

Strange bedfellows opposing this TSPLOST......

mudcat
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TSPLOST Racist says NAACP?

What's up with that? How can anyone in their right mind find racism in spending money we don't have for something we don't need?

I'm not voting for the thing, but if it does pass it seems to me there will be thousands of construction jobs created. Am I missing something?

meanoldconservatives
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mudcat

Seems as though the Dekalb NAACP is rather upset. In order to buy their support, they had demanded rail service from Indian Creek to Stonecrest Mall. Evans actual comment was "If they don’t give it to us, we’re going to encourage everyone we talk to, hear from or see to vote against the tax.” That meant they whipped up the obligatory flier, complete with racism and other typical unfounded claims, that they have been passing out for weeks telling everyone in Dekalb how to vote. Go out and Google for the flier if you have a chance. It is really quite entertaining.....

Davids mom
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Reply of Evans: re: NAACP/ No on T Splost

Read for yourselves:

http://dekalbganaacp.blogspot.com/

Robert W. Morgan
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This guy sounds like he believes MARTA is for blacks only

Doesn't it read that way to you? We in Fayette County are racist because we have never contributed to MARTA. I can't even understand that way of thinking. I used to take MARTA from the northside to the airport and from here for baseball and football games - stopped that when the homeless people and panhandlers started outnumbering the baseball fans. Having to take a bus connection didn't enhance the experience.

That rail through DeKalb to Rockdale won't get built - ever. Even government can't pretend that a $5 fare with an $11 subsidy per passenger makes any kind of sense.

Oh well, NAACP votes NO on the transportation tax. Reasons are odd, but the NO vote is certainly the right vote.

meanoldconservatives
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Bizarre...

I'm a little confused by this being a "reply" or "response" from Evans and the Dekalb NAACP, since it was/is their own policy/position they are trying to push. But whatever. Here is the link to the flier they brag in the papers about handing out everywhere:

http://posting.clatl.com/images/blogimages/2012/04/18/1334767591-dekalb-...

Really love "G".

mudcat
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Lester Maddox is dead. Good start DM

I actually did read the whole thing and I'm shocked that anyone of color or black or African-American would associate themselves with that drivel. I am not black, nor do I plan to be, but if I were I would be very embarrassed by the tripe that the NAACP puts out.

DM, are you really into what the NAACP is about? Please tell me no, please.

NUK_1
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Dekalb NAACP response
Quote:

3. The State has a strong desire to takes over MARTA and privatize the transit system. The system will then become a for-profit entity and the union employees will be fired or hired for lower wages. The ripple effect of this action will have a negative impact on other wage earners throughout the region.

Yeah, "State" really wants to "takes over" MARTA, lol. Who wants a bankrupt system run by incompetents dumped in their lap? THE STATE I guess.

G35 Dude
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Mr Drake- One more question?

In the above link provided by DM the last statement reads:

Quote:

6. The TIA project list included projected federal funds with no guarantee that any federal funds are forthcoming.

What happens to the money/project if a given project does not receive the anticipated Federal funds?

Cyclist
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Mayor Mohammed Kasim Reed

Complained that there were four white, male consultants selected to run Metro Atlanta’s TSPLOST campaign. The Mayor stated “they do not represent the 10-county area at all.... this is a huge problem. And if they want to go down this road … then they’re going to lose.”

rolling stone
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Perhaps Mayor Reed

got that idea from reading these blogs, or maybe perhaps he meant that there were no females with their sensible input.

mudcat
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Sensible female input

Thank you for the nice compliment, Rolling Stone - you rock!

Now get out there and vote for every woman you can find on the ballot. There are at least 6 locally if you include judges and the school board.

Davids mom
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Toll Roads?

I had asked about this earlier. Glad the AJC's investigating team shed some light on that issue. Have a nice Sunday

Robert W. Morgan
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Yep, toll roads. Users pay and the rest of us do not

Seems like the ultimate in fairness. Want to drive on the downtown connector - pay for it. Want to take a bus - pay for it. MARTA - same thing - pay for it.

Of course the flaw in all that is who runs it. Government or private company. The good news is that because of technology, you don't have to build toll booths or pay salaries - just scanners and a EZ pass. I'm sure it would be ok to use an EBT card to pay for those tolls.

