Were it not for jawