UPDATED: ‘If you move this SPLOST, then move all SPLOST votes’

UPDATED: ‘If you move this SPLOST, then move all SPLOST votes’

UPDATED for print Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011 — Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown has joined a chorus of local Tea Party voices hoping to influence a suggestion that the regional transportation sales tax referendum be moved to the general election in November.

Gov. Nathan Deal has asked the legislature to move the date to November, giving more time for voters to mull over the list of regional transportation projects. But it also might help give the tax a better chance of passing with the presidential election on the line, in theory driving more Democratic voters to the polls in support of a second term for President Barack Obama when compared with a potentially lower Democratic turnout in the July primary.

Tea Party officials are asking the legislature to either keep the TSPLOST vote set for the July 2012 primary as called for in the original legislation, or to amend the law to require all future SPLOSTs be held in the general election.

Brown attended a Tea Party press conference at the Capitol Monday, and at last week’s county commission meeting he urged the public to attend if at all possible.

Brown last week said the date shift proposal was “very disappointing” from his point of view. He also encouraged audience members to grab Sen. Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, who was attending the meeting, in an effort to convince him on the matter.

“Write your local legislators and tell them you’re tired of the monkey business with House Bill 277, and to keep the vote in place, and let’s do it the way we say we’re going to do it.”

Fayette is part of the 10-county metro Atlanta region for purposes of the sales tax initiative. The way the legislation was structured, Fayette cannot opt out of the tax, meaning that if the 1 percent sales tax is approved by an aggregate of voters regionwide, it will be enacted here even if it fails to get a 50 percent or greater approval from Fayette County voters.

The tax, if approved, would be collected for 10 years.

The chief reason for the special session is for the creation of new district lines for the legislative districts, along with those used for U.S. congressional seats. That process will be undertaken based on the latest figures from the 2010 U.S. Census.

Woody
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What happened with the gasoline tax money we paid?

This transportation sales tax isn't going to help me. Before it results in the construction of much of anything and ends (if ever), my kids will have taken my car keys from me and I'll be sitting in a nursing home griping about the way things used to be.

I'm curious, what have elected officials been doing with the state gasoline tax and sales taxes on gasoline over the past few decades? They will probably jack up those taxes, too, and keep the money for totally unrelated projects.

There's nothing like taking money from our county and turning it over to those brain surgeons who have been running the city of Atlanta and Fulton and DeKalb counties "so efficiently." Get ready for a surge in the hiring of politician relatives and the handing out of minority contracts to their friends who "share the wealth with them," so to speak. It's funny that a lot of people moved from those places to get more value for their money here, but will now continue to have their money taken from them for the same thieves to waste.

Only a fool or a thief would support this tax.

Robert W. Morgan
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Got some bad news Woody

The fools and thieves (if you include the MARTA-loving entitlement crowd) outnumber the sensible people who will vote against this. Look at it county by county and it is clear that the tax that will never end will begin soon. Sure Fayette will vote no and probably get a project or two dropped as punishment, but the 10-county region? Yes, yes, yes. Spend, spend, spend.

roundabout
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Woody

I believe gas tax is dedicated to road upkeep only.
They spend all of it whether the road needs fixing or not.

More Cowbelle
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Haddix and Brown

Wow, with this brain power I think we need a Mensa Society chapter here.

I see the committee evaluating the change to the Splost date did the same thing to Steve that everybody else does. They listened, then voted unanimously against his recommendation.

Woody
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Crooks vs. Producers

The committee is slobbering over all that money that they can control and couldn't care less about having an honest vote.

Woody
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Transportation Sales Tax Will Be Permanent

Promises that the transportation sales tax will end after ten years are as honest as promises that GA 400 tolls would end as soon as the cost of the project was recouped.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Woody

You are correct. The actual plan and goal is 30 years minimum. That is stated in documents and has been said a numerous presentations and meetings.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: TSPLOST

New numbers as of Monday.

Fayette is now expected to generate $190 million.

$143 million will come back the Fayette.

Mayor Steele tries to claim we get the full $190 million back by including the widening of 54 and the 74/35 interchange. But that is a false claim because that is the full cost of both projects, not just a percentage for Fayette's benefit. 60% of 54 is in Clayton County. All of the Interchange is in Fairburn.

Add to that the fact that all that warehouse space and new homes that are sitting empty. As well the yet to be built warehouses, homes and mall that are approved.

So, the economic benefit all goes to Fairburn. What the actual benefit for Fayette commuters is unknown.

Of that $143 million the west side of Fayette County gets a whole $2.4 million in Regional project in PTC. the original 4 that were added has been reduced by 2 and another project was added.

So, PTC, Tryone and the nearby unincorporated county are not only donors to the Region but to the east part of Fayette as well.

To illustrate the imbalance, PTC will get $2.4 million in projects, if they don't get removed, and on the 15% local portion $10 million. That is a total of $12.4 million. But PTC will be paying in $60 million.

