North Fulton Tea Party Urges 'No' Vote on TSPLOST
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The Lead Committee of the North Fulton and Friends Tea Party (NFFTea) announces a recommendation to vote “NO” on the July 31, TSPLOST Atlanta Regional Transportation referendum.
North Fulton and Friends Tea Party takes positions on selected local, state and national issues. This is done via assignment of members to investigate and recommend a position to the patrons and leadership.
“After careful review by a sub-committee assembled to study the specifics of the Georgia Transportation Investment Act (TIA) legislation, as well as the Project List for the Atlanta Region, it is the position of NFFTea that we recommend a 'STRONG NO' vote on this referendum,” said Lead Committee member Dianne DeVore.
The committee reported the TIA legislation creates a newly appointed, unelected level of regional governance—above elected local and county representatives---to decide priorities on financial matters and construction. Second, the project list offers a disproportionate percentage of funding (52 percent ) on mass transit solutions that address less than 5 percent - and declining - number of commuters. Even now, taxpayers have to bail out MARTA’s operating budget to the tune of $500 million, plus million dollars per year! Why would anyone recommend expanding a losing transit system?
"The original intent of TIA was to address congestion. Instead, the funding has been hijacked and funneled into pet developmental projects by politicians. The Atlanta Beltline is a prime example of this," Randy Nichols, Lead Committeeman said. "Spending $600 million on this project won’t even put a dent the congestion problems in the Atlanta Region. This project is a total waste of taxpayers resources and its costs should be borne by the developers that will benefit from it."
TSPLOST Committee Chair Jan Barton offers; “By their own admission, the Atlanta Regional Commission and their expert consultants such as Chris Leinberger, indicate this bill will do little if anything to ease traffic congestion. They admit that it is all about real estate development. We need to go to Plan B, which is to make a more realistic list of projects that will actually fix the traffic problem!”
NFFTea recommends defeating the 2012 referendum - which should get the politician’s attention - to refocus on solving congestion in a new TIA with more power given to locally elected officials and a new, traffic solving project list.