Around Town: TSPLOST talk, with a focus on ‘Steak and Peas’
by Otis Brumby,
Bill Kinney,
Joe Kirby
Around Town Columnists
May 25, 2012 11:59 PM | 3865 views | 12 12 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THIS GENERATION of Cobb, Atlanta and other regional leaders needs to “step up” instead of “resting on the laurels” of those who came before, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed admonished Cobb’s top business leaders at an exclusive lunch Thursday at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

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.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
JR in Mableton
June 12, 2012
Did you know that Paulding County's most critical project is in Douglas County? Did you know that Douglas County's most critical project is in the city of Atlanta? Where would Cobb be without Atlanta? Wasn't it Hartsfield who played a key role in bringing the Bell Bomber Plant to Marietta? Cobb is not a sovereign nation. We are part of the Atlanta region and need to work toward regional solutions. Even Meridian, Mississippi gets this point!
NO Tsplost
June 05, 2012
Tsplost--Atlanta makes out big, Cobb taxpayers get hosed! VOTE NO! The waste and fraud must end!!!
May 27, 2012
Kasim Reed's comments in support of the TSPLOST are so predictable as to be laughable. His "powerfully delivered" support is based primarily on two projects that primarily benefit the City of Atlanta.

The Beltline Trolley a local trolley that loops through the intown neighborhoods and has little or no impact on our regional transportation issues


The light rail line from the Arts Center Station to Cumberland which is being paid for out of Cobb County's share of the sales tax even though it is located 95% in the City of Atlanta.

So, of course, he supports the TSPLOST!!

He, along with many others (which apparently include the Cobb Chamber) believe that the City of Atlanta, should be the primary recipient of the revenues generated by the proposed sales tax.

And it looks like that is what is going to happen if the TSPLOST is approved.

May 29, 2012
What light rail line are you talking about? Have you even looked at the list you so "expertly" speak of?

Do some research and quit embarassing yourself.
May 30, 2012
@ URKiddingWRONG

Here is a project description of CO-035 taken directly from the Transportation Investment Act of 2010 Final Investment List Project Fact Sheet:

Premium transit service benefits residents of the Region by improving access between CCT and MARTA, and alleviating traffic congestion on major corridors. Contingent upon additional funding, this project may also provide a fixed guideway rail service along a route generally parallel to I‐75/US 41. Phase 1 would provide fixed guideway improvements between Cumberland/Galleria and the MARTA Arts Center Station.


The aforementioned light rail project is also one of the transit alternatives still being considered in the Alternatives Analysis being conducted by Cobb DOT.

This was confirmed as recently as last night (May 29) at the open house that was held to allow the public to review the current projects and modes still under consideration.

It seems that the light rail is not only still being considered, but it is being strongly considered.

It looks to me as if you are the one needs to do your research and homework and quit embarassing yourself.
lets all get tatted
May 27, 2012
This sounds like a joke! Is it still April 1st? Guess we could have a Tattoo Day, with tents set up on the Square, bet people would come from all over!

What a mess!

Oh, by the way, Reed doesn't need to "admonish" us about anything. He should straighten out Atlanta first!
May 26, 2012
Looks like the tattoo folks put their money where their mouth is and actually support the square -- and they don;t seem to be whining about parking and the time limits for parking either.

May 26, 2012
Did the Chamber shoot itself in the foot by declining to let local media, including the MDJ, report on Reed’s talk?

No. What possibly would be gained by allowing that access? Nothing is going to change the MDJ's opposition to TSPLOST (nor its intense dislike of the Chamber). Yes, it would have been front-page news, but if history is any example it most likely would have featured multiple opponents stacked against the "lone" proponent, possibly including some who were not even at the event, with more being said against the measure than in favor.

This way, Reed's "powerful — and powerfully delivered — argument in favor of the TSPLOST" gets heard by his target audience unfettered, the way the speaker intended, rather than through the MDJ's sometimes professionally questionable media filter that tends to reinforce its editorial position within its news stories.
May 28, 2012
The Chamber simply showed its' true colors encouraging Kasim Reed to come and make a pro TSPLOST pitch.

It is an organization that has abandoned Cobb County and thrown its' support behind the City of Atlanta.

David Connell and the Cobb Chamber is marching to the orders of Georgia Power and the power brokers at the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
May 26, 2012
It looks like the Square is going to become a duplicate of Sturgis, SD with all these tat parlors. Maybe we should have an annual biker rally. Bring back Moonlight Spa. That might improve the class of the Square now!
star ship trooper
June 05, 2012
Get with the times OLD Marietta,you can have empty buildings or fancy new places it might be yellow but its nice,

Soooooooooo like it are not they make money in Sturgis and Little 5 points and looks like the Lucky tattoo parlor is bringing in the people.I always see a crowd there which says a lot about the times and just look around you Im betting someone has a tattoo you know. DON'T JUDGE a person by their skin, live and let live

*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides