Monday, October 19, 2009

Millar On Marta

Rep. Fran Millar (R-Land of Reasonable Republicans) has a fantastic AJC opinion piece laying out the reasoning for a state takeover of MARTA.
This is our one chance to get away from a department of highways and have a meaningful department of transportation. With this new MARTA financial data, any reasonable person must conclude that Fulton and DeKalb can no longer carry this burden alone. I would hope Fulton and DeKalb representatives and senators would agree with me and insist that MARTA be folded into any comprehensive transit solution.
Talk of the state taking over the beleaguered transportation system always makes Fulton and Dekalb nervous. Much like last years "Grady Wars", it is easy to feel resentment from shouldering the burden for decades only to have the Legislature ride in and say "we'll show you how it's done" (looking your way Rep. Ehrhart).

But as Dick Williams noted on Sunday's Georgia Gang (and in a certain way proved my point from last week), Dekalb has a distinct disadvantage in securing federal road dollars by having 1 cent of the sales tax mandated to Marta. Cobb, Gwinnet and others, not hobbled in such a manner, gleefully slop lane after lane of blacktop from the Fed trough.

We are far past time for a regional solution and it is time to put aside old grudges and petty arrogance. If this is the first step towards solving the vexing problem, and as long as grown-ups like Millar are leading, it should be pursued.


rptrcub said...

Here comes Vincent the outraged Fort coming, screaming!

Dave Bearse said...

I support a regional approach, but a state takeover---Rep Millar’s got to be kidding. Underfunded GDOT has alternated between inattention, twisting in the wind, and controversy for the past half dozen years under state control.

It’s ridiculous to relinquish local control of local transportation taxes to a state government when metro Atlanta pays 53 percent of the state’s taxes while receiving 37 percent of the state’s spending.

Dave Bearse said...

Three convincing words on why MARTA shouldn't be under the control of a gubenatorial appointee:

Oxendine as Governor.