Urging passage of the TSPLOST referendum, Reed cited the contributions and foresight of such past leaders as Atlanta Mayors William B. Hartsfield and Andrew Young, adding that they did the right things even if they weren’t appreciated at the time by much of the public. Hartsfield was turned out of office after putting stoplights on Peachtree Street; and Young “had the bark taken off him” for his support for construction of Georgia 400.
“But can you imagine where we’d be now (in terms of traffic congestion) if we didn’t have 400?” Reed asked the crowd.
Asked to elaborate afterward by Around Town, Reed added, “I believe in the concept of stewardship, and Cobb didn’t get to be great on its own. It got to be great because of a lot of women and men made tough decisions at critical times that resulted in Cobb being one of the most successful counties in the United States. I think similarly, we have some hard problems that need to be solved around transportation issues, road-building and road-connectivity, and I think the notion that we should delay this work is not the right path.”
As for the widespread opposition to the TSPLOST, Reed (who described himself to the crowd as “a centrist Democrat”), told the crowd that some of it “is foolishness from the left, that I can ignore. And some of it is foolishness from the right, which you in Cobb County are better positioned to address than I am.”
ASKED during the Q&A period after his 20-minute talk why the TSPLOST proposal has so little in the way of “futuristic” transportation proposals, Reed agreed there are no such proposals “in the first TSPLOST,” adding leaders felt it needed to focus on “steak and peas” items.
OPPORTUNITY LOST: Reed’s talk took place before a sold-out meeting of 100 or so members of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s “Chairman’s Club,” its CEO-level business networking organization that costs $5,000 per year to join. Also in the audience were Chairman Tim Lee and commissioners JoAnn Birrell, Helen Goreham, Bob Ott and Woody Thompson.
Did the Chamber shoot itself in the foot by declining to let local media, including the MDJ, report on Reed’s talk? Yes. The Chamber was within its rights to restrict the access; and yes, it promises its speakers that their talks will be “off the record” in hopes they’ll be more forthcoming than they might otherwise be.
But there was nothing controversial in Reed’s remarks, as it turned out. It was a powerful — and powerfully delivered — argument in favor of the TSPLOST, and likely would have been front-page MDJ news on Friday had the newspaper been allowed to report it in its full detail.
ANOTHER TATTOO PARLOR is opening just steps off Marietta Square, Unique Ink at 60 Powder Springs St., the same block on which another parlor, Kustom Xpressions Tattoo & Piercing Studio, was briefly open in the summer of 2010. Meanwhile, the Lucky Draw Tattoo & Gallery a block away on Atlanta Street, with its garish yellow lighting scheme, has survived the controversy that followed its 2011 opening. But the question of whether such places are appropriate for downtown remains one of the most polarizing topics in town, based on what AT has observed.
SICK BAY: Recovering from extensive surgery at WellStar Kennestone Hospital, retired State Court Judge Ken Nix.
CUB SCOUTS AND BOY SCOUTS from throughout Cobb County and beyond will converge on Marietta National Cemetery at 9 this morning to continue a longstanding tradition: that of placing a miniature U.S. flag on each of the 19,000 headstones there, followed by a salute by each Scout after he places the flag. … Meanwhile Cub Pack 703 and Scout Troop 703 will be putting flags on the graves of veterans at Kennesaw Memorial Park on Whitlock Avenue at 8:30 a.m., followed by a talk by recently returned Afghan War vet Chris Martin, a Navy lieutenant from Kennesaw.
Also this morning, Marietta Kiwanis Club members led by Glenn Graham will gather at dawn to erect roughly 1,740 flags around Marietta, as they do on every patriotic holiday. … Historian Brad Quinlin will give tours of the National Cemetery at 2 p.m. Saturday and Monday. Cost is $15 per person, with proceeds going to the Marietta Museum of History. Tours are limited to 35 people and start at the main entrance. Quinlin also will give tours afterward of the Confederate Cemetery, should anyone be interested.
As we mark this Memorial Day weekend, we at Around Town hope all of our readers will take the time to remember the sacrifices made by those in our country’s service — and especially those who are now risking their lives in that service.