More T-SPLOST games

Terry Garlock's picture

I have a few thoughts to add to my column last week on T-SPLOST.

Sunday morning provides a number of TV choices for political updates. One of those is The Georgia Gang, a roundtable discussion of local issues among four regulars, two conservatives and two liberals.

As you might predict, T-SPLOST is an escalating topic on this show as the July 31 vote approaches, and one of the liberals, Jeff Dickerson, is a constant and strong advocate of T-SPLOST.

In a disappointing lapse of integrity, Dickerson never discloses that he is a paid T-SPLOST lobbyist. Dick Williams, the show’s host, does point it out now and then in his counter-point since Dickerson doesn’t have the character to make his own disclosure. But I am working toward a different point.

Dickerson, who is always armed with a ton of T-SPLOST talking points, let the cat out of the bag Sunday in his fervent argument.

Out of frustration with reluctant voters, in a heated moment Dickerson said that the transportation project backlog in the 10-county area is a whopping $66 billion, and that the tiny $7-8 billion T-SPLOST we will vote on July 31 is only the first step and we must get started now!

If we don’t, Dickerson says, then Atlanta is going to lose large employers to competing cities like Dallas and Charlotte as they move away to flee traffic congestion.

Really? If Chicken Little were available to help promote T-SPLOST, I’m not sure his clucking about doom on the horizon would add anything to the caterwauling we already hear.

The talking heads on The Georgia Gang are all Atlanta-centric, and none of them countered that if any of these fine companies do move out of Atlanta, they might move to Alpharetta or Carrolton, or maybe even Fayette County on the south side where traffic isn’t quite so congested.

Well, the now bagless cat confirmed what many of us suspected. Like many of you, I fear that T-SPLOST is far more than a 10-year 16.67 percent sales tax increase in Fayette County, that once we start down that slippery slope of partnership with Atlanta and the other counties, there will be no turning back even after 10 years.

But I thank Dickerson for disclosing the $66 billion estimate being pondered behind closed doors. That’s a pretty long, even if slippery, slope to ride, especially since the traffic problem is focused north, not south of Atlanta.

Maybe I’m the skunk at the garden party, but I think maybe companies considering their escape from Atlanta might be considering factors other than the marginal, immeasurable difference this T-SPLOST will actually make to employee commute time or truck delivery times.

They might be thinking about a bloated and ineffective city government. They could be searching for a work force that focuses at least as much on education and work ethic as it does on diversity. They may be concerned about safety in a high-crime city where thugs prey even on Georgia Tech students scurrying between classes and trying not to be robbed of their iPads.

Maybe some of those businesses are weary of a dysfunctional city that launches boondoggles like the new Peachtree Street trolley project, the one they scrambled to throw together to qualify for “Obama-bucks” stimulus money so that farmers in Nebraska can help pay for this new toy.

You would never know these are hard times considering the Atlanta city budget setting aside $90 million to create this retro rail trolly line with overhead power lines, running 2.6 miles and 12 stops.

I wonder how the city of Atlanta plans to keep these over-priced trolleys attractive to tourists and free of the same armed thugs who accost MARTA passengers and Georgia Tech students? I wonder how much just continuing to use buses would save, anyway?

I’m no expert on bus vs. rail, but I can do math and am told the MARTA rail line proposed from Lindbergh Station to Emory University and the CDC is 4.5 miles with an estimated cost of $700 million to build, never mind operations and maintenance.

That works out to $155.6 million per mile, about 60 times the $2 to $3 million per mile to create a bus system.

Am I the only one that sees the inherent advantage of the flexibility of something on wheels that can go wherever the steering wheel turns? Does anyone at MARTA notice their ridership is declining? Can nobody at MARTA use a calculator?

Despite the dishonest way it seems T-SPLOST is being advertised, I am not bothered as some are that T-SPLOST advocates are spending $8 million to promote a YES vote. That is private money contributed by corporations and groups that have an interest at stake, and there is nothing wrong with that.

I am bothered, however, that well-known Atlanta companies have recently been criticized for “informing” their employees of the virtues of T-SPLOST in a way that smacks of coercing their YES vote. That goes too far in toeing the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce line, stretching ethical standards to the limit.

“What would YOU do?” is Dickerson’s challenge to T-SPLOST doubters. Well, now that voters are paying attention, I would start by voting NO to this turkey on July 31, then be prepared to take another, more sober and rational, look at regional transportation issues.