Where does the rest go? The east of Fayette with all project radiating from Fayetteville.

As of now we do not know if the total for the Fayette will be cut even more. But I think it is pretty obvious PTC and Tyrone would benefit far more from a Fayette SPLOST. $6 million a year versus $1 million is a no brainer.

Oh, yes, as I warned last year, as well, the RTA is moving forward. That is Regional bus and rail paid for with a different tax that will not be on a referendum.

Mike King
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Mayor

Knowing the direction and purpose of the TSPLOST revenue and associated downside for PTC/Fayette, you open your mouth and get tossed off the ARC. Talk about having the wrong person present at the most egregious time, I'll bet you're on Mayor Kasim Reed's Christmas card list. Talk about blowing it for your constituency!

What you fail to fathom is an upgrade of 74/I-85 will benefit PTC, but having never commuted you wouldn't possess first hand knowledge. The same possibly can be said for the 54 widening for those Fayetteville residents who commute to the east. That said, your only saving grace would be that the TSPLOST is defeated which is why I've hedged my bet with property elsewhere.

suggarfoot
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Mayor Haddix

I respect what you say. I agree that we won't get our money back. When you tried to get us out last year, it was the best idea someone has come up with in a long time.

You and Steve Brown are my white nights!

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Sugarfoot

Thank you for the kind words.

As I said to Ninja Guy, this is a long way from being over.

suggarfoot
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they are giving you

a hard time cause you are pro active and make them look bad because they sit there like lumps.

Same thing with Brown and McCarty. They speak out and call attention to what is going on. That kills the rest cause they much rather do what they want with the least amount of attention.

ginga1414
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suggarfoot, You Are Absolutely Right

Give me a pro active, out there getting involved, trying human being over a lump any day.

I can't trust someone who says one thing and does another.

Ninja Guy
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Mr. Mayor

I don't think anyone doubts that you were correct in saying that we need to be out of ARC--its just that you fired your volley too soon! You should have waited until you were firmly entrenched on the committee before showing your hand. Its just smart politics!

Braves Losing 5-1 in the sixth!

roundabout
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Ninja

He is not a devious man! Like some others here!

Ninja Guy
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Roundy, I know the Mayor Is Not

devious--that is his problem! Politics is like poker--bluffing, folding, raising, checking, and wearing mirrored sun glasses during play! You should't nail your theses to the church door until you have at least a few archbishops and cardinals on your side! Luther started off as a reformer, now he is dead! Why don't pitchers tell the batters what is coming? Because they would knock it out of the park--that's why! Same with politics! Spadework is key!

Braves lose, but a split is the worst outcome with the Giants in this series!

roundabout
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Ninja

Yes and the big batters in baseball take steroids!

Now what are we to do with a half dozen of them with home run records in the 70's? Say OK, we expect some devious stuff!

I do expect this from bankers, developers, Car salesmen, insurance salesmen, prostitutes, some wives, city officials (not elected), police records and statistics, many judges, lawyers, TV ads, Madison Avenue Ad people, Sheriffs, people who set home values and multipliers, fruit stands paying taxes, people with foreign maids, farmers with picking crops, people who serve farmers with picking crops, trustees of those huge stashes of cash and dope captured on I-75, private pilots who fly to the southern border a lot, people who drive to Florida a lot, investment advisors, oil company execs, preachers, Fathers, Mullahs, Rabbis, and Holy Men.

But not from elected Mayors and Council persons!

Ninja Guy
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Roundy

Big batters no longer take steroids! They test them for that stuff now! Some guy just got suspended for taking HGH today! I wonder if I can have his leftovers! Records from the drug era are suspect! Everybody knows Hank did it all on his own and Bobby didn't! What makes elected mayors and council persons different from anyone else?!! Telling everybody your plan ahead of time only gives your opponents the opportunity to cook something up to thwart you or get rid of you! Frady hardly speaks and never blogs, and look where it got him--the chairmanship and the WFB! What did being straight up get Haddix--kicked off the ARC committee, censured, and ridiculed by the likes of Mike King!

Braves gonna slay the Goliaths tonight! Jawbone of an ass coming right at ya!

Mike Minor versus the Freak!

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Ninja Guy

Nope. That is not correct.

To get out we had to pass it on PTC Council, County Commission, get it reviewed and approved by DCA and then it had to sent to the Legislature by mid January, 2011, to get it included in the Session.

HB 277 locked us in once the 2011 RTR process and votes began. So there is no way to do it on the 2012 Legislative Session.

We only had about 2 months to get it all done.

Now, to try again, we must have a Council and Commission that is not majority pro ARC and the TSPLOST has to fail on the Referendum.

Currently the majority on the PTC Council is pro ARC. Remember, it was a 3-2 vote to not leave ARC.

Earliest shot to try again, if the TSPLOST fails, is the 2013 Legislative session, depending on the PTC Council and Commission elections.

If the referendum fails, it can be tried again in 2015. As well the RTA transit issue is still very much alive and active.

That is a few more things to think about for the future.

roundabout
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Mayor

It doesn't matter whether you want the ARC or don't want it! Whatever you want is wrong, you see.

Making it appear that you got us into the ARC by screwing up will help defeat you later. Actually, I'm not against the ARC. We are metro Atlanta, like it or not.

I am also against more than one term but depending on who runs and you also run, I would have to measure just who it is running since the law is what it is.

As I have said before to you here, I don't think you should respond to criticism good or bad here. Just the facts, sir, just the facts.

Ninja Guy
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Mayor and Roundy

I don't think Hizzoner should write or respond at all in this fine forum, as it is populated with naysayers, soothsayers, haters, baiters, libertarian posers, nutters, Scots Irish, military pensioners, ex fire fighters, Steve Brown sometimes, and one particularly annoying guy in his pajamas with nothing better to do than combine commentary on baseball and Austrian Economics in the same post--ridiculousness to the nth degree! Stay away if you are a serious politician!

Falcons gearing up for the Jags! Will the Quizz make the team!

ginga1414
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Mr. Mayor, Thank You

Thanks so much for the information.

Some folks were aware of the time frame you were faced with last year.

It seems that out of the box thinking is a foreign concept in some circles.

Apparently for some it is easier to follow the person in front and run head long over a cliff than it is to pull up short and rethink the situation.

halfdollarandlost
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Haddix

Why does PTC have a say in it and none of the other city's?

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Cities

Because the law says to leave requires the approval of the County Commission and cities representing 50% or more of the municipal population. PTC is over 50% by itself.

Yes, other cities can vote, but how PTC votes is the deciding vote.

Mike King
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Don

Ninja is right-you blew your chance. Anyone beyond a first grade mentality would have realized that when HB277 passed there was no time to attempt an exit from the ARC. You seem to realize that now, but the window of opportunity has closed on the residents of our fair town, and you still won't accept the responsibility.

I said it then and I'll say it now: Our only recourse is to vote down the TSPLOST.

roundabout
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Bologna, Mike

Baloney!

The SPLOST will pass, even in this recession, in the region, but would not in Fayette who are still in the stone age.

Haddix said what he thought and it made no difference if he had been left on the ARC.
I admire him for his honesty.

I don't like sneaky, devious, crooked, plotted, good old boy's politics!

Mike King
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Roundabutt

Perhaps you and the mayor should get a room and sing "kumbaya", he's not bright either.

roundabout
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MIKE

Let me give you an example you will understand better about being devious?

General Petraeus has been shipped out from a short command over all known wars, to a year or two perhaps as CIA Director--those people don't really need a Director.

Why?

The General is about the only HERO General we have left and if he was to be left in command there he might get the blame for those useless wars. That would damage his reputation.

We are attempting to get out of both wars in a "slip out smoothly way" without any blame. That didn't work in Viet Nam and won't work in the middle east.

All hell will break loose as soon as we give it up--those people hate such things as democracy, Presidents, capitalism, and individual freedom.

SamIam
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The regional TSPLOST

Not sure how this blog got off track, but if you look at the numbers, according to the Citizen, Fayette citizens will contribute $205M and if all of our proposed Fayette projects are approved, we'll realize $207M in benefits. If you believe those numbers, then our contributions and our benefits are a wash. Which makes me ask if we are paying for all of our own benefits, why should be put our tax eggs in the regional transportation basket with the chance that they won't approved? If any Fayette citien votes "Yes' for this proposal, they should have their head examined. I urge you to vote "No" to paying for the beneifts directly realized by Fulton, Gwinett, and DeKalb residents.

Woody
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Republican Party is leaving me.

President Reagan said that he didn't leave the Democratic Party, but that it left him. Now, I feel the same way about the Republican Party. Gov. Deal has loaded up the state Republicans on a MARTA train, and it's pulling out of the station for them to toss our money out the windows to other counties.

grassroots
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They're Just Daring To Start a Third Party

His son, Mike Reagan, did leave the Republican Party. They keep scaring us that there's no futures for a third party. it's maybe time to see on more local levels like County or state. I'm with you, Neal back peddled on his campaign pledge. www.splostopinion.com

ginga1414
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RWM, Considering All of Your Comments Here,

surely to goodness, you aren't against freedom of speech!

So far, the only Fayette County Officials who've had the courage to represent the majority of Fayette voters have been Steve Brown, Allen McCarty and Matt Ramsey. Excuse me, I left out PTC Mayer Don Haddix. Don Haddix tried his best to extract Fayette County from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Present and former commissioners didn't censure one of their own for breaking the law and violating his probation, but you want them to censure someone for exercising his Constitutional rights?

