I am pro-TSPLOST. We have a choice to move forward, to stand still or perhaps go backward.
We are facing tough times locally, nationally and globally. These tough times have many of your readers, and I dare say staff panicking and losing site of the type of visions that made the Atlanta region the leader of the South. I remember from my childhood when Georgia was nicknamed the “Empire State of the South.” I remember when Mayor Hartsfield had the vision to build an international airport in Atlanta. An airport that is now the nation’s busiest and one of the most important assets of the Southeast. Imagine if the naysayers had convinced him Atlanta was too small and unimportant for his airport?
When Chairman Ernest Barrett first proposed water and sewer treatment plants for Cobb and the large-diameter water supply pipeline making a huge circle just inside Cobb’s borders, did the MDJ print the negative columns about his idea as the ones being printed today? It was a very bold idea at the time but we would have been up a dry creek with no paddle during recent droughts had he been persuaded otherwise.
I remember in the 1980s when Gwinnett had to stop issuing building permits because it ran out of sewer capacity. Cobb then attracted a great deal of development from Gwinnett.
For us to have a great transit system such as Charlotte or Phoenix, we have to take bold steps now. Maybe the benefits will be slow in coming, but our grandchildren, living in a prosperous and progressive community will respect us for the foundation we built for them. I think the days of Cobb being a lily-white bedroom community are long over. We are a diverse community in every way that I know.
And our growth and visionary leadership started with another bold step: Getting the Air Force to agree to locate Air Force Plant 6 here; in the middle of cotton and corn fields without adequate electrical service, running water or sewer systems. But as you know and have written about, it happened!
Since I first voted in 1969, I don’t think there has been a more critical vote than the one today. I have voted to keep moving forward and be the leaders in the area that we have been. I hope you and the MDJ are as well, but it isn’t visible.