I would start by separating transit and roads, letting each stand or fail on their own merits. I would allow each county to opt in or out as their voters choose.

Those are just for starters on plan B, but I’m only one voter and I don’t expect anyone in authority will listen to me.

Personally, even if the regional authorities were to stretch disbelief and retool as I suggest, I think we in Fayette County should come to agreement on whether we want to be partners in paying for transportation issues in Atlanta and northward.

Whether that answer is yes or no, there are arguments on both sides and they should be thoroughly aired. In a perfect world.

If the T-SPLOST vote fails, promoters should at least learn this one thing. When you push the hard sell and try to cram T-SPLOST through, you are only tipping your hand that something in the plan doesn’t bear up under close scrutiny, and you are setting aflame voter mistrust that, with very good reasons, always lies just beneath the surface.

On the July 31 T-SPLOST vote, that mistrust is very well placed.

[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is terry@garlock1.com.]

moelarrycurly
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GRTA Xpress bus operational expenses have just been recommended

by Gov. Deal to be paid out of the state budget for the first time ever. Just when we thought we had stopped the madness with the vote down of the TSPLOST last July, now we ALL (the whole state) get to pay for the busses to run to/from Newnan, Union City and more.

This very quiet little article in today's AJC spells it out. 8 million buckeroos for the rest of this year, 12 million for next year. Guess what it will be 5 years from now.

Notice the mention of MARTA.."not yet"..but that's coming. We will be shelling out state taxes for that in a few years, too. What will become and endless pit of wasted dollars.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-funding-for-xpress-a-revolution/nWYrn...

Way to go, guvnor.

moelarrycurly
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WHALE WATCHING WHILE YOU DINE

USING MARTA's TAX DOLLARS IT CLAIMS TO HAVE SO FEW OF!!!

THE HYPOCRICY OF IT ALL, THE SLAP IN THE FACE TO US TAXPAYERS IN SMALL COUNTIES LIKE FAYETTE!!!!

VOTE NO, NO AND NO ON THE TSPLOST!!!!

TONIGHT, FROM 6-9PM PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION CONF. ATTENDEES DINE ON MARTA TAX DOLLARS AND DRINK AND HAVE WOLFGANG PUCK CATER THEIR DINNER!!!!

http://www.apta.com/mc/transitboard/program/Pages/BoardMembersProgram.aspx

The Truth Will ...
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Any idea who from Fayette County is attending

Any idea who from Fayette County is attending this grand event on the back of enslaved taxpayers??

istilldontknow
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Are you serious?

Did you know that government officials wasted OUR TAXPAYER MONEY to go to conferences and networking seminars to learn what's going on in the industry! They can't use any of our money on any of that stuff at all, can they?

Let's see, other boondoggle associations our government is involved in:

1. GMA - it's just a bunch of lobbyists anyway (www.gmanet.com)
2. ACCG - same thing, nothing but a waste of resources that could be spent managing our county
3. APWA - just a waste of public works funding
4. GFOA - you would think Finance officers would know better!
5. Don't forget software conferences, firefighter and police conferences, etc. NONE of those have dinners at fancy places or anything of the sort!

Oh, and did you mention that to get into this conference, here's what these boards had to pay!

Board Member Registration

$695 per person - on or before June 22, 2012
$745 per person - after June 22, 2012

Board Support Registration

$595 per person - on or before June 22, 2012
$645 per person - after June 22, 2012

Spouse/Guest Fees

$125 per person - includes Welcome Reception and closing lunch

Hmmm...I wonder how much MARTA really is spending on this, versus just having their name on it to help support it and, perish the thought, bring in a conference to our town!

Shut 'em all down!

moelarrycurly
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Serious? Oh well, maybe

Shut'em down? Now there's a plan.

Oh, and how many of those listed above are begging for millions of tax dollars on July 31st? How many?

The boards had to pay? And where do the boards get their money?

Oh, yes, let's just find out how much MARTA spent on this, shall we?

conditon55
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Taxpayers Pay for all Roads and Subsidize the roads...

Taxpayers Pay for all Roads and Subsidize the roads by purchasing our own vehicles and yes is is a subsidy to the transportation system. To that add that we pay for road maintenance, our vehicle maintenance, our own fuel, our own insurance because you are not allowed to drive with out it and all of the state DVM infrastructure. If I add all of that up, mass transit cost are not out of line with any modern road system.

