I got an e-mail recently from Lee May’s office concerning the lack of rail service into South DeKalb. What was nice to see was his lack of enthusiasm for an additional penny to fund transportation improvements in the metro. Here are a few excerpts. Though he has not come out against it, it seems the tone of this e-mail suggests that we should take a long, hard critical look at what is being asked of us versus what we are getting in return.
First his argument against “Bus Centers”
It is also noted that one of the residents, though disappointed about the rail projects not being funded was quoted as saying “…I think it would have been much more beneficial than premium bus service because it’s already harder to provide an incentive to get people on a bus than it is with a rail line.” This has been one of the many reason for supporting funding for the I-20 East Rail project. Bus service, albeit, bus rapid transit service, is still buses —- which equates to still sitting in traffic.
The promise of rail decades ago
Proponents of the project list will say that DeKalb residents are getting $1.6 Billion from the total $6 Billion allocated for the region. On the surface this might sound like a great deal: for a mere additional one cent tax you get $1.6 Billion in roadway projects (minus the $700M for the Clifton Corridor project) — but no rail. You will receive Bike/Pedestrian improvements. But no Rail. And you will receive bus rapid transit — but again, no rail. Over thirty years ago, an agreement was made with the taxpayers of DeKalb and that agreement was in short, “pay the one percent sales tax and rail will be constructed throughout DeKalb.” Thus far no new rail projects in 20+ years have been constructed in Central and South DeKalb — Central and South DeKalb have been left alongside the road.
His question to residents
Review the list. Yes, there are roadway improvement projects in Central and South DeKalb but the crux of the issue is: does Central and South DeKalb continue to pay a one percent tax and not get rail?
Road improvement projects, in effect, are road widening projects and intersection improvements are to accommodate more traffic. South and Central DeKalb will have great roads that will continue to be clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic. South and Central DeKalb will not be in a position to get people out of their cars and on to rail for another 40 years
These seem like reasonable grievances to me. Buses must be complimented by other forms of transportation including light or heavy rail. Buses are at the mercy of traffic conditions like any other road vehicle. Unless the buses have an exclusive right of way that no other traffic can enter into, then it is not a solution. I don’t need to speak about the promise of rail. If rail (light or heavy) goes out into Cobb or Gwinnett, we are truly being shafted. And to me that what this penny boils down to. Are we getting our money’s worth?
See the full text here of the May’s mailer
I just checked the SOS site, and most of the numbers coming in for the 4th are from Rockdale. Liz has a commanding lead over 2nd place Larry Gause. Hank has a greater than 2 to 1 lead on Vernon Jones who is leading Connie Stokes by just 3 percentage points
From SOS site
these numbers prob represent North DeKalb as South DeKalb is always late. Not looking good for vernon. Liz is pulling away with 7% reporting
|Republican Candidates||Votes||% of Votes|
|Lisbeth “Liz” Carter||1,038||58.2%|
|Democratic Candidates||Votes||% of Votes|
|Hank Johnson, Jr.||638||56.3%|
I am checking multiple sites for results including Fox5Atlanta which is the best site for results in terms of layout. All races are on one page. now i am waiting to see which sites gives latest most accurate update.
Did anyone see any of the candidates for governor in S. DeKalb this cycle. I cannot remember any one showing his/her face.
as I drive around South DeKalb, one thing that really gets me fired up is the amount of trash that seems to flourish on public streets, parks and in parking lots of private business. I was at home this past weekend working on a project in my garage when a car drove into our cul-de-sac. Like any normal person I watched the vehicle and was shocked at what happened as the car turned around in the circle. On of the passengers tossed a bag of trash out of the window onto the street. He didn’t do it quick as if not to be seen, but he dropped the bag without a care as to who may be watching. I, of course, walked down and picked the bag up and put in my trash can. This was not the first time I had seen someone toss trash out of the window without regard to what the trash does to the neighborhood. My best friend tossed some fast food trash out of the window of his truck one day, and when I called him on it his response was “better on the street than in my truck.” His attitude was one that I find too prevalent in black communities I have been in. Tossing trash out of your car is acceptable in too many areas in South DeKalb.. The idea that it littering is OK is devastating to the pride of those who live in these communities. One hallmark of when you have left the “bad” area is that the amount of trash on the streets decreases exponentially. My parents taught me when I was young that trash goes in the trash can. It does not belong in the streets, it does not belong in your car, and it does not belong on the floor. If I have trash in my truck, I put it in a bag that I have designated as the car trash bag. When I am able to, I put that bag in the trash. Whether it is at my house, or at a gas station or some other business. Littering is a quality of life issue. It harms no one, but it can devastate a neighborhood none the less. Maybe the county should double the fines for littering. Our litter laws are probably enforced only when you have been found to be doing some other ill, but doubling the fine would definitely grab the litterbugs attention
in a previous post, I said I would put forward the details of any candidate that is attempting to take Scott’s seat. Well a challenger has stood up. His name is Michael Frisbee, and he has a website setup that says he is running for the 13th congressional seat in Georgia as an independent. I mention this because a small slice of South DeKalb is represented by David Scott. Frisbee says he is running as an independent, but some of his positions has a sort of “lets take back America” feel to it. I always get nervous when folks start saying lets take back America. Who are you trying to take America back from? Hell why would you need to take something back that you own lock, stock and barrel. Seems like its code for “let’s put these people back in their place. Anyway, I don’t think he will be able to unseat Scott. But stranger things have happened. I am still waiting on that contender who can replace Scott.
