Fayette GOP opposes T-SPLOST mass transit projects

Half the proposed $6 billion to be raised from the 2012 10-county regional transportation sales tax referendum will be wasted on mass transit projects “not in the general interest,” charges the Fayette County Republican Party.

Only rail and bus projects that pay their own way from construction to operation costs will get local Republican support, the Executive Board of the Fayette GOP said in a news release last week.

The Fayette GOP had some pointed advice for Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele — a reelection candidate this fall — and Fayette County Commission Chairman Herb Frady: Remember this opposition when you go back this month as Fayette’s representatives to the Regional Transportation Roundtable, the group tasked with deciding which projects get funded with the transportation special local option sales tax (T-SPLOST).

Here’s what the Fayette GOP said:

“The Executive Board of the Fayette County Republican Party (FCRP) recently adopted a resolution staking out the party’s official stance regarding the upcoming T-SPLOST referendum set for 2012.

“The text of the resolution is as follows: Whereas:

“• Government is created to defend our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness;

“• Government operated transportation, funded by taxes on the general population for the benefit of limited users, is inconsistent with U.S. Constitutional principles;

“• Georgia’s Transportation Investment Act of 2010 authorizes general taxation to defray transit riders’ full operating costs;

“• TIA 2010 transit projects are not in the general interest, having little effect on mitigating highway congestion, improving air quality, or reducing gasoline use;

“• The costs per passenger mile to build, operate and maintain transit projects is significantly more expensive than for highway projects;

“• Transit projects serve a much smaller number of users than highway projects;

“We do hereby resolve, with regard to TIA 2010 transit projects, to support only those projects shown to have sufficient revenues and direct-user collections to cover their construction, operations, capital placement and maintenance costs.”

“Party Chairman Lane Watts said, ‘After an in-depth study of the issues surrounding the transportation needs of the Atlanta region and the upcoming vote on the T-SPLOST next year, the Fayette GOP decided it was time to wade into the debate. The sentiment expressed in this resolution, we believe, is the most fiscally prudent course and will greatly benefit the citizens and taxpayers of the metro Atlanta region. We strongly encourage the Regional Transportation Roundtable and Fayette’s representatives to the RTR to take these views into consideration.’”

All the voters in the 10-county Atlanta Regional Commission area will get to vote on the 1-cent added sales tax for transportation next summer.

A majority vote of all the counties lumped together will allow the new levy. That regional tax vote — first in Georgia’s history — will mean that even if an entire county votes against the tax, the T-SPLOST could still be imposed within that county if a regional majority votes for it.

pips1414
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Steele & Frady need to be watched like a hawk

It struck me as a good thing that the Fayette County Republican Party found it necessary to draft a resolution on the T-SPLOST. The county's two RTR representatives are perhaps the most powerful political figures in Fayette County. It's quite obvious that this had to be done because Commission Chairman Frady and Mayor Steele have not been projecting an image of being in compliance with the policies and objectives of the Republican Party. As much power as is wielded by these two individuals, they should be leading the party rather than being schooled on the philosophy of the party they profess to represent.

Over the past few years, the Republican Party has demonstrated that it supports the views of the Republican voters. One example was the Party's recognition of the public ire over an incident that created the appearance of a conflict of interest. A West Bypass landowner who was the cousin of a commissoner was nominated to the Elections Board by that commissioner. That commissioner succeeded in making a motion to oust the current incumbent without cause in favor of his cousin. It was later learned that the cousin also serves as a member of Mayor Steele's Fayetteville Development Authority.

Let's not forget that Mayor Steele and Commission Chairman Frady have not been in sync with the will of the public according to recent articles and comments appearing in our local newspapers. Mr. Frady and his two followers have placed their feet on the same path away from the voters as former Commission Chairman Jack Smith did. Mr. Smith chose to ignore negative public opinion over wasting money on unneeded projects. He became known for looking at what he said was "the big T-SPLOST picture." While Mr. Smith received high recognition from the Atlanta Regional Commission, he lost the support of the Fayette County voters. Messrs. Smith, Maxwell, Frady, Horgan and Hearn all supported the most controversial project in the history of Fayette County, the West Fayetteville Bypass. They made it a "done deal." While Mayor Steele adroitly commented that the WFB was for future development, we read that he wants to annex the WFB into Fayetteville. Smart man, but I hope he doesn't hold his breath for development.