But all of the columns I read, it is all some emotion based hoo hah about mass transit. Like there was never a deserving intelligent citizen that ever wanted to ride a bus or a train.

Transit done right requires planning. Long term planning. Why ? projects are big bucks, the project take time to execute. There is a long queue of projects already in line.

What is lacking in Atlanta is execution against a good plan. Georgia has good plans, we just do not execute to them. And the funding for the operation or Billion dollars investment is MARTA pitiful. No wonder people are frustrated with MARTA.

But 16 lane of traffic and grid lock at mid night is not the answer for anywhere where people want tot like work drive and survive.

Fix the politics in Atlanta to get good over sight and planning. Then fix the funding problem with something other than TSPOLST. and make a good system. For Georgia.

Davids mom
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Fix Politics?
Quote:

Fix the politics in Atlanta to get good over sight and planning.

Who are you talking to? From the comments in this newspaper - no one in Fayette County has fixed the politics here!

Have2Wonder
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Who to listen to?

Hard decisions for a guy who just wants to get through the 74/85 intersection in less than 30 minutes on my way to work based on a funding plan that could actually build it in less than 20 years. Don who doesn't know the difference between the Secretary of State and the ARC? or Clark Howard who seems to have some actual knowledge and a reasoned position? Steve Brown with his esteemed resume and history of seeking the controversy or the leaders of the most successful businesses in both atlanta and fayette county? The rabid or the rational? The author who distrusts all government or those who recognize only governments build roads? The executives at UPS who have more to gain from a quicker commute than most OR the newly elected mayor of Fayetteville who sees evil in all taxes but the ones that pay his salary? The good in articles like this and the responses lies in seeing the logic in some information providers and the paranoia and conspiracy filled minds in the other. It's making my decision easier.

efdrakejr
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More Info

Here is a very good informational paper that Fayette County put together that answers all kinds of questions on projects, funds generated, time frames, etc. It is well worth every voters time, pro or con, to see what we're really getting.

http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/road/pdf/FayetteTIASummaryPackage5-14-12.pdf

Don Rehwaldt
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TSPLOST

Great insight and thoughtful thinking by most who are posting (one major exception). I don't usually get involved in comments via newspapers; but, I must share a message I received from the Atlanta Regional Commission when I wrote the following to them concerning the TSPLOST preamble on our ballot:
"Your information is so disingenuous! Nowhere in HB 277 does is say anything about jobs. The preamble on the ballot is not in consonance with the Bill. And spending 53% of projected revenues on mass transit, with no plan to maintain same, and a predicted 3 to 5% of the populous using mass transit is ludicrous. Regional Government is just a step toward Agenda 21, sustained livability and ICLEI programs promulgated by the United Nations. I will continue to work daily to counter your $8 million dollar advertising."
ARC's response was to justify the preamble by citing a section of the Bill that had nothing to do with the wording of the ballot and the cited reference was to be included in delivery of draft investments to the local governments.
There was NO mention of the 53% of revenue collections for mass transit, the predicted low ridership or Regional Government control.
With only two weeks to go, I am continuing to bring FACTs to anyone I meet and will listen. I encourage all those who have voted "No" or will be voting "No" to contact as many of your friends, neighbors and acquaintances and enlighten them.

efdrakejr
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SoS not ARC

The ARC did not create the preamble, the Secretary of State's office did so you are probably fortunate to get a response at all...particularly after spewing that ridiculous Agenda 21 drivel. I think I made it to every Regional Roundtable meeting and not once did ANYONE EVER mention the United Nations or Agenda 21. I know this is hard for conspricacists to believe but the people on the roundtable really wanted to provide congestion mitigation, increased lane capacity, public safety and economic development which is what the bill calls for. Last time I checked, job creation counted as economic development.

MYTMITE
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Gov. Deal and more T-SPLOST games. Boy, the powers that be

must really be running scared. Since so many people have pointed out that one of their reasons for not believing T-SPLOST backers when they said it would only last ten years was the way the 400 toll was handled. Years later people are stil paying the toll. Today our esteemed governor comes out and says there shoud be trust and promises should be kept and he is removing the toll! Even though he had made that promise when he was running and it was later stated that he did not have the authority to remove said toll. How is it now suddenly possible?

