Lawmakers hold post-TSPLOST town hall

2:56 PM, Sep 15, 2012   |    comments
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Alpharetta, Ga. - They helped defeat the multi-billion dollar transportation tax vote a month and a half ago, and then pledged to come up with an alternative plan.  Saturday State Senators Chip Rogers and John Albers said their town hall meeting in Alpharetta was part of that plan.

"The day after the election concluded I had my first meeting on what plan B would be," Rogers said.  "People want to solve traffic congestion, there's no doubt about it.  But the idea that has to be done with a multi-billion dollar tax increase was one the people soundly rejected."

Rogers initially backed the TSPLOST legislation until he pulled his support before the vote.  Saturday he pledged to help form a plan that would solve the traffic problem without raising taxes.

The friendly group of about fifty attendees seemed to agree with his approach, and offered their own ideas.  They included encouraging telecommuting, timing traffic lights, relying on engineers instead of politicians for project lists, and consolidating redundant state agencies.

"Communication is key in any relationship you have, especially with government," said attendee Tanya Roberts on the importance of town hall meetings.  "If the people don't get their say, then the system has failed."

The legislators said details of their strategy would come later on in the process, but another statewide vote was unlikely.  Albers said they would begin working on the new plan as quickly as possible 

"Immediately," Albers said.  "We go back into session in January, so I think we can get to work right away to start making some changes."

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