Metro Atlanta transportation tax: Elected officials ask regional planners to cut $23 billion list in half

By David Pendered

Four metro Atlanta politicians who are to lead the process of deciding which transportation projects to fund with a proposed penny sales tax today passed the first part of the task to regional planners.

The Atlanta Regional Commission was charged with cutting the wish list of transportation projects in half – from $23 billion to $11.5 billion.

The Executive Committee of the Atlanta Regional Roundtable voted 4-0 to have the ARC take a first pass at the wish list.

The elected officials who voted to have the ARC cut the list were: B.J. Mathis, chairman of the Henry County commission; Tom Worthan, chair of the Douglas County commission; Bill Floyd, mayor of Decatur; and Mark Mathews, mayor of Kennesaw.

The fifth committee member, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, did not attend the morning meeting at the ARC headquarters.

Check back for an update later today.

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

5 replies
  1. Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.... says:

    Burroughston Broch says:

    June 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    “Very interesting that Mayor Reed didn’t show.”

    It may be interesting, but not very surprising. I don’t expect Reed to show up for any of these votes as he wouldn’t risk putting himself in a political position of voting against local projects in outlying counties that his Republican allies at the regional and state levels might have a liking for.Report

    Reply
  2. Burroughston Broch says:

    @ Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?….

    But didn’t Mayor Reed push to get himself included in this committee? And then he doesn’t show. Perhaps he didn’t want to end up on the short end of a 4-1 vote.
    He’s staging himself for another election, and it’s not re-election as Mayor.Report

    Reply
  3. Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.... says:

    @ Burroughston Broch:

    “But didn’t Mayor Reed push to get himself included in this committee? And then he doesn’t show. Perhaps he didn’t want to end up on the short end of a 4-1 vote.
    He’s staging himself for another election, and it’s not re-election as Mayor.”

    Yep! Kasim Reed sure did make a push to get himself included on the committee and you’ve the nail right on the head that he’s likely staging himself for another election to a higher office BEYOND mayor of Atlanta. It’s not necessarily about ending up on the short end or losing end of a vote as much as it is about not taking votes to cut transportation projects that may be very popular locally with his current constituents inside the Atlanta city limits and his potential constituents outside the city limits alike around the rest region.

    Reed will show up to vote, but it’ll be after the list gets down to a point where all of the members have come to a consensus on what’s remaining. All politics, of course.Report

    Reply

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