Is transportation tax question biased?

The controversy over the ballot wording of the transportation tax referendum continues. Many are wondering how and why a “bias” preamble ended up on the ballot when the law is specific as to how the ballot question shall read.

The Dalton Daily Citizen filed this report:

The July 31 general primary ballot includes a regional transportation tax, and if all voters know about the tax is what they read on the ballot, they may believe it sounds pretty good.

The preamble to the referendum says the proposed tax, “Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and improve roads and safety with citizen oversight.”

And that has some critics of the tax seeing red.

Last week, Tax Party groups, conservative activists and others opposed to the tax gathered at the capitol in Atlanta to demand the preamble be removed from the ballot, saying the language was biased in favor of the measure.


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One thought on “Is transportation tax question biased?

  1. Telecommunications infrastructure says:

    Untie Atlanta advocates asked for an alternative to blowing $8B on a 5% decrease in commute times.

    The solution to untie our region’s traffic congestion is by voting NO to develop the 157 transportation projects that will reduce commuting time less than 5% on average. The projects will not address our notorious bottlenecks significantly, and spending $8B will accomplish precious little to reduce commute time and fuel consumption.

    The single project that will fix the traffic problems, make us more productive, save on all the fuel becase we are not driving to work, and we never have to waste even a minute of our lives again commuting is: Videocommuting.

    The Future of Atlanta depends on real technology advances, real leadership, real solutions.

    In a stroke of genius President Obama’s advisors recommended Roosevelt era “shovel ready work” to stimulate the economy…. The problem then and now is that the smartest guys in the room weren’t. The concept was right; the technology was wrong. President Obama and his advisors chose to build out the ancient technology of transportation infrastructure (a $1T mistake not just $8B) rather than telecommunications infrastructure.

    This is the 21st century; have you heard of the technology economy, how about the creative economy, how about considering that the majority of the jobs you hope to bring to Atlanta are white collar, high tech, and finance jobs… not service sector jobs, not manufacturing, and furthermore you want to sell a quality of life second to none, and according to Untie Atlanta the traffic problem is the main QoL issue now and into the forseeable future.

    The way to accomplish that is to be a responsible government, take your ounce of flesh with your tax, but please do not squander it on transportation infrastructure that will be obsolete before it is started. The future, the transformative and responsible growth of Atlanta and America is doing what corporate America is unwilling or unable to do and in the best interest of the citizens who have paid for it.

    To the point:

    It is telecommunications infrastructure Atlanta needs to invest in, not transportation. $8B over 10 years to lay fiber and light currently dark fiber will bring the bandwidth required to effectively change the work paradigm and increase Atlanta’s and Americas productivity by 20-30% and most importantly take knowledge workers off the roads and into the home office. You can never build enough roads to accomodate moving the majority of the workforce from the suburbs into and out of the the city center core. The objective of business is to get the highest productivity out of their knowledge workers, which is best accomplished by their staying at home and without ever getting into their cars.

    The business and the economy of Atlanta is powered by ideas, we need to move ideas, not people.(tm)

    Instantaenous collaboration, communication, coordination, and control through the enabling technology of very high speed broadband internet called FTTx ((Fiber To The x) where x = home, business premesis, government office and the desktop) to empower video commuting through teleprescence telecommuting. That is a mouthful so lets break it down:

    Telecommuting is not what we are talking about. Telecommuting only works right now for a few courageous managers and their self starting employees. The problem has been that most managers have been “peter principled” into their positions and have no formal management training and hence have no idea what metrics to apply to an employee they cannot see or trust…
    Teleprescence removes the barrier of (distrustful) untrained managers and non self starting (slacker) employees by giving the manager a Jetsonian view into the employees home office and with a whole array of new collaborative tools that allows the manager and coworkers to view, review, collaborate with each and every subordinate instantaniously, and even simultainiously while at the same time talking face to face. The most important thing to understand is that 93% of communication is non verbal ( which requires the high definition video on a big screen (42″ minimum to appear life like at distance of 3′) and high fidelity audio with surround sound so that the mind believes the two of you are in the same room together.

    The enabling technology is very high speed internet access required for teleprescence to work. The underlying technology needed is not the RBOCs DSL over copper nor is it the DOCSIS of the cable companies it is Fiber to the Desktop. The issue has always been “the last mile”
    which is the most expensive for the RBOC’s and cable companies to provide. This is where the government needs to step up with a shovel ready project that will provide Atlanta with a “future proof” economic engine that could. (I think I can… I think I can).
    Fiber is a future-proof technology that meets the needs of today’s users, but unlike other copper-based and wireless last-mile mediums, also has the capacity for years to come, by upgrading the end-point optics and electronics, without changing the fiber infrastructure. The fiber itself is installed on existing pole or conduit infrastructure and most of the cost is in labor, providing good regional economic stimulus in the deployment phase and providing a critical foundation for future regional commerce.

