“I do not expect to file suit,” he told AT, adding however, that the wording remains “a major cloud” and that “everybody will take a harder look at it if it passes.”
At issue are the words added by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp saying that the TSPLOST “provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion with citizen oversight.”
Kemp told AT, though, that the law required him to write a preamble.
“I had to do it by law,” he said. “People are mad, but it’s in the legislation. Whether they like it or not, the law says I had to write it.”
Carr, however, says he finds no such requirement, nor is one obvious to “laymen” reading the law in question. AT asked Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens whether he was familiar with the requirement in question; but in return, was merely emailed a copy of the law by Olens.
Said Kemp, “I think people against the TSPLOST are firing a bullet at anything they can. Again, if you don’t like the legislation, you’re probably not going to like the preamble.”
TSPLOST SUPPORTERS might find a ray of hope from the observations of a south Cobb Democrat running for state office this summer, who said support for the TSPLOST was “very mixed.”
“It is probably the number one question I am asked about,” he said. “Everyone seems to be OK with the concept, but they are not sure about the project list or the governance structure. I find it interesting that most of the heat seems to be directed at the local officials and not the General Assembly.
“I have heard feedback — and understand that I am knocking on Democrats’ doors — that people are disgusted that (state Sen.) Chip Rogers and (state Rep.) Ed Setzler could create the TSPLOST, champion its passage and then turn on it once it became unpopular. Chip is probably getting the most disgust from folks I talk with. I think that they are dismayed that he seems to be getting a ‘free pass’ from the Republican Party that supported the bill and is still trying to support it.”
The candidate said feelings in his district break down like this:
* “White senior voters “hate it,” which is not surprising”
* “Young white voters are very supportive of it”
* “African American voters are very supportive, regardless of their age and regardless of opposition to the measure from the NAACP”
* And “union members are against it” because it does not have enough “guaranteed dollars” for rail transit, as opposed to bus transit, he said.
“I would probably ballpark it that of the informed voter, it is probably a 50/50 split. And understand that the vast majority of folks have no idea what it is. When you incorporate that factor and assume that the uninformed vote will tend to be a ‘Yes’ vote (given the ballot language), I would put it at about 60 percent in favor, 40 percent opposed.”
TWO COBB COUNTIANS heavily immersed and at opposite ends of the TSPLOST question live next door to each other in east Cobb. And despite their differences, they’re still neighborly and on speaking terms.
Political newcomer and retired Marine Col. Mike Boyce, who is hoping to unseat Tim Lee and become the next county chairman, has long opposed the TSPLOST and believes residents should vote it down so that a new list of road projects that relieve traffic can be brought back in two years for another vote.
His neighbor, native Cobb Countian Michael Paris, is CEO of the Council for Quality Growth and vice president of the Metro Atlanta Voters Education Network (MAVEN), the group that has sought to “educate” the public about the TSPLOST across the 10 county region.
Around Town invited both to pose for an MDJ photographer at their mailboxes, but both politely declined for the time being.
“We just think it’s more appropriate to focus on the campaigns that we both are in, and once that campaign is over then we can address the subsidiary issue of how we came about to work with each other to agree and not to agree,” Boyce told Around Town. “I talked to Michael yesterday afternoon. We really are genuinely over-the-fence neighbors. Michael brings his dog over here on Sunday, and our dogs play. We’ve been talking about TSPLOST for months, and we’ve known from the outset that we’re on different sides. I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We respect each other and whatever outcome happens we’re going to work with it.”
Likewise, Paris said he preferred to focus on the campaign for the present.
A FORUM for Cobb Superior and State Court judicial candidates will be at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Cobb GOP headquarters, 799 Roswell St. The MDJ’s Dick Yarbrough will ask questions with Cobb GOP chair Joe Dendy as moderator.
