Sen. Chance backs regional transit ‘oversight’ council

State Senator Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone). File photo.

With $3.6 billion in transit money off the table with the failed regional T-SPLOST, state government officials will now turn their eyes toward legislation that would create a regional transit agency for metro Atlanta.

While Fayette County has no transit operations here, there are concerns the county could perhaps be lumped into a regional transit agency, and possibly on the hook for partially funding such an endeavor.

On the horizon are two pieces of legislation, one from the Georgia Senate that creates an oversight agency and the other in the House of Representatives which would create a full-fledged regional transit operator.

Senate Bill 474, sponsored by Republicans including Ronnie Chance of Tyrone, would require the county commission chairman — and one Fayette mayor chosen by a caucus of all Fayette mayors — to serve on a Transit Governance Council.

SB 474 does not speak to funding of transit operations in metro Atlanta, but instead requires the TGC to provide oversight over transit operations in all 10 metro Atlanta counties, which includes Fayette County. The legislation tasks the TGC with developing a long-term capital strategy for public transit in the metro area and for planning efficiency and coordination efforts between public transit agencies in the metro area.

The TGC would be under the umbrella of the already-existing Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.

Different legislation in House Bill 1200, sponsored by House Democrats from the Atlanta area, would create a Metro Transit Authority, but no Fayette representative would be required since the county does not support any transit operations.

Unlike the proposed TGC in the Senate legislation, the MTA proposed by HB 1200 would be able to operate and maintain transit equipment and facilities and thus be its own standalone transit agency operating in the 10-county metro area, but limited to funding projects that are approved on regional transportation improvement programs, which are under the purview of the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Also unlike the TGC proposal, the MTA would be empowered to raise funds through revenue bonds.

Fayette County commissioners are reviewing the proposals so they can provide input to the legislature through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, its statewide lobbying group.

Insayn
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here's an oversight.

Why not look in to why millions are being spent putting up yield signs at every right hand turn, contrary to state law? It costs what? $80 a sign? It confuses people, it causes accidents and its just plian dumb.

Insayn
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here's an oversight.

Why not look in to why millions are being spent putting up yield signs at every right hand turn, contrary to state law? It costs what? $80 a sign? It confuses people, it causes accidents and its just plian dumb.

ginga1414
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Senator Chance

I can't back this or anyone who does back it.

This is a betrayal of the people who elected you to office.

It didn't take long; did it?

A Regional Government by any other name is still a Regional Government!!!

NUK_1
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Senator Chance: You SPONSORED this???

Why?

Please explain why you feel that in any way this legislation would benefit FC and also why you believe FC voters would be in favor?

You must be moving to a different election district very shortly.

Citizen Bob
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Sen. Chance responds

I asked Sen. Chance about this- here's his response:

"John [Munford]- I just read your article about legislation introduced last session (SB 474) aimed at improving oversight of existing mismanaged transit entities (i.e. MARTA, GRTA bus, etc). The bill was never voted on, given a hearing or considered in any manner. It was purely to start a discussion about improving oversight of existing transit entities that have proven to be poor stewards of taxpayer resources, particularly if the T-Splost passed. The bill is dead because the 2011-2012 two year legislative session is complete and, as you already know, bills that were introduced during that time and not passed are dead. We passed 181 of 540 bills introduced during the two year term - the rest no longer exist.

Further, the author of the bill was Senate Transportation Chairman Jeff Mullis, and it was signed by all three of the Governor's floor leaders (including myself). Senator Mullis has no intention of reintroducing the bill in 2013, and the fact that the legislation didn't even have a committee hearing (with Senator Mullis chairing the committee it was assigned to) is further proof that it was intended to begin a discussion and create ideas of how to better manage funds allocated to transit entities."

Citizen Bob
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.

Double post deleted

Steve Brown
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We are about to get steamrolled!

I have read more minutes from the Transit Planning Board, Transit Implementation Board, Regional Transit Committee and regular Atlanta Regional Commission meeting minutes and any other person in Fayette County.

It is very clear to me what is happening. Two themes ring true through the process: 1. expand transit regionally and 2. get all 10 counties to pay for the regional transit.

Sen. Chance is a nice person, but he is also the consummate politician capable of doing just about anything.

Sen. Chance knows how the people feel in Fayette County and still offers us no "out" clause, allowing us to remain out of the transit scene.

conditon55
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If we could only secede from the Atlanta metro area.....

We want all the benefits that come from close proximity with Altanta, but with no commitment to the region.

G35 Dude
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condition55 - Benefits?????
Quote:

We want all the benefits that come from close proximity with Altanta, but with no commitment to the region.

The only people that "benefit" from close proximity to Atlanta are those that work there. Of which I'm not one. The disadvantages and cost or as you put it "commitment to the region" are growing by the day.

G35 Dude
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Deleted

.