Since the slick ads, embedded posters, etc,. have not worked they bring in the big gun and remove the 400 toll. Now we are to believe that this will ensure that the T-SPLOST will end in ten years; that all pronises will be kept. Still doesn't guarantee how the half finished projects will be completed or that the costs will not double and triple as has happened in other instances. They are counting on us being so stupid that we will fall for this trick. Sure hope we prove them wrong. What a crock!!

moelarrycurly
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400 tolls and Deal and Kaseem Reid & Clinton

This is politics at it's nastiest. This is Kaseem Reid the other day having his screaming hissy fit in front of the all black Atlanta Business League, who he bullied into endorsing the T-splost right before this speech. They had refused to endorse it until he put the screws to them, Obama style. Listen to all 13 minutes of this speech. Do you hear one word about the roads in the counties around Atlanta? Heck, no. How much do you hear about MARTA? Do you hear one word about any benefit to any county other than Fulton & DeKalb?

http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2012/07/17/atlanta-m...

This announcement by Deal was done under threat by Kaseem to Deal that he would make sure not one black owned business would give him a penny to get re-elected governor next term, if Deal didn't remove the 400 tolls, which the polls have shown is the biggest reason why those who commute from the north side will not vote for the T-splost.

This announcement by Deal was done under threat by all the hundreds of lobbyists who got big, big dollars out of the huge corporations that do business in Atlanta to support the T-splost, to not give a penny to Deal for any re-election campaign he would need to finance in the future.

Read below:

http://www.traffictruth.net/index.php/2012/07/press-release-tsplost-dono...

The fact that Kaseem came out with his hissy fit 2 days before Deal made his announcement to remove the toll on 400 is NO COINCIDENCE.

How many voters do you think who live on the north side of Atl and use 400 will now vote FOR T-splost? Enough to pass it? Think Kaseem hasn't learned anything by hanging with the dirty politico from Chicago, his bud, Barack Hussein Oabama? Think Obama didn't sic Bill Clinton on Kaseem (listen to his speech above) to get this deal passed???

This will be the biggest dirty tax ever passed in the history of Georgia. And that has a very high bar to hurdle.

efdrakejr
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Dirty Politics

It looks like the dirty politics is coming from your very own source, traffictruth.net.

http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2012/07/18/your-morn...

efdrakejr
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Do You Bother To Read...

...or do you just spout your opinion with no basis in fact? I provided the link that explained why he couldn't remove the toll immediately and still you ask, "How is it now suddenly possible?" Also, please provide projects, IN GEORGIA, that have doubled or tripled from their original cost. Being a blowhard doesn't count as constructive debate. Come with some actual facts and data for a change.

Just for your benefit, I will post the article again plus the National Cooperative Highway Research Program study that shows GDOT is number one in the nation and delivering projects within budget and number two in the nation at delivering them on time. I suspect you won't bother to read them but hopefully some of our more open-minded brethren will.

http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2012/07/19/nathan-de...

http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP20-24(37)A(01)_FR.pdf

johenry
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Dear Mr. Drake

Funny how Gov. Bad Deal didn't make that announcement until it looked like the T-SPLOST was falling off a cliff!

We don't trust any of you guys.

efdrakejr
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400 Toll

Governor Deal, who inherited the extended tolls and couldn't take them down for three years due to penalty on the bonds, announced today that they will come down in December 2013, four years ahead of what then-Governor Perdue had planned.

http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2012/07/19/nathan-de...

Spyglass
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Timing

this is funny stuff.

Frankly, I my opposition to Tsplost rests on the monies that are going to Marta, that and I don't think a sales tax is the way to go to raise money for roads.

That said, I still think a gas tax is the best route. For anyone who has ever traveled I75 and I95, let the Yankees pay on their trip to the beach. :)

moelarrycurly
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funny stuff

Those 2 highways are just for Latinos to run drugs to the native-born here, right? :)

efdrakejr
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Visitors Pay

According to the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, visitors to the metro region will pay about 15% of the TSPLOST (go Yankees...and everyone else).

Also, here is a take on why increasing the gas tax is not the best approach.

http://www.connectgeorgia2012.com/sblog.php?b=3

ginga1414
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istilldontknow Is Obviously

a politician or a lobbyist!

istilldontknow
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Mistrust

Some say that we need to let private business stimulate the economy - government needs to make things easier for businesses to do their jobs.

