Following caucuses held in Atlanta last week, all 16 board members who will serve on the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority board have now been selected, including the three who will represent transit districts that include Cobb.
Signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal in May, House Bill 930 creates a new regional authority called The ATL, which is responsible for implementing transit projects across 13 metro counties and ensuring plans connect efficiently across jurisdictions.
Legislation that established the ATL also divided the metro area into 10 transit districts. Cobb is split across three districts: 3, 4 and 8.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was elected to represent District 8, which includes Austell, Mableton and Smyrna in Cobb, as well as part of Fulton and all of Douglas County.
District 3 includes parts of DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties as well as a part of Cobb east of Interstate 75, while District 4 includes Paulding County in addition to much of Cobb that lies west of I-75.
In separate caucuses held last month at the Cobb Civic Center, longtime Georgia Tech engineering professor and Sandy Springs resident Steve Dickerson was chosen to be the District 3 board member, while Todd VerSteeg, vice president and owner of Vermeer Southeast, was selected to represent District 4.
VerSteeg is Cobb’s sole transit district member who resides in Cobb, though he is not the only Cobb resident to be a part of the 16-member board.
Retiring state Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, will be one of the six members of the ATL’s board who are not assigned a particular transit district.
Ehrhart was one of two appointees to the board from House Speaker David Ralston; the other was Charlotte Nash, chair of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle appointed Teddy Russell, co-owner and the president of Russell Landscape; and Mark Toro, co-founder of North American Properties’ Atlanta office. Deal appointed Charlie Sutlive, director of corporate communication at Georgia Power, to chair the board.
GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry will also serve on the board, but as a non-voting member.
The ATL board is expected to have its first meeting sometime next year, but Cobb County’s route to expanded transit options may take not take place for another couple years.
Cobb Chairman Mike Boyce said earlier this month that he no longer anticipates a referendum on the matter in 2019, believing a vote is much more likely to occur in 2021 at the earliest, though would advocate that the referendum be held the next year to coincide with midterm elections. Boyce’s four-year term as chairman expires in Dec. of 2020, and he has declined to say whether he will seek re-election.
The remaining ATL board members are:
* Andy Macke, vice president external affairs at Comcast Cable, for District 1, which includes all Cherokee County and parts of Forsyth and Fulton counties.
* Marsha Anderson Bomar, executive director of the Gateway85 Community Improvement District, for District 2, which includes parts of Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.
* Tom Weyandt, former transportation policy and planning official, for District 5, which includes parts of DeKalb and Fulton counties. According to Weyandt’s LinkedIn profile, he previously served as director of comprehensive planning for the Atlanta Regional Commission before becoming senior policy advisor for transportation in former Atlanta Mayor’s Kasim Reed’s office.
* Lawrenceville City Manager Chuck Warbington, P.E., for District 6, which includes part of Gwinnett County.
* DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond for District 7, which includes parts of DeKalb and Gwinnett counties and all of Rockdale County.
* Howard Mosby, CPA, vice president of faculty contracts administration in medical affairs at Grady Health System, for District 9, which includes parts of Clayton, DeKalb and Henry counties. Mosby will step down from the Georgia House of Representatives before assuming his role on the board.
* Clayton County Commissioner Felicia Franklin Warner for District 10, which includes parts of Clayton, Fulton and Henry and all of Coweta and Fayette counties.