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We Can't Trust Elected Officials to Do the Right Thing

As the campaign for TSPLOST heats up, our elected officials are not representing us very well.

During last fall’s campaigns for both Roswell and Alpharetta City Council and mayor offices, every single candidate expressed opposition to the TSPLOST. Now that the vote nears and the governor and speaker are in full campaign mode to support it, these same candidates, now officeholders, are refusing to take a public position. 

One candidate, after representing her opposition as a candidate and her neutrality as an officeholder, was overheard at a private function urging everyone to vote for the TSPLOST.

It seems the lure of the honey pot of new tax money is incredibly strong.

It also seems that Brian Kemp, the Secretary of State, has joined the pro-TSPLOST campaign. Legally, the SOS has authority over ballot language and even though the specific language for the TSPLOST issue is specified in HB277 as:

( ) YES

 

( ) NO

 

 

Shall _______ County's transportation system and the transportation network in this region and the state be improved by providing for a 1 percent special district transportation sales and use tax for the purpose of transportation projects and programs for a period of ten years?'

SOS Kemp felt the need to insert the following preamble above the HB277-specified ballot language: 

“Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion with citizen oversight.”

I certainly wouldn’t question his right to do that under the law, but I can sure question his ethics in doing so. The claim that it creates jobs is very questionable and has been knocked down by Politifact. The claim that it reduces traffic congestion is ludicrous on its face. As for citizen oversight, a quick reading of HB277 leads one to understand that the Citizen Review Panel is a politically appointed body with no enforcement power and cannot review projects until they are completed. “Oversight” is nowhere in sight. 

Fellow citizens, I believe it’s time to send our elected officials at all levels a clear message that we expect them to work in our best interest, and to "do the right thing" once elected.

I hope you will join me in voting this monstrosity down.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

ACC-SEC Booster July 02, 2012 at 06:32 PM
The plan by the political and business establishment in North Georgia is to expand the road network in the region as little as possible so as to eventually motivate Metro Atlantans and North Georgians stuck in gridlock to get out of their cars and ride proposed network of future rail transit lines that are planned to crisscross North Georgia mainly by way of the region's network of existing freight rail lines (like the CSX-W&A freight rail corridor that runs parallel to I-75 into Northwest Georgia through Cobb County and the existing Georgia Northeastern Railroad line that runs parallel to I-575 into the North Georgia Mountains through Cherokee County) and a few selected busy surface streets (like Peachtree St; Roswell Rd in Buckhead, Sandy Springs & North Fulton; Buford Hwy in DeKalb and, of course, Cobb Parkway which might work much better as a super-arterial with untolled local lanes and tolled express lanes between the I-75 interchange in Northwest Atlanta and the Red Top Mountain area just south of Cartersville in Bartow County). Here are a couple of links that might give some insight into the type of comprehensive rail transit plan that the political and business powers-that-be are pushing this area towards eventually: http://www.dot.state.ga.us/travelingingeorgia/rail/Documents/CommuterRailMap.pdf http://www.dot.state.ga.us/maps/Documents/railroad/nga_passenger.pdf
ACC-SEC Booster July 02, 2012 at 06:55 PM
The irony is that the rejection of this increasingly-unpopular T-SPLOST referendum by politically and socially-polarized Metro Atlanta voters (conservative OTP suburbanites and exurbanites vs. liberal ITP urbanites) will likely push the region even closer to being a rail transit-heavy region along the lines of a Northeastern/Northern city like a Washington DC, Chicago, Toronto (all three of which, by way have infinitely-better road networks than severely road infrastructure-challenged Atlanta) New York or Boston as, even though the proposed Atlanta Region T-SPLOST is severely-flawed, its rejection will cause already-scarce roadbuilding funds to be even more severely-scarce because the legislature built a poison pill into the T-SPLOST legislature that will penalize any region who votes rejects the T-SPLOST by requiring local governments within that region to pay 30% of the cost of state-funded roadbuilding projects instead of only the 10% that is paid now, meaning that all state-funded roadbuilding projects will triple in cost for local governments.
David Fige July 02, 2012 at 11:16 PM
That is one of the Biggest problem that like the health care law, either you play and go along with this majorly flawed mega Billion Dollar plan or your going to get "Taxed" The SCOUS already said the States can't be penalized( cutting medicaid funding), so don't you thing now the president has been set, that wouldn't be challenged too ? When you put a penalty in a tax law you just opened a can of worms that doesn't cut it any longer...
JC Resident July 03, 2012 at 01:39 PM
It's hard to argue with it because it makes assumptions, is fraught with misspellings, and is generally nonsensical. -- "majorly flawed" - just how? It can only be assumed that you are not on VA, medicare, or medicaid, and love HCA, Humana, BCBS, State Farm, or your company plan that gives your company far more tax breaks than you receive in benefits. -- "go along ... or your going to get taxed" It's "you're" or "you are" and either you left off the period after "Taxed" or you wrote a run-on sentence where the meaninglessness is only outweighed by your cluelessness. -- "SCOUS" - if you are referring to the supreme court, it is SCOTUS. -- "already said the States can't be penalized( cutting medicaid funding)" Cite case, and please explain if "cutting medicaid funding" is or is not penalizing the states, and if so, how. -- I do not "thing" the "president" has been set. I THINK you might mean "precedent," but it's hard to tell. -- "When you put a penalty in a tax law... can of worms ... doesn't cut it" --- congratulations! you have possibly written the silliest statement about taxation that I have ever read! It appears David Fige has lost a lot of brain cells from inhaling carbon monoxide while sitting in metro Atlanta gridlock. Help protect Mr. Fige's brain from further CO damage! Vote YES for HB277.
Truthseeker July 03, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Larry Welsh, Or should I call you Mr. Mostest ? For people to post you should've actually passed 4th grade spelling and grammar. Perhaps people will be embarrassed at their ignorance. Notice I did not say stupidity. You can fix ignorance with knowledge. You can't fix stupid. It's kind of like believing in a corrupt and incompetent GDOT and voting yourself a tax increase. A tax increase that will do nothing to improve traffic. Like people who have amnesia when it comes to promises made to taxpayers about the GA400 tolls coming down. Or the fact that Fulton County/DeKalb County will be paying for MARTA maintenance through 2 different taxes. A yes vote would be just plain stuck on stupid.

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