There is something very wrong with that picture!

Steve Brown
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Come on RW Morgan

I was speaking as Fayette Commissioner Steve Brown, elected by my constituents to represent their interests. At no time did I give a "Board of Commissioners" or "Fayette County Government" response.

We ought to be pretty worried with Democrat Mayor Kasim Reed writes a piece in the AJC entitled "The governor and I are charting a new course" and Gov. Deal has no rebuttal.

Now we have the State Legislature possibly moving the referendum vote back so as to draw large Democrat support (thinking their fellow Republican supporters would kill the measure). This is crazy.

And their great idea is creating a larger MARTA which lost $510 million in 2010 and has $1.2 billion in outstanding maintenance needs.

We are heading toward a regional transit system at OUR expense a la Mayor Ken Steele and I hope everyone is paying attention.

Robert W. Morgan
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I don't think it is freeedom of speech

What I think is that County Commissioner Brown does not have a right to represent Fayette County at the State level with an opinion (which I happen to agree with) of any kind without having the support of his fellow commisioners. When he goes up there and sticks his nose in where it does not belong, he hurts Fayette County and diminishes our image before the Governor and State legislators. He does not have a vote on the transportation SPLOST. He does not have a vote on changing the date of the referendum on it either. He's a publicity-seeking whore who cares only for himself and not a whit about the 100,000 citizens of Fayette County who he should be representing. You didn't see any other county commissioner from here or elsewhere pulling the same stunt - did you? Ask yourself why.

G35 Dude
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RWM We have enough sheep in politics already!

Right or wrong I will say this about Brown. He is not a sheep that waits for the other commissioners blessings to proceed in matters that he thinks need addressing. As you yourself just stated this is a matter in which you agree with him yet no other commissioner/representative is there speaking for you. I'll ask you your own question. Why not? From your post I'd assume that you prefer sheep. Before you come back with something to the effect that he's there for himself, let me say I don't care. He's there speaking on something that I want to be represented on. And I don't see anyone else there speaking for me.

Robert W. Morgan
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Brown - a unique ability to be right and wrong at the same time

And I certainly admit that he brings out the worst in me - an automatic knee-jerk reaction to his techniques and methods.

No, he is not a sheep, he is a lone wolf that pursues his goals (both right and wrong) without any attempt to compromise or work with others on council or commission unless the pledge to be in lockstep with him 100% of the time - like McCarty now and Rapson and Weed before. And of course you can say exactly the same thing about Haddix.

The art of politics is to get other people and especially other commissioners to support your position because they want to or because you have secured their vote through the barter system. This requires people skills and a willingness to compromise. What possible good does it do for 1 commissioner to advocate a position (that I support) in the newspaper. Would we not be better served by having 3 or 4 commissioners giving coordinated support for that position and possibly voting towards some action or legislation that actually changes thing?

Now, I am perfectly aware that the 3 on the commission have formed their own unbreakable alliance and that Brown can't win this issue now. Therefore, I am speaking in the abstract and am more focused on philosophy and technique. The real test will come next year when the 3 are replaced and we can see if Brown forms cooperative alliances for the good of the county or just for the chairperson seat he so desperately wants.

G35 Dude
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RWM No creditability where Brown is concerned
Quote:

The art of politics is to get other people and especially other commissioners to support your position because they want to or because you have secured their vote through the barter system.

Yes you are correct. Politics is the ability for me to get you to vote for my pork project because I'll then vote for yours. I hate politics. And I hate politicians that play this way. Now having said that I will say that I do not know you or Mr Brown nor do I know why you seem to hate him so much. Maybe he stole one of your girlfriends, I don't know. OK I do he has a reputation for bucking the system and grandstanding. But it does seem to me that the man could find the cure for cancer and you'd still condemn it for one reason or another even if you had cancer and were to be cured by his findings. I'm sorry but in my book you've lost all creditability when Brown is the topic.

Robert W. Morgan
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Right you are G35dude. You too Ginga. I'm a lost soul

I can't get my hatred for Steve Brown out of the front of my brain. As I have said, he brings out the worst in me. He is a shamless promoter of himself and he ended the careers of my friends and dissed others - all when he was mayor of Peachtree City. He is a despicible person and a bad politician.

Now that I have said that, he is correct on many issues and certainly on the one that opposes the shift of the transportation SPOLST election to the November 2012 stage where the public transportation parasites are likely to come out and vote for Prezbo and themselves (sadly they don't know the gravy train is not going to leave the station - but I digress).

Yes indeed, vote the SPLOST down. And vote it down next July - not in November when the slugs come out. Who cares about a billion$ that will help the lowlifes move around the ARC counties? My condo at Colony Square has decreased 40% in value, although the monthly fees have gone up - especially the security element and even so I'm even afraid to go there on weekends. Thugs - regardless of color or race are bad for lifestyle and real estate values.