At a recent ARC T-SPLOST briefing, a question was asked regarding the listing of rail projects for Cobb County after the voters had rejected it. The answer given was that the two Cobb RTR board members requested that the rail projects be listed. With Messrs. Frady and Steele perhaps the two most powerful people in Fayette County politically, we need to look at everything they do as members of the RTR and comment publicly. Let's also hope that our local newspapers continue the good work of exploring any related issues our two RTR folks participate in on their own.

I would be surprised to see Mr. Frady or any of his followers reelected next year. For that very reason, we need to follow him very closely on what he does as an RTR board member. The same goes for Mayor Steele. In a time of major recession, multimillion dollar roads should not be built unless there are urgent and compelling reasons that to do less is the road to ruin. Realistically, from the huge surplus of classrooms in our public schools and sharply declining student enrollment in the county, it looks as though bypass time is not within the foreseeable future.

Most voters I've spoken with would like to see the Commission Chairman and the Mayor of Fayetteville recognize the pulse of the public. Do you suppose we can count on RTR members Frady and Steele to consider the Republican resolution before they cast their ballots?

NUK_1
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Repubs and T-Splost
pips1414 wrote:

It's quite obvious that this had to be done because Commission Chairman Frady and Mayor Steele have not been projecting an image of being in compliance with the policies and objectives of the Republican Party.

The entire regional transportation legislation and T-Splost idea came from Republicans. They and Gov. Perdue thought it was a great idea! Glad to see the Fayette contingency doesn't seem to think it's so wonderful.

ginga1414
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Fayette GOP's Solid Information and Stance

Fayette GOP's factual information gives all voters a solid basis for voting against the regional T-SPLOST.

Since Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele is running for re-election this year and has repeatedly voted in favor of the mass transit projects in his position on the RTR, the Fayette GOP's information gives Fayette voters information they can certainly use in making their decision before going to the polls in our local election this year.

Good work, Fayette GOP.

lion
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T-SPLOST

The Fayette GOP also thinks paved roads at taxpayer expense are inconsistent with U.S. Constitutonal principles. A real America is a dirt road America.

Mike King
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lion

A strong statement of your opinion, albeit totally without merit. Your argument might bear more weight if you were capable of spelling CONSTITUTIONAL.

Alas, if you were capable then you might have included some factual data to back your assertion.

lion
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T-SPLOST

The Fayette GOP has raised the T-SPLOST to the level of a U.S. Constitutional issue.

This is a typical Tea Party approach. But the TP's understanding of the US Constituition is chldlike. It focuses on the 10th amendment and a literal interpretation of the Constitution and ignores all of the 19th and 20th century interpretations of its provisions.

If we defeat the transportation initiative, what do we have? We will have a metro Atlanta (which Fayette County is part of) with more gridlock and falling further behind other metropolitan areas. But a pile of pennies to put under our mattress.

Mike King
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Let's see lion...

"If we defeat the transportation initiative, what do we have?"

-We as Georgians will still be paying 16 cents on every gallon of gasoline purchased within the state.
-We will also continue to pay forty-four cents on every gallon of gas purchased nationally.
-We will have a one cent reprieve from being in a seven/eight percent sales tax county.

My question to you sir/madam: Is there any point where you would say enough to taxation?

BHH
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Thank you GOP

for finally voicing your position.

This method of voting was used for annexation of the Buckhead area into Atlanta years ago.

It is a manipulation and watering down of voters strengths in separate and less populated municipalities.

It strongly favors the larger more populated areas and bullies over the smaller areas (like Fayette county).

The politicians in our area who will support it only represent a minority of special interests and not the greater good of the general population.

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