MajorMike
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Ronnie Chance - there is no polite way to ask this

Who are you representing? Are you representing the citizens of your district or are you representing Governor Deal (as his "senate floor leader") and the powers that appear determined to enact regional government. See if you can wrap your mind around the fact that the citizens/voters of your district DO NOT want regional government in any form, fashion or manner. The recent TSplost vote SHOULD have driven that fact home by now.

Regarding "Senate Bill 474, sponsored by Republicans including Ronnie Chance of Tyrone, would require the county commission chairman — and one Fayette mayor chosen by a caucus of all Fayette mayors — to serve on a Transit Governance Council" - Is this piece of crap legislation intended to be a response to the Democrat's piece of super crap legislation that would "be able to operate and maintain transit equipment and facilities and thus be its own standalone transit agency operating in the 10-county metro area, but limited to funding projects that are approved on regional transportation improvement programs, which are under the purview of the Atlanta Regional Commission" that we would still wind up paying for but without any say so in the matter.

I personally think that it is time that we revisit Mayor Haddix's (and others) suggestion that Fayette remove itself from the ARC and align with a Regional Council more in tune with the mindset and demographics of Fayette County.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Leave ARC

Mike, that requires a majority support from the PTC Council. It does not exist at this time.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Leave ARC

Mike, that requires a majority support from the PTC Council. It does not exist at this time.

MajorMike
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Don Haddix - PTC Council / ARC

Don, The support for leaving the ARC does not currently exist on the County Commission either but I think that just might change on January 1st. Get out your tally book and add it up. Five Mayors - three of which would probably vote to leave the ARC right now. Of the remaining two Mayors, one is thoroughly disliked. Who cares about Woolsey! What ?? - 40 people voted this last time and it was a pretty even split on the alcohol vote.

On the PTC council - Deinhart (being one of Uncle Sams Misguided Children) is probably open to reason at minimum if you will stop pissing him off, Imker came real close to getting his butt kicked by a political newcomer and I suspect he knows it. Note of reference; the average "first time out of the gate percentage is 18%, 23% or more is considered an exceptional showing. What was it that Imker's opposition got - 42%? After coming out of the closet on regional transportation, Kimmy is dead meat in the next election cycle. Vanessa has shown herself to be not too smart in allowing herself to be used by Imker but I suspect that she still knows which way the wind is blowing.

Ronnie Chance just crapped in his political nest but I respect Matt Ramsey's judgement. Add it all up and then add four years. The people in Fayette County have had enough - Just ask Jack Smith, Eric Maxwell, Ken Steele, and a few other members of the Greater Atlanta Metro philosophy.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: ARC, Dienhart Question

Mike, it does not matter what the other Mayors think, as regards how to leave the ARC. But I can tell you Brooks, Woolsey and Tyrone would not vote to leave.

There has to be a resolution from cities representing 50% or more of the municipal population. In Fayette, that is PTC alone, so there are only five votes that count.

Then a resolution from the County, where there is a good chance for next year.

After that it goes to DCA, by July 1, for review.

Then to the State Legislature for a vote in the following year's Session.

I have no idea where Councilman Dienhart stands on this issue. Maybe he will respond on the Blogs.

Councilman Imker is a lame duck, meaning this is his second term as Councilman. There is a faint possibility he might change his past vote against the move.

Councilwomen Fleisch and Learnard are solid in their opposition. Learnard is pro Transit and both are pro ARC.

Realistically, the odds are it would be 2014 before this process could even be started, if then. Depends on the 2013 election results, since two incumbents are not up for election.

As for Senator Chance, what can I say? This all speaks for itself.

Time will tell.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Transit

The ARC backs the Regional Transit Committee which would have control over the total Region, in operation, expansion and funding.

Again, I warn you, the ARC charged the RTC with promoting and enacting Concept 3, which most assuredly has bus and rail in Fayette.

Those that scoffed when I said this in 2010 need to rethink what is going on here.

This legislation is dangerous. Even if it begins seemly harmless, it can easily be altered to be part of a fundamentally Regional Government.

MikePatton
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If we just get government out

Mayor Hendrix,

If we just get government out of the way then Peachtree City can run on its own. The business leaders are sick of filling out all these forms trying to start their business and create jobs. I started a business once and it failed because of government putting up all this red tape. Government is the problem, not the solution.

MajorMike
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MikePatton -I'll bet that you're a fan of the great communicator

I'll just bet that you're a fan of the great communicator.

"Government's first duty is to protect people, not to run their lives."

- Ronald Reagan

and

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

- Ronald Reagan

MikePatton
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If we just get government out

Didn't mean to post this twice, sorry.

taxed too much
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Get Government out of the way

MP,
I'm glad you said it twice! The message needs to be sent loudly and firmly to all branches of government.

taxed too much
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Get Government out of the way

MP,
I'm glad you said it twice! The message needs to be sent loudly and firmly to all branches of government.

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