MYTMITE
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rwm, Just how did Steve Brown end the careers of your friends?

That seems to be a statement that needs clarification since you brought it up as your reason for hating Brown. His methods may not always be to your liking but he always seems to be for the people and now following along with the 'good ole boy newtwork' that is so active in Fayette County. It is one thing to dislike someone but to constantly find fault even when you agree as does Mike King, seems more to be your (and Mike King's) problem than Mr. Brown's. Even when he is right he is wrong in your book--and constantly bringing his wife and his home situation up as some do here is despicable especially when those same people state at other times that families should be left out of these blogs. I, for one, think his home situation should be between his wife and Mr. Brown and is no one else's business.

ginga1414
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MYTMITE, INNOCENT VICTIMS OF CITIZEN COMMENTS

I completely agree. Children and families are innocent victims.

Children and young people listen to their parents. They repeat things their parents say.

My children are adopted and they were subjected to talk their schoolmates picked up from their parents.

Surely, everyone who comments here can muster enough self control and find a better way of expressing themselves than calling folks names!

Surely to goodness, we are all mature enough and empathetic enough to leave children, wives, and families out of the discussions that go on here!

G35 Dude
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.

.

ginga1414
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RWM, Just For Clarification

Commissioner Brown was invited to speak. However, if Herb Frady, Robert Horgan, Lee Hearn, Allen McCarty, you or I cared enough to speak, those comments would have been very welcomed and appreciated.

To be perfectly honest, RWM, over the three years you and I have been sparing back and forth, I have always thought you were quite a few notches above folks who jump in here with calling folks names. It seemed that your intelligence set you apart from the rest. It is a shame that I might have to rethink my assessment.

President Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is the people's business and every man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the first penny of tax paid.”

If there are approximately 106,000 people living in Fayette County, then 106,000 noses should be stuck into the business of running this county, state, and country. The problems we are facing in this county, state, and country right now are because not enough folks have cared to take the time or trouble to stick their noses where they do belong. Do you mean to tell me that you, I, our children and grandchildren can go fight and lose our lives for this country but we are stepping out of line if we voice our opinions as to how government officials are running our lives? Come on now, RWM and Hutch, we are all smarter than that!

It is much easier to say, "Oh, well, I'm just one person. I don't have the time. I don't really know the issues." We could all come up with a million excuses to try and absolve ourselves of taking any responsibility for the conditions with which we are faced.

As far as other folks at the press conference are concerned, I don't know if there were commissioners from other counties there or not. I do know that there were representatives from many of the surrounding regional counties there. Even lowly, insignificant me was invited to be there.

All of that aside, it wasn't a case of having to be invited or sticking one's nose where it doesn't belong. All citizens have a responsibility to inform themselves and become involved in the business of OUR GOVERNMENT! Our Constitution gives us all that right. Our taxes buy us a share in that business.

hutch866
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ginga

As far as Brown goes, since he is willing to throw the east side of Fayetteville under the bus in favor of the west side, I don't see how he's representing the majority of Fayette. In Haddix's case, just because you have the right to say something doesn't mean there won't be repercussions, and until there's a vote on the ARC, how do you know that's the majority's wish?

ginga1414
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Just Facts Regarding The East Bypass, West Bypass and ARC

No one threw the east side of Fayetteville under the bus in favor of the west side.

The East Fayetteville Bypass was voted as the number 1 priority for the Fayette County 2003 Transportation SPLOST by all county officials at the time.

Jack Smith's reign decided to favor the West Bypass over the East Bypass because he knew that the West Bypass would generate the most development and therefore a larger tax base.

Jack Smith also knew the 2012 Regional Transportation SPLOST was coming up and there was a good chance to have the East Bypass paid for with those funds.

From information I have received this morning, the East Fayetteville Bypass is still on the Regional Transportation Roundtable's list of things to do. That fact has now been confirmed in this newspaper by Mayor Ken Steele.

So, it appears that Mayor Steele is doing his job by working in harmony with the Atlanta Regional Commission for what they perceive to be in the best interest of everyone, the region, the state, Fayette citizens?

Just the facts.

The remaining question is, "Do we actually need the West Bypass or the East Bypass?"

Since 80% of Mallett Consulting's fee for developing the plan that says we do need both bypasses was paid for by the Atlanta Regional Commission, and since Mayor Ken Steele and Commission Chairman Herb Frady are working in such close harmony with the Atlanta Regional Commission, Kasim Reed, and now Gov. Deal, the citizens of Fayette County are at their mercy.

Thanks, Steve Brown, for having the courage to represent those of us who have the unmitigated gall to question!!

hutch866
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ginga

It's a fact that the way Steve Brown was going to stop the WFB was to divert the money to the EFB, and that was ok with you and all the people on the west side, and I can understand that, but for you to deny that fact means you're either misinformed, deluded, or just lying, I'll let you pick.

As I understand it, the EFB isn't the original one, and makes no more sense then the west one, as both end in the middle of nowhere. I believe all the Commissioners signed off on the WFB before it was started, so, please tell me how that differs from the EFB. That's a fact too, isn't it?

All knowing Steve, in a letter in the Citizen a few years ago, first lambasted the citizens of Fayetteville for not turning out to vote, and yet, in the same freaking letter, blamed the passage of the splost on the citizens of Fayetteville. Absurd but true, or a fact as you say.

Do we need either bypass, Hell no, I laugh every time I hear someone talk about the gridlock of traffic in Fayetteville, there's no gridlock. I've driven in the traffic all over the metro area for years, and the traffic here in little old Fayetteville is a joke, takes 5 minutes to get through town no matter which direction you're going, unless there's an accident and the bypass won't solve that.

Davids mom
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ginga1414

Thanks for the clarification.

Roadrunner
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TSPLOST & Rapid Transit

Why did any of us move to Fayette vs. Dekalb & Fulton? Was your choice that random or did you move here for a reason? If quality of life, low crime, nice neighborhoods, good schools, etc. were some of your criteria, you moved here for the same reasons our family did. I know some think there is no link between rapid transit & crime, falling property values, and poorer schools I'd encourage you to check out the history of Marta & Dekalb county. We lived there for years and the neighborhoods near the new Marta bus routes changed almost overnight. Within a week of getting the bus stop above our house we heard of the first assault/mugging taking place there. The neighborhood newsletter immediately started reporting break-ins,many of the residents soon put out "For Sale" signs and our subdivision quickly went downhill from there. Does this always happen? Maybe, maybe not. But check out Memorial Drive, Clarkston & Stone Mountain before signing up for that here. For those of you so sure "It could never happen here", I just hope you're still here when it does.

ginga1414
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Roadrunner, Me Too and Mass Transit!

I grew up in DeKalb County. My Dad was the Chief Traffic Engineer for the Atlanta Transit Company and MARTA.

Daddy would come home from work at least twice a week with some horror story of a MARTA driver or passengers being robbed or attacked.

One day he came home and said that MARTA intended to run a line four blocks from our house. That same night he said, "We are moving."

My father's MARTA paycheck helped feed, clothe, educate us, and helped provide our shelter.

It took two years for my parents to sell our home. In that amount of time, the bus line had been in place 4 blocks from our home for 18 months. In that amount of time, our quiet safe neighborhood changed. Everyone learned very quickly that we could no longer leave our doors unlocked. We couldn't leave bicycles or toys outside the garage. Cars were stolen and homes were broken into.

From DeKalb County, my family moved to a neighborhood S.W. of Atlanta. There are now MARTA lines running through that neighborhood. Friends and former neighbors who are still in that neighborhood have had power tools stolen from garage workshops. Cars and trucks stolen from their driveways. One former neighbor was washing his truck in his driveway when someone got off a bus at the corner of his property, walked up the driveway, beat our 70 year old former neighbor almost to death and drove away in his half washed truck. The victim was in the hospital almost a month. Another former neighbor even had his dog stolen by someone who hopped off a bus. The man took our former neighbor's West Highland Terrier out of the fenced backyard. He tried to get back on the bus with the dog and the bus driver wouldn't let him. The thief walked out of the neighborhood with the dog under his arm. Neighbors called the police but they couldn't find the dognapper.

I have just passed along some true first hand accounts of what happens to the quality of life when mass transit becomes part of a neighborhood.

rmoc
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mass transit = mass trash

I moved to Fayette to avoid the problems of the city and don't want my dollars extracted to encourage things like buslines. How many Fayette County "Homeowners" are going to walk to a bustop to go to Atlanta and points beyond...give me a break...You want convienence move to a neighborhood on a Marta Line...plenty of condos and homes in the ATL for sale.

grassroots
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SPLOST Your Way To Atlanta Annexation

All Bypasses end up as main thoroughfares and once rural suburbs become urban blites from which people must flee. Get a clear vision. Commuting to Atlanta is a short picnic drive compared to Los Angeles or Denver. There are no bypasses or short cuts left in either city.

grassroots
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SPLOST Breeds Corruption

With every added tax comes increased power in corruption and governement greed for more. It never ends. Live within our means and stay out of our pockets in this 'Atlantasizing" of Fayette County.

lion
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SPLOST and Fayette County

Yes it is time once again to pull the covers over our heads and pretend that Fayette County is not part of the greater Atlanta area.

Yes, let us pretend that the success of Atlanta does not impact on us.

Yes, let us all pretend we never go to Atlanta for all the benefits a large city has to offer. I am sure this statement will get the predictable comments from those who fear African-Americans.

Yes, let's pretend that few people in Fayette County commute to At;anta.