Huh, wasn't that what happened with the financial mess? We didn't regulate, businesses and banks tanked, and the government had to step in to fix things.

So, how do we invest in our crumbling infrastructure?

OK, let's get rid of ALL recreation - it's superfluous and just a money pit - we never get back what we put into it.

We should cut public safety - crime is low, and it will stay low because we're all such good people...oh, what was the home invasion last week in PTC?

And we need to cut the administration of the government - there's too many highly paid clerks and managers - and if we do all of that, the street repairs will manage themselves, just like the stormwater did for all of those years when the builders put in the pipes 50 years ago and no one performed any maintenance on....

Oh, there's a better plan for transportation improvements - but when plans were put together in the past few years, there was no public input whatsoever!

Yeah, you folks sure whine a lot, when you could have fixed all of it by PAYING ATTENTION AND PARTICIPATING IN YOUR GOVERNMENT ALL ALONG.

I'm voting for the TSPLOST, because something is better than nothing.

And I'm NOT voting for Barlow, Ogino, Bacallo, Marchman, and those they associate with, because I believe their platforms are going to harm the County in the long term by trying to placate the people in the short term.

Politicians need actual guts - sometimes they have to make hard decisions - MAKE THEM. Raise my taxes; I can take it, and so can those who say they can't. Build the roads and plan for the future.

Folks, the bill is due. Start paying up. The people I mistrust the most are you, the citizens.

S. Lindsey
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Uh...No
istilldontknow wrote:

Some say that we need to let private business stimulate the economy - government needs to make things easier for businesses to do their jobs.

Huh, wasn't that what happened with the financial mess? We didn't regulate, businesses and banks tanked, and the government had to step in to fix things.

But I wouldn't expect you to understand that..

taxed too much
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T-SPLOST

Another way for inept politicians to waste your money. Vote No.

stranger than f...
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More Words?

In candid disclosure last week, Mr. Garlock confessed very limited knowledge about transportation issues, but nevertheless submitted a long essay on the topic. After watching a 30 minute TV program, he is now informed enough to add another 1,079 words on the topic. If he watches the movie “Cars,” perhaps he will be qualified to write a whole book.

tgarlock
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Stranger, since subtlety is lost on you . . .

. . . I'll spell out the obvious to relieve you of having to think. TSPLOST is such a mess, even voters like me without transportation credentials can figure out the con game in this hard sell.

Terry Garlock

stranger than f...
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Thanks Mr. Garlock

And it only took you 34 words and no points copied from Steve Brown! Congratulations.

S. Lindsey
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TG agreed

Everyone I know and everyone I meet we have one mantra.. JUST SAY NO... to more taxes.

skyspy
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Just say No to Tsplost

Most citizens are telling our local ATL metro area politicians to take a flying leap (hopefully without a parachute).

The best example we have of our local politician's moral compass would be the GA 400 tolls, you know the tax that was going to end after the road was paid for.....Rrriiiighhht. Do they really think we are going to fall for that lie again? Fool us once shame on you, fool us twice shame on us. Vote no. Since the GA 400 tax is still in place they can use and abuse that money to give themselves big raises.

There are other cities in GA that are more viable for growth and business and they have airports that are easier to get in and out of. Let the crooks of ATL rot. It's time we did move on in GA to Columbus, Macon,& Savannah.

swilli1055
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T-SPLOST

Voted early, Voted No

MYTMITE
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For those new to this site, Mr. EFDrake is an ongoing proponent,

a paid or unpaid lobbyist for T-SPLOST.

Mr. Drake, may I suggest you look at number two on your list of how the T-SPLOST can be extended? What is to stop the legislature from jumping right in there and extending this fiasco when after ten years it is all too apparent that the things that were promised have not been completed and the money needed to continue those that were completed? And don't bother talking to us about promises, we all know how good politicians are at keeping them. The smart move would have been to remove the tolls from 400 and then at least they could have pointed to that and said that it may have been extended but "Hey, look, when it was feasable we took it off." But then greed does always supercede good common sense. So, all your arguments are falling on deaf ears. And as for Mr. Garlock, evidently you have not read many of his articles---I don't think Mr. Garlock can be swayed by anything but accurate facts-and to date those really have not be forthcoming from those pusing T-SPLOST, have they?

Robert W. Morgan
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Right on Terry. Suburban growth could be the winner July 31

As I said elsewhere, the result of a big NO vote - which is most likely - will not result in all the doom and gloom that the AJC and other are predicting. Instead drivers and commuters will make changes or not as they see fit. Changing jobs, moving closer to an existing job, etc. - all individual decisions.

But the real change will be when the companies downtown discovers how thin the available talent pool is for the jobs they do have. Obvious conclusion - move to the suburbs as many banks and law firms have already done. Same deal for companies looking to relocate to Atlanta, they will do the research and settle on some location outside the perimeter. Atlanta (meaning the region) and all its advantages exist outside the perimeter - work force, climate, access to Hartsfield plus some advantages that exist only outside the perimeter - low crime, mild traffic. Exhibit A - you don't see a Home Depot high-rise building downtown, you see a campus in Vinings.

No end of the world scenario after the NO vote, just adjustment. Of course downtown Atlanta will be a lot like Detroit, but even in Detroit the suburbs are fine.

The downside for Fayette in all this is that we are not being serious about attracting businesses or jobs. We have this quasi partnership between Peachtree City and Fayette Development Authority that is destined not to work. Our leadership at the city is, um, let's just say not exactly focused on the big picture. Maybe that will change - soon I hope. I do know that on August 1 after the transportation tax goes down for the count - and permanently, some companies will start considering a move to the suburbs and some suburbs (cities and counties) will be there to accommodate them. I know for a fact Henry County is preparing a very aggressive business recruitment plan that is based upon the outside the perimeter facts I stated above. Shouldn't we be doing the same thing? Clearly we are a better choice in every way (except for interstate access for trucks) over Henry County.

efdrakejr
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10 Year Tax

Mr Garlock, I'm afraid you are falling under the spell of the Minister of Misinformation (Steve Brown for those new to these pages). Please see page 24 of the link below and read Reimposition of Tax and you will see that to renew the tax, the following things have to happen:

1. A majority of the counties in the region must ask for a new referendum.
2. The legislature has to pass a measure allowing for a renewal.
3. A new project list has to be determined in the same method it was this time.
4. A majority vote of the citizens of the region must approve it.

Jeff Dickerson is right. There is a $66 billion backlog of projects and, truth be told, the tax probably does need to go for more than 10 years. But the law is as I stated it above and peoples' opinions on whether or not it should, shouldn't, will or won't be extended are inconsequential to the law.

http://www.dot.state.ga.us/localgovernment/FundingPrograms/transreferend...

tgarlock
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Mr. Drake, I'm not under anyone's spell . . .

. . . I think for myself. I've been to enough rodeos to give birth to my very own mistrust of government. That doesn't mean people in gov't are bad, just that human nature makes us, when given a position of authority, too eager to create rules, regulations, taxes etc. to control the lives of others. I like what George Washington said: "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

I've been burned enough times to know that at the end of 10 years there will be a thousand compelling reasons to continue or raise the tax to fund ongoing projects. If the law prevents that, I would bet the farm the legislature will figure out a way to get it done, with a new law or otherwise, much like the GA 400 toll booths remain open.

You say Jeff Dickerson is right about the $66 billion regional backlog in transportation projects. Don't you and other TSPLOST advocates think you should have been honest about this with the public all along? There is too much sleight-of-hand applied in trying to cram this TSPLOST vote through, like Jeff Dickerson debating on TV without disclosing he is a paid lobbyist for the referendum.

You should disclose frequently, too. Just my opinion.

Terry Garlock

G35 Dude
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Mr Garlock

In another forum I asked Mr Drake a simple question. He must not have seen it since he didn't respond to me. So maybe you can answer for me. The question is according to The NAACP the Federal funds listed as helping with these T-SPLOST are not guaranteed. Is this true? And if so what would happen to money collected by this SPLOST for projects that don't receive those funds?

tgarlock
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G35 Dude, the specifics of federal matching funds . . .

. . . I just do not know. Frankly, the system of Washington collecting our money and then doling it out to their favored dancing bears who do the right tricks makes me nauseous. Why should farmers in Nebraska and miners in Appalachia pay for a portion of a project in Atlanta, especially since the incompetents running that show can't control the money they already have and can't be trusted to contract for services in an honest and effective manner?

So, chalk up to me a spoiled attitude regarding funding from Washington, I really don't care about it, and I'll take my critics' lumps for not knowing or caring.

Terry Garlock

efdrakejr
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NAACP Position

I read the NAACP position and found it to be so laughable that I ignored it and, therefore, didn't research your question but I'll give you my thoughts.

1. Only a small percentage of the projects are getting federal matching funds.
2. The 18.4 cent federal tax is not going away any time soon so there is no reason to be concerned that federal funds are going to dry up all of a sudden.
3. Our U.S. Representative, Lynn Westmoreland, supports the referendum because he believes that we will actually get MORE federal funds if we show Washington that we are willing to step up to the plate and take care of some of our problems ourselves (kind of a variation of God helps those who help themselves).

S. Lindsey
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So just where does those Federal Funds come from...

Oh yeah.. TAXES.

So Mr. Drake let me ask you should the Citizens in Fayette pay for say a parking lot in Peoria or a new Waste water treatment plant in Wichita?

You see when you start feeding from that trough there is nothing to stop others from making you eat slop.

efdrakejr
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Federal Funds

I disagree with the idea of sending so much money up to the feds so they can dole it out as they see fit. At its best, it's inefficient. At its worst, it's infringing on the 10th amendment. But I'm not in a position to solve that issue, or world peace, or a nuclear Iran or many of the other issues that need to be addressed. Luckily though, we are all in a position to help solve metro Atlanta's traffic mess and contribute to rejuvenating the economy. I'm sorry if I'm not willing to solve everything at once but I'm pretty busy on this traffic thing.

Vote YES for Transportation on July 31st!!

S. Lindsey
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Oh Thank You Mr. Drake
efdrakejr wrote:

I disagree with the idea of sending so much money up to the feds so they can dole it out as they see fit. At its best, it's inefficient. At its worst, it's infringing on the 10th amendment.

So this is the very reason to VOTE NO on this because Federal funds are tied into it..

Once you accept the chains Mr. Drake it's hard to complain that they chaff a little.

efdrakejr
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Chains

SL - Those chains have been on us for a long time and maybe with a Republican House, Senate and President something can be done to loosen them (although nothing was done last time we had full control). I applaud your willingness to fight the greater war but I'm going to fight battle by battle and right now, the battle for me is fixing one of our major problems here at home which is our traffic mess.

grizz
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Speak for yourself, Eugene
efdrakejr wrote:

Luckily though, we are all in a position to help solve metro Atlanta's traffic mess and contribute to rejuvenating the economy.

All of us are NOT in a position to have our taxes raised by 14%, which is exactly what the TSPLOST does. It will not "rejuvenate the economy". It will just make a bunch of concrete supplier fat cats rich.

Nothing is stopping you from "contributing", Eugene. You can give all the money you want to the government.

George Cole
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T-Spolst

If everyone is really serious about elevating the terrible traffic around Atlanta there is one solution that could also apply to Fayette county.
ENFORCE THE TRAFFIC LAWS. Cite those that started driving in some third world toilet that have no clue about etiquette and how to use their damn turn signals..how many tymes have you had some dick weed pull out in front of you without stopping at a stop sign? This could also apply to the sheriff as well as the police departments in the county. make cell phone use whilst driving illegal for the police departments as well.
Every one knows that when it's raining there is not one law enforcement officer that will make a traffic stop because he does not want to get out of his car. This is especially true inside I 285..

Who really cares? Just keep your head out of you ass and keep alert..It ain't going to get better..

MajorMike
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George Cole - enforce the traffic laws - good observations

Let us also not forget the large number of inconsiderate motorists that habitually occupy the far left lanes of any multilane highway while driving at 5 tp 20 MPH less than the posted speed limit.The problem is so bad that one can stay within the posted speed limit and still travel 5 to 10 miles faster than the passing lane by simply staying in the right lane. Highway 54 is the hardest hit in Fayette county by this violation.

Motorists driving without their lights on when it's raining is a huge/massive safety issue yet it is allowed to continue totally unchecked for the very reasons you mention; someone is going to have to get their booties wet to get a message across. Fully 15% (and yes I've counted) of all the vehicles in a rainstorm are going to be driving without lights.

I wonder how long it would take us to raise the same amount of money that the T-Splost proposes to generate by simply enforcing common sense traffic laws.

Davids mom
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Driver Education

The cut of this program has caused many problems. One would be led to believe that no one in Georgia has been taught how to use a turn signal!! Speeding regulations are for the old and/or infirmed. Texting while driving is a 'sport' in Georgia. I know MajorMike will be upset - but I agree with him.

NUK_1
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MajorMike: You got that right!

The stretch of 54 from PTC and Fayetteville either way is populated with complete boneheads for drivers and left lane losers. It is now starting to grow and affect 54/34 out of PTC down to Thomas Crossroads/Newnan. What's so difficult to figure out about the left lane being the PASSING lane and not a lane were you drive 10mph under the speed limit and backup traffic? DUH.

Yesterday during the big storm I'd say half the drivers on i-85 didn't bother to turn their lights on despite visibility being almost non-existent. Considering how many cars on the road today have headlights automatically controlled by the vehicle in the first place, it was almost like they shut them off manually. How the hell can anyone be so STOOOOPID? I think getting a driver's license in GA/USA is way too easy and it's become like a "right" instead of a privilege and once you get one, it's basically for life.

efdrakejr
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Traffic Citations and TSPLOST

The TSPLOST will raise $8.5 billion over 10 years. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the average traffic citation is $100, it would take 85 million traffic citations. Dividing that over the roughly 10 million people in GA, law enforcement would need to cite every man, woman and child in the state more than 8 times. Not very likely.

The TSPLOST, on the other hand, will generate the revenue in a much more reasonable and practical approach.

MajorMike
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efdrakejr - math

Sorry Ed, but your (simple) math does not show the whole picture. While a relatively few traffic offenses are penalized at $100, most are considerably more. Let's just say, for the sake of this discussion, that the fine for driving w/o lights in a rainstorm (or at night for that matter) is $100 for THE FIRST OFFENSE. Since it is, or definitely should be, a serious infraction, you simply double it for the second, double again for the third, and keep doubling it until the scofflaw has his drivers license pulled on points or cleans up his/her act. Given that you have a whole bunch of drivers with the "left lane" mentality, nothing is going to change/improve until it gets financially painful for these boneheads. It could be a real windfall for local coffers in the period of time between start of enforcement and the point at which this "bonehead" population figures out that breaking the law and endangering lives can be financially painful. Driving w/o a license/insurance fine should START at $10,000 for a citizen and $50,000 for an illegal since the offender has already demonstrated his/her total disregard for the most basic of traffic codes.

Additionally, if local road improvements were funded from the local economy(s) and you cut out the GADOT middleman with all of the associated graft, corruption, and inefficiency, you probably would need only about half of the $8.5 billion. And ..... if things start getting hinky with the local money, you would always have the options that Fayette County citizens HAVE exercised. ie: Kicking their sorry butts out of office. Please note that the elected officials that supported TSplost in Fayette County (Jack Smith, Eric Maxwell, and Ken "Horse's Butt" Steele, have all been the recipients of the benefits of said option in recent elections.

Whether TSplost is either more practical or reasonable is probably a moot point at this time since, according to ALL recent (reputable) polls, it ain't gonna make it. Support, according to a independent poll commissioned by WSBTV about three weeks ago, was less than 50% and falling in the minority communities in Fulton/Dekalb. And that was as good as it got.

efdrakejr
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I'll Add That To The Others

Wow, that's a neato plan!! I'll add that to the NAACP's plan for more Marta rail (preferably free), the Tea Party's plan for no transit and driverless cars (and preferably free roads) and the Sierra Club's plan for 100% transit (which they seem willing to pay for) and combined we'll have....absolutely no solution whatsoever!! Nicely done!!

The Truth Will ...
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generating the revenue from the enslaved taxpayer

. . . I don't know may be possible in Fayette County alone to generate the revenue from citations, fees, etc. The past 2 months alone, my family of 4, 3 of us have been hit by the county for $$$$!!! Go figure . . . . I noticed on the 2011 County CAFR report, page 95, fees, fines, forfeitures have more than doubled, uuuuummmmm?(from 2,252,351 to 4,461,473) in past 8 yrs, while population has remained steady at 104,000-106,000. . . go figure that also!!

MYTMITE
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Your reasoning would be comical if it wasn't so sad. Talk about

grabbing at straws---can't you just get it, we are not interested in T-SPLOST---we are not lemmings to follow you over the cliff--especially since your road down the cliff will be paved with lots and lots of money made from the roads that we got stuck with.

wheeljc
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On Target Mr. Garlock

AMEN!