Gause is not garnering a whole lot of fans on his page at Facebook. He seems to send updates every other week or so. His last was January 22nd. I do know this much, he is a true republican, no doubt about that reading some of the postings on his wall. He comes across to me as an anti-abortion, fiscal conservative and anti-Obama Republican. That aside, he has posted some informative stuff such as free tax service from the United Way, and this little piece – Today we observe the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King and his vision of equality for all. Let us also acknowledge the contributions his widow Coretta Scott King had in making this day possible 15 years following MLK’s assassination. She sacrificed much to support her husband as he fought to end the plight of many. – which left me a bit surprised, but was glad to see someone acknowledge King’s other half while celebrating MLK. As for his Twitter account, he has been non-existent since his announcement about joining the 4th district race back in August of ’09 He does have nine follower though.
I like the way Ms. Carter is working her social sites. Her Facebook fan page is constantly updated with her latest visit to one group or another. She then backs that up with tweets to her Twitter friends. She has fresh lively info that lets you know exactly what she is doing, and where she will be soon and her position on current events. I don’t know if she has a professional doing this, or is doing it with the help of her kids, but she is miles ahead of the others when it comes to connecting to the voter in a digital way. She has 755 fans at her Facebook fan page, and the number will increase significantly as we head into the summer months. At her Twitter page, she tweets about everything she is doing. She tweets before she meets with a group, then tweets afterwards letting us know she enjoyed their time. I like the fact that she is following some 115 persons as of today. I bet that number rises as well. She seems to want to connect to her constituents and be as informed as possible about them. If she had a (D) behind her name, she would give the other (D)’s run they would not soon forget.
You would think that the incumbent would have a sleek, well ordered, and efficient setup. Well you would be wrong with Hank. He needs to light fire under the social media guy/gal, whose only job is to monitor such things, and keep his Facebook/Twitter stuff up to date. His Twitter page is pedestrian. He should change the default to something else. He is following 113 people, but should have more than 18 followers. His last tweet was late January. Unlike Liz Carter, he does not give you a blow by blow account of his comings and goings. That may change if he feels that he is getting some pressure from his challengers. His Facebook page gets regular updates, mainly press release type stuff and is much more interesting than his tweets. He does have 539 fans so far, and his fans are active on his page, giving him their support. As an incumbent, he can afford to come to the game late, but not too late.
Vernon came to the game late. When I first posted a listing of the various candidate sites, only Connie Stokes was less visible. Vernon’s fan page was empty, and he had one tweet to his credit. His still has that one tweet, but he has gotten a few followers since then, though they have nothing to follow right now. Vernon has taken his Facebook profile up a few notches. He still has a ways to go to reach Hank or Liz, and he can start by getting some updates out there. He already has 152 fans, and I am pretty sure they, like I would like to see more info about his campaign and his positions on some issues. Hell, he could just browse on over to Liz Carter’s Facebook/Twitters sites and take a cue from her. After all he doesn’t need to re-invent the wheel.
southdekalb.wordpress.com: Barnes Sutton says she spent $69K on campaign: From Atlanta Unfiltered
Can you loan yourself 69k to run for poli… http://wp.me/pHXWP-1O
1. Housing market rebound. We got hit so hard that I wonder if we will ever recover.
2. better restaurants in S. DeKalb. I am tired of driving past fast food and chicken wing joints. How about a decent pizza joint, or Mexican, or soul food with some atmosphere. It is a shame that we have to drive as far as we do to get a decent sit down restaurant that doesn’t sell chicken wings.
3. People, cut your damn grass, uh, I mean weeds and do some maintenance on your house. It doesn’t cost much to keep your weeds cut and wash the mold spores off the sides of your house.
4. Some real development on Candler, Glenwood, and Columbia drive. I am tired of strip centers that have two nail shops, a barber, and the requisite liquor store. Lets see some independent clothing shops, or some startups in technology or entertainment related business, Like comedy clubs, or Jazz clubs, but no strip clubs. Add some real housing stock that will appeal to different types of folks, not just peopel looking for a cheap place to live.
5. Rail service from MARTA. Ain’t gonna happen, but I can wish.
6. Move parts of S. Dekalb not in the 4th congressional district back to the 4th. It seems odd that some S. DeKalb residents are living in the 13th district, Just doen’t seem right.
7. Better schools. Ours are abysmal.
8. For that guy at 285 and Flat Shoals to win the lottery. Its hard to ignore him, because he looks genuinely needy, but in the back of my head I think he is scamming us.
9. That the mall would be demolished and redeveloped. It has run its course. Don’t let it die and sit empty for years like the old Avondale Mall. Redevelop it now and get ahead of the curve. Make it small shops, similar to Edgewood, and add some housing or something.
10. Last but not least, I wish that DeKalb Police would give better policing to the area. We pay taxes just like the other parts of the county, we deserve better policing especially since we are riddled with the most crime.