Vote yes for SPLOST.

rmoc
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my response if you have issues with commuting

Move to Atlanta...need I say more

Spyglass
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I like parts of Atlanta..

I like ALL of Fayette County better.

AtHomeGym
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Lion & The Large City

Hate to disappoint you, but I can truthfully say I have no interest in whatever the large city has to offer and only rarely venture downtown, usually for a Braves game or to perhaps dine at some restaurant that offers excellent cuisine not available here. And for the record, I "fear" no one! My history is a storybook of living and working with people of all colors and cultures. My guess is that there are many FC citizens who share my feelings.

MYTMITE
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Lion, people, both white and black moved to the Fayette County

area because they wanted the 'small town' atmosphere they found in this area. Those who worked in Atlanta and other areas knew what the commute was when they moved here. Yes, some of us do go downtown occasionally for the benefits a large city can offer--but then we return to Fayette County. Everywhere I go in Fayette County and surrounding areas: Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone, Senoia, Newnan, etc., I see people of all color and ethnicity. I sit next to African Americans in church, I see people of all natonalities in shopping centers, grocery stores and restaurants and have the people of all colors and nationalities wait on me in these shopping centers, grocery stores and restaurants. If you haven't noticed, these areas are all integrated, people of different nationalities and color own homes and businesses, serve on committees and take part in their communities. I wish people would stop putting the "whites are scared of African-Americans" spin on everything. The NAACP has to look for problems---or create them where they don't exist to justify their existence. I don't want TSPLOST because I feel it will not benefit our area and we do not need added taxes at this time. Pure and simple.

SAY NO TO SPLOST

Citizen_Steve
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Grassroots is right

We'll likely get 5 cents return in value on each tax dollar. I'm with Grassroots - no thank you.

Why not use tolls instead? Tax the users of the roads, whether they live in the atlanta area or not. Those who don't use the roads shouldn't have to pay tax.

If worse comes to worse I expect the communities dependent on the 74/I85 interchange can muster up the funds and clout to get the project done.

Steve

grassroots
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Fear of African Americans

Half my neigbors in my subdivision are African Americans who don't want to be 'Atlantasized" nor their kids "impacted" by Atlanta's corrupt schools and gangs. Not pretending that "few commute to Atlanta" but we don't need the same nightmare congestion as commuting from the North. i'm at the airport in 20 minutes and downtown in thirty. Why should we be tax burdened to become congested when it's a great combo now? We are not part of greater Atlanta area. When people ask you where you live do you say Atlanta?

pips1414
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C'mon, C'mon

It was announced on TV that the PR firm touting the regional TSPLOST threw in the towel. Evidently, it didn't want its name associated with a project it didn't feel was deliverable.

Even if the TSPLOST were to pass, Fayette County would get only crumbs in return for the dollars expended. This TSPLOST project makes the West Fayetteville Bypass look like a gnat on a frog on a log.

Sure hate to see such an unpopular program postponed only because the major beneficiaries vital to any hope of its passage are lax about voting until Obama comes up for reelection the next November. Do you suppose Atlanta politics just might have gotten into the fray?

Fayette Commission Chariman Herb Frady was quoted as saying that Fayette County would be a donor county if the TSPLOST passes. The "study" that recommended building the Bypass was 80% paid for by the ARC. It will be interesting to follow Mr. Frady's views on the TSPLOST as time goes along.Will he be a "team player" and get awards from ARC like his predecessor?

Donating to "the thing that couldn't die," the West Bypass, was more than enough for most of us. Unlike 1776, in 2004, taxation without representation was buried in fine print.

Anyway, it's still better here than in any of the other nine ARC counties, even though we weren't allowed to secede as many wanted.

Like him or not, Commissioner Brown has stood up for the majority of folks in Fayette County who are tired of the way county politics have been run for too many years.

ginga1414
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More Cowbelle, When People Moved To Fayette County

they knew there would be a commute if they worked in Atlanta and beyond.

Most folks moved to Fayette County because it was a haven from their work and the traffic.

I know many people who have been commuting to work in Atlanta and beyond for 30+ years.

If the Regional TSPLOST is voted in, we all will be paying for it over the next 10, 20, and probably 30 years.

That one cent doesn't sound like much, but when you consider that it will be imposed on every dollar we spend in the entire region for the next 10, 20, and probably 30 years.....

I don't know about some folks, but there are a whole lot of people out here trying to survive during a depressed economy. People are trying to hold onto their homes, pay medical bills, utilities, clothe, educate, and feed families.

The economy needs to be stabilized (if that is possible) before more burdens are heaped upon folks who are just trying to survive.

More Cowbelle
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Steve Brown Doing What He Does Best

Steve's ability to build cooperative relationships at all levels of government is only exceeded by Don Haddix's skills. Way to go Steve, you probably added 20 years to the timeline for any improvements to the I-85/74 interchange.

