There is a humorous story often heard on Sunday from pulpits about a woman stranded in a flood. She had passed up rescue attempts by helicopter and canoe saying that the Lord will see her through. Sadly she drowned and upon her arrival in heaven, she asked St. Peter why the Lord had forsaken her and Peter replied….”He sent you a helicopter and a canoe.”
The discussion during the ACT Community Partnership meeting on the TIA and the vote set for July 31st can leave residents of South Cobb with a choice of voting in favor of a one-percent special transportation sales tax or waiting two years for an alternative plan to be developed with fewer projects and eliminating local economic development projects in favor of projects with a true transportation nature in sited and more equitably disbursed round the county. So should we take the offers of a canoe and helicopter, or wait for a better plan?
There is much to consider when looking at the 157 projects on the ARC wish list and trying to understand how the greater good will be served, traffic congestion reduced, travel times shortened, air quality improved, and business induced to invest and locate in Cobb County. Asking the average citizen to make an informed judgment over the entire initiative is a tall order. There is also the question of true cost when most organizations lobbying for passage of the ballot question admit the 6 billion dollar price tag does not reflect the full long term operational cost over the ten years.
Many involved in the process of project development and setting criteria for project ranking agree further that the heavily weighted political process that got us to where we are today will probably be the same process that will be repeated in two years if the question on the ballot fails. Some projects on the list have been kicking around for years waiting for enough interest and for funding to be committed.
So what would the lady in the story do on July 31st? That’s a good question.
Lawrence King, 5/7/12