    1) Spend the $8B to lay fiber to every home, business, government office to a 60 mile radius from the capitol dome.
    a) This is called the last mile which no commercial entity wants the burden or capital expense.
    b) This creates new public sector jobs, new skill sets to lay, test and maintain fiber optic infrastructure
    c) Build out the infrastructure with fiber (FTTx) which easily accomodates up to 14 Tbit/s (thats real fast)
    d) Teleprescence only requires about 50Mbs up and downstream. (3x current cable upstream capabilities with DOCSIS)
    e) Fiber is impervious to EMP

    2) Tax incentives to business’ to encourage keeping your best and brightest off the roadways and working a full 8 hours from the comfort of their own home ( in their recently built home office (further stimulating the construction industry).

    3) The more knowledge workers that maximize their days by NOT contributing to the rediculous concept of spending an hour commuting to an inner city office from the suburbs to sit down at a desk and work at a computer that they could have been at an hour ago the better…. the issues of business continuity aside, why would your risk management officer allow your best and brightest to risk being in an accident (1 out of 10 will be(quote DOT stats here)) when they could be in the safety and comfort of their own home in the suburbs… why would you risk your human capital by concentrating them in an office building making your business and them a target?

    4) Some will think that this is a disruptive technology, the reality is it is a transformational sustaining innovation for knowledge workers, allowing them to accomplish more (20-30% increase in productivity (study link here) , retain control of their lives (not give up two hours of their lives a day, and the frustrations involved in a commute), reduce the cost of being employed (reduced / eliminated gas and maintenance of vehicle or public transportation costs to get to work) lowered insurance for fewer miles driven, no parking costs and frustrations with Park Atlanta), spend more time with friends, wife and children. list rest of telecommuting benifets here…. then list business benifets here

    5) Weiners and Losers or who wins if you vote YES and who wins and who loses if you vote NO

    Yes Winners
    GDOT, Office buildings in downtown and midtown and Buckhead, Road Building companies, restaurants and other vendors of food, parking lots, Vehicle Fuel suppliers (Saudies and Energy sector suppliers), who funded the whole Untie Atlanta campaign,

    NO Winners
    The citizens now have access to the world at the highest speed current technology allows empowering the edX world and KahnAcademy and the transformational educational paradigm, Terristerial Telecommunications companies (RBOC’s &Cable companies), anyone using the roadways to move commerce that are not now clogged with knowledge workers, Famlies that have their parents at home 500 extra hours a year, local businesses because you have your community business’ in the suburbs, all the new jobs created to lay and test and maintain the fiber infrastructure, construction workers building out home offices, IT departments, tech workers rewiring houses and configuring the teleprescence systems, big screen TV manufacturers, teleprescence manufacturers, CISCO, Nortel, Polycom, computer manufacturers, multi screen video card manufacturers, Office supply companies to supply all those home offices, IT security companies, Cloud services, first movers in the office buildings that embrace Hoteling, National security, a host of software manufacturers that can now provide solutions to Utilities that can now be read instantainously to alert the owner and the utility of any unusual usage patterns (water pipe broke, peak power usage charts, smart refridgerator to automatically order items you are low on, to be delivered by concierge service or PeaPod like service, etc, and ohhh did I mention the business that gets a 20-30% BOOST IN PRODUCTIVITY from their knowledge workers…

    The future is here if we embrace it and use this tax to fund real technology advances, through real leadership, with real solutions.

    We need business and political leaders who see Atlanta’s and America’s bright future starts with vision and courage.

    VOTE NO to building transportation infrastructure. Let the horse and buggy go the way of the horse and buggy.

    We NEED telecommunications infrastructure, to move ideas at the speed of light ™.

    Downtown Atlanta contains over 26,000,000 square feet (2,400,000 m2) of office space; combined with Midtown as the central business district they make up over 48 million[15] sq ft, more than the CBDs of Dallas[16], and Miami.[17] Downtown’s economy is also driven by its government facilities, venues, and retail options. at 100sq ft per office this is enough room for 480,000 office workers.. even at 200sq.ft./office that is still 240,000 office workers. You cannot build enough roads to accomodate the office workers, their support staff, the butchers the bakers the candlestick makers…. not to mention the city, state, county and federal workers traffic counts 75 at ns 106K cars 85 at 400 124K cars

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