You and Bob Ross can at elast do us commuters a favor by staying away from the interchange this election season. It's bad enough dodging the cars without having to worry about hitting you two idiots and your junior Teapublicans.

Robert W. Morgan
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He is certainly very good at what he does, Cowbelle

One of the best irritants I have ever known. Yes indeed, sharp stick in the eye of the governor. Way to build relationships. County Commission should censure him for his solo cowboy act. Of course he will trot out the old "I wasn't speaking as a commissioner, I was just a private citizen" defense. Come on Herb, you must have been offended and you have a solid 3-2 vote. Censure him.

Why do those people in the picture look so uncomfortable. Is Ross that ugly that they were uncomfortable looking at him? He was the one that took the picture, you know.

Is that Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the orange outfit?

ginga1414
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RWM, "A Man's Word Is His Bond!"

During Gov. Nathan Deal's election campaign for governor, he pledged not to support any tax increases. And, here he is less than a year after taking office stacking an already loaded deck. Gov. Deal is the one wielding a sharp stick poking us where it hurts the most

Where is Gov. Deal's pledge, now? Where is his "word?" What about his bond?

Gov. Deal was quoted as saying, "Next year, Kasim Reed and I will work on opposite sides of the Presidential race, but we'll speak with one voice to encourage Georgians - Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives - To support the T-SPLOST referendum."

Gov. Deal needs to be reminded of his pledge!

For like minded Fayette citizens who think Gov. Deal should be reminded of his campaign pledge, he can be reached at 404-656-1776. His FAX number is 404-657-7332.

I am happy to say that Rep. Matt Ramsey has said that he will vote against moving the referendum to the 2012 General Election.

Folks interested in holding the 2012 Regional TSPLOST vote during the 2012 Primary should call Sen. Ronnie Chance at 404-651-7738.

Contact Information for Georgia House members - http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2011_12/house/alpha.html

Contact Information for Georgia Senate members - http://www.senate.ga.gav/senators/en-US/SenateMembersList.aspx

roundabout
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This "Deal" fellow had to leave Washington.....

.......due to such actions.

He also raised the gasoline taxes when he didn't have to do so.

You ain't seen nothing yet----this man owes a lot of money and will have to answer to a grand jury soon.

I never understood why he was nominated but I of course know why he was elected, "polarization."

Robert W. Morgan
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Good for Ramsy - and he does actually get to vote

Voting no is exactly the right thing to do. But the point is, Ramsey gets to vote, Brown doesn't. Brown should probably keep his shiny nose out of state issues. He's a county commissioner only.

Deal is not warming my heart, but he is hardly unique in promising not to raise taxes and then raising taxes. Happens a lot. I just choose to believe nothing any of them say and then I'm never too terribly disappointed.

ptctaxpayer
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Go Morgan, the developer boy.

Go Morgan, the developer boy. You say "I just choose to believe nothing any of them say" when talking about politicians but you like Ramsey and you don't like Brown. Sounds like more of your typical disdain for free speech that "rocks the boat". Brown has every right to condemn the Governor where he is and how he is doing it. Sorry dude.

Robert W. Morgan
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Actually Bruce he does not have the right to condem the Governor

Not as a County Commisioner and certainly not without the approval of 2 others - no way that will happen. Oh, I know - he's speaking out as a private citizen, not a county commissioner. Ok Steve, we believe that.

He is a loose cannon gadfly who only speaks out when it benefits him personally or politically.

I say again, Frady - censure this fool and keep him from embarrassing the county.

R. Butler
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Speaking out...

Mr. Morgan-

While I don't always like what Steve Brown says, I at least admire the fact that he is willing to publicly swim at cross-currents with the established political order in this county when he believes it to be necessary.

Perhaps most important, he has raised a number of serious questions over the years related to potential conflicts-of-interest issues where individuals in (or associated) with the local governments appear to have financial or political interests connected to programs they voted in favor of. Recall the days of the DAPC obligating public funds without public votes--and to companies that they had direct business ties with?

Or Commissioner Hearns, who has (to date) still not adequately explained some serious ethical lapses related to the nomination of "Cousin John" to the county election board or his potential property interests associated to the WFB.

Yup--pretty embarrassing stuff.

suggarfoot
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I don't see anything wrong with what Steve did

All I've ever known Steve to do is stick up for us. If he is on the Capital steps, I feel he is there for me.

As far as a stick in the eye...well who is placing the vote on a ballot that serves THEIR needs best? That is shoving a stick in MY eye!

G35 Dude
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Cowbelle

Do you want this I-85/74 improvement if you have to accept mass transit to get it?

Spyglass
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Who says they have to go hand in hand?

but yeah, Fulton is already in marta, if they want to run the train down 85 to the Fulton/Coweta line, fine with me.

G35 Dude
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Spy - Who says?

The ARC will say whether or not the two go hand in hand. Not us. We gave up that right by being in the ARC.

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