Cyclist
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Toll Scanners

That's what they do in Singapore. Every car and truck has a transponder and each street is metered. The cost to travel on each street/road is determined by the time of day....during congesting periods you pay more. Oh, these in-car transponders.....they "ping" your debit card.

efdrakejr
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Toll Roads

It appears all of your tolls / fees are for commuters to Atlanta. Unless you are just looking for a free ride on the backs of other taxpayers, why not tolls on State Routes 54, 74 and 85?

Robert W. Morgan
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Scanners only practical on limited-access roads

It would be very difficult to place scanners along state highways like 54 and 74. If they weren't between every single intersection drivers could simply avoid the scanners if they knew where they were. And nobody is getting a free ride on state highways. 54 and 74 were both widened since I have lived here and I have been paying plenty in sales tax, gasoline tax and excise tax each year. Where does that excise tax get spent? Is that roads? Enforcement? Government workers to collect it?

I think making the downtown connector and 75 and 85 but not 20 (since they have cheated out of their train to Rockdale) inside the perimeter a toll road for all drivers going into downtown is fair. Then on I-85/75/20 outside the perimeter just do a Lexus lane like they have in Gwinnett. That way you won't have to pay unless you want to go faster. What could be more fair? And I would start that Lexus lane way outside the perimeter, far below 74.

efdrakejr
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Convenient Logic

So you think that 74 and 54 which were recently widened and have relatively small county traffic on them are somehow already paid for but the interstates through Atlanta that have probably 100,000+ vehicles per day are not yet paid for? That's very convenient logic on your part. It's not correct but it is convenient.

Cyclist
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Robert W.

The only thing, who's required to have these scanners? Those living in the city, metro/regional or state?

Robert W. Morgan
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The scanners are installed & owned by the city/state/county

The scanners are on the side of the road to collect info from the tags/barcodes/Peach pass/ whatever that the drivers put on their cars. Who is required to get those passes, you ask? Anyone who wants to drive through our fair city. They can be sold at welcome stations, so that we can avoid the next 10 questions.

The technology is there so that anyone who drives through gets their debit card pinged and best of all, their EBT card pinged. Is that taxation without representation or what? Side benefit is that when a thug commits a crime and flees on an interstate highway with a scanner (yes, they actually are that stupid) they can be traced back to their hovel and arrested. Cool, huh?

If you really want to get creative, imbed the bar codes into the license plates or stickers we get every year. These thugs are so dumb they will forget that within 2 days and go zipping up 85 after they killed some little old lady for $40. People like me will get a scanner and put it in the driveway so I get a readout on the ID of everyone that comes into my domicile. Even if they kill me (unlikely) they will have their ride fried.

Gotta love technology.

istilldontknow
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If we use the interstates

If we use the interstates that fall within the ARC region and assume that we need 2 scanners at each exit (one for the on-ramp, one for the off ramp), we need:

92 scanners on I-285
110 scanners on I-75
10 scanners on I-675
80 scanners on I-20
86 scanners on I-85

378 scanners. Probably need 15% to fix spares each year, so let's just say 435 scanners to start and 57 each year.

I'm sure they're super cheap, let's say $1,000 each - $435,000 to start and $57,000 a year for the equipment.

And maintenance and installation costs for labor - let's say that will cost about $300,000 for the initial installation and $50,000 a year, and the technology to wire them into a network...hey, we'll put them all on the Verizon wireless network at $35 a month! So each year that will cost $158,760 a year for the technology.

And the servers and billing processes costs...let's see, 200,000 trips a day 350 days a year at 3% card processing costs for Visa/Mastercard/etc.

Costs of the transponders - they probably only cost $100 each, so we'll have to spend about $25-$30 million in the first year with the 2.5 to 3 million potential transponders that will need to be purchased in the first year...each year thereafter probably $5-7 million for replacements and new ones...

So what do we charge to break even on this?
Our first year costs are $30.9 million. 70,000,000 trips, so each trip will be $2.35 each. So, if you are an Atlanta commuter on the Interstate, it'll cost $4.60 a day AT A MINIMUM to recoup those charges in the first year. In a year, that commuter will pay $552.

And none of that will go to anything else, just the Interstates. Any other widening in a county will be the county or city's responsibility, even if you drive on those roads.

Oh wait, NONE of that money will go to fixing or improving the roads - it all just goes to paying for the scanning systems.

And since I don't drive on those roads to get to Atlanta (or don't have to), I won't pay it.

Good plan - $552 a year to recoup the cost of a system without any actual road improvements on a limited set of roads or $120 a year for all of us to fix a LOT more than that. The T-SPLOST looks better to me all the time!

mudcat
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Don't think you need transponders

Just a sticker with a bar code will do.
Probably shouldn't budget the recoup all the expenses in first year - stretch it out over 10 years.
Don't need any scanners on 285 or 675.

And then for the 200 or so scanners that you actually need - sell sponsorship on them. Corporations and businesses can name their scanner, put a sign on it and have the name appear on your monthly bill. "Wendy's - next exit" "Home Depot thanks you for using our scanner" Cool, huh?

ginga1414
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"Noxious Cave People?"

MR. Steele's comments here are "noxious."

Every letter put forth by Mr. Steele has a "noxious" element to it.

It is Mr. Steele's and other former public officials condescending attitudes that the citizens of Fayette County are trying to stamp out.

It is quite obvious that Mr. Steele and other former officials in Fayette County believe that they should be able to talk to and treat the people who elected them to office however they please.

Respect is a two way street, Mr. Steele. Manipulation of the facts doesn't promote trust or respect.

If you are trying to impress someone by calling other folks names, you need to backup and start over.

You fail to give credit where it is due because people who've read your statements here are intelligent and very capable of seeing past your intimidating tactics.

Mr. Steele's letter is a prime example of what has caused the demise of some local politicians.

Spyglass
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Nail meet hammer on the SB comments

Good stuff.

grizz
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Another insignificant blowhard

................just had to put his two cents in. Hey Kenny - we don't care what you think. TSPLOST will not pass in Fayette County.

pips1414
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TSPLOST will not pass in Fayette County

"AMEN, BROTHER."

Mike King
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Now Mayor Steele....

...Most of us understand that mass transit for Fayette County is at best a long shot, but what gets me is that you and your minions believe that Fayette County citizens are somehow responsible for paying for the mismanagement of those 'transit' programs in Fulton and Dekalb Counties. The Georgia Legislature knowing full well that Atlanta could no longer afford MARTA with diminishing federal grants disguised this tax as a transportation effort when, in fact, the majority of revenue is designed for rail, street car, and bus services.

I ask that you answer the questions that Mr Garlock poses in his editorial so that the facts are presented logically for an informed electorate to decide whether or not we wish to support your point of view. Anything short of you doing so only increases your similarity with the current mayor of Peachtree City.

pips1414
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Did Mr. Steele attend the June 5 TSPLOST debate in Fayetteville?

Fayette County was well represented against the Atlanta Regional Commission by Mr. Steve Brown and Mr. Bob Ross. When the debate was over, the audience was polled, and 90% or more opposed the TSPLOST. In 2009, the local TSPLOST failed 76-24% after the public outcry against the West Bypass.

Mr. Steele should address where additional funding will come from on those TSPLOST projects that are not fully funded when the ten year TSPLOST expires. He should also read some of the TSPLOST analyses that have been made by Mr. Ross which show that the TSPLOST will not significantly reduce traffic in metro Atlanta.

istilldontknow
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Did anyone get polled as they walked into the debate?

That would be the way to tell if the audience already made their mind up or were pursuaded by anything in the debate - I'm guessing the answers would be yes, they did already have an opinion walking in.

Vote what you think is best - I'll vote yes.

PTC Avenger
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TSPLOST Reflections

The entire reason Atlanta has crushing traffic problems is completely, 100 percent due to white people's attempts to live in cities and communities free of the Black influence that makes Atlanta one of the most violent cities in America.

In The Spatial Mismatch Between Jobs and Residential Locations Within Urban Areas (http://www.huduser.org/Periodicals/CITYSCPE/VOL1NUM1/ch11.pdf) we learn this:

"Within central cities, white flight from neighborhoods undergoing racial transition has been an important historical phenomenon. These results may not carry over into a suburban setting, however, since the cost of moving—in terms of additional travel time—from the city to the suburbs may be quite different from the cost of moving from one suburban location to a more distant suburban location. At some point, the desire for access to the central city may work to impede the mobility of white households.

Some evidence on suburban black infiltration/white flight in Atlanta during the 1980s is provided in Table 4. DeKalb, Clayton, and South Fulton Counties are inner-suburban areas that experienced considerable black in-migration during the 1980s. Each county has been divided into the superdistricts defined by ARC for planning purposes. The black population increased in all but one of the 14 superdistricts, and in 11 of these 13 cases the decline in the white population was substantial."

S. Lindsey
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Hey Ken.... Uh NO

...but Thanks for playing.

daveteran
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TSPLOST

Now we have the answer to why you are no longer our mayor!