A forum for commission chair candidates is set for the same time and place on Wednesday, with the MDJ’s Joe Kirby, WSB’s Ross Cavitt and the AJC’s Janel Davis as panelists. Dendy says he hopes the questions focus on something other than TSPLOST, which he says has almost overshadowed the chairman’s race. … candidate Mike Boyce will only participate in the first 45 minutes of the forum, then depart to attend a fundraiser hosted by Ed and Mary Ettel and Dick Clarke at the Sibley Forest Subdivision clubhouse. …
The Cobb Young Republicans will have a meet-and-greet for all candidates at 7 p.m. Thursday at Johnnie McCracken’s.
Chairman Tim Lee will be the speaker at Saturday’s 8 a.m. breakfast meeting of the Madison Forum at the Rib Ranch on Canton Road in east Cobb. The group has previously hosted the other three candidates for chair.
LONGTIME Marietta Councilman and downtown land czar Philip Goldstein tells Around Town he is supporting Lee, who he said has maintained far better relationships with Cobb’s cities than Bill Byrne did during his decade as chair (1992-2002).
“Lee’s a consensus builder. We need to keep moving forward, and Bill Byrne was not a ‘moving forward’ kind of guy,” Goldstein told Around Town.
THE COBB DEMOCRATIC PARTY will host a forum next Thursday for congressional, Cobb commission and school board candidates from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Cobb Government Building. The event will be simulcast on Cobb cable TV 23.
THE COBB CHAMBER has announced its Leadership Cobb Class of 2013. Its members are: Mark Adams, Vinings Bank; Vicki Aghajanian, LGE Community Credit Union; Maryclaire Andres, Promo Photo; Paul Baker, Sterling Risk Advisors; John Berry, St. Vincent de Paul Atlanta; Allan Bishop, WellStar Health Place; Michele Bruce, IAG Forensics; Amber Camilla, First Landmark Bank; Diane Cherry, The Cherry Law Firm, P.C.; Faye DiMassimo, Cobb County Department of Transportation; Crystal Euress, Nationwide Insurance; Nicole Faulk, Georgia Power Company; Dusty Gunn, Sunrise Senior Living; Laura Ann Hart, Quickie Coupons; and Raymond Jarrett, Delta Community Credit Union.
Also, Tim Kelley, Blue Sky Exhibits; Steve Kennedy, City of Kennesaw; Chris Knife, Chattahoochee Technical College; Kenan Knight, Ashton Staffing; Jeff Krall, Hardin Construction Co.; Adam Langley, Croy Engineering; Wanda Lee, Cobb EMC; Rob Leonard, State Court of Cobb County; Sally Macaulay, Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art; and Ryan Mahoney, Georgia Chamber of Commerce; Jodi Martin, ARCADIS; Dave Miska, Lockheed Martin; Denise O’Connell, Crace Galvis McGrath; Ashley O’Neil, Futren Corporation; Dennis Pastor, WellStar; and Michele Pearce, CredAbility.
Others include: Lindsi Pearson, America Cancer Society; Debbie Ponder, Suddath Relocation; Mike Quinlan, Henssler Financial; Amanda Richie, Cobb School District; Matt Ricks, Bank of North Georgia; Josh Rowan, Jacobs Engineering; Tammi Saddler, City of Smyrna; Robb Scott, Life University; Garland Smith, ONEsource Facility Solutions; Debbie Smith, Kennesaw State University; Bryan Stephens, Cobb and Douglas Community Services Boards; Arthur Vaughn, Southern Polytechnic State University; Briggett Washington, Georgia Alzheimer’s and Dementia Foundation; April Wright, 524 Creative; Kimberly Young, RGI, Inc.; P.J. Zonsius, Gas South.
Leading the Class of 2013 are Co-Chairs Steve Byrne of Mauldin & Jenkins and Cheryl Musial of Mopdog Creative + Strategy, along with Vice Co-Chairs Tracey Atwater of the WellStar Foundation and Greg Teague of Croy Engineering.