I thought the SPLOST project lists were built from the bottom up, based on the wants and needs of the public. This time, though, the BIG LIST was assembled by staff and delivered to commissioners who worked it down to an “affordable” total of $750 million. Only after the commissioners are finished will it be available to the public. Built from the bottom up, indeed. I guess we’ll have to wait for the SPLOST list of 2022 to learn what didn’t make the cut this time.
I note that the commissioners will vote later this month to freeze the list and place the item on the November ballot. What’s the rush? We should remember what happened last time we rushed a big decision. Could there be concern that opposition might develop if the public actually has time to study this? We should remember what happened last time we rushed a big decision, also to get ahead of possible opposition.
It was also interesting to read the Commissioners’ comments about including BRT in the plan. Based on an understanding that the public might want to vote separately on any BRT proposal, the BRT items will go on the “B” project list. Forgive me for pointing out what must be obvious, but that doesn’t provide for the public to vote on the BRT separately. It MIGHT allow the commissioners to vote separately on BRT, although even that is not a certainty. You see, no one really knows who, if anyone, gets to vote on projects from the “B” list because the SPLOST law doesn’t say anything at all about a “B” list. The whole idea of having two SPLOST lists was made up entirely by Cobb commissioners and is based on no law at all. Since it isn’t really in the law, the Commissioners can do anything they want, or nothing at all, with a “B” project list.
Should we worry that our commissioners are making up laws on the fly? Does it bother anyone that this SPLOST will plunder $750,000,000 of our money and the entire enterprise is being run by people who either don’t know or don’t care what the law actually requires?
The SPLOST law uses lots more words, but basically it says we vote to raise a specified amount of money to fund a specified list of projects. There is no provision for two sets of projects. Make one list. Collect the amount of money called for on the ballot, then STOP COLLECTING. Produce the projects on that single list of approved projects.