With a view to correcting a misstatement attributed to me by this newspaper on the July 31 TSPLOST referendum, let me offer some perspective and expectation.
First, given the dynamics and diversity of Metro Atlanta, I dare say there will never be a perfect plan. It’s a small miracle that 21 elected officials after almost 10 months of deliberations could come up with a unanimous vote on the final list. That speaks volumes for cooperation facing a Herculean task. Imagine for a moment, the state delegation representing the metro area trying to come up with a passable list.
Second, overall the official plan submitted back to the state Legislature in October 2011 achieves several important elements — balance of project types and scope, reasonable geographic equity, deliverability within the 10-year time frame (if a project is under construction, that counts), cost including contingencies, etc. My expectation from was to identify/agree what the best projects were and then add up the categories, rather than trying to fit them within a matrix.
Third, the oft-cited criticism re congestion relief is extremely short-sighted. Agreed, in its totality, the impact seems ho-hum, but what would it be in 10 years without the improvements? That’s the ‘no-build’ scenario. Also, if anyone looks at the specific project sheets you will find huge improvements in the project locations ... double digit vs. today’s conditions. That’s impactful, but never gets pointed out.
Lastly, the cries — loudly at times by our legislators — about this being the largest tax increase ever in Georgia rings pretty hollow. They knew that when the bill was approved. The math has not changed since 2010. I am still more than mildly confused by the sudden realization about this matter. Was it a deep, dark secret before and only now is seeing light of day? Come on; tell me something a bit more insightful.
Please vote for your considered choices on or before 31 July.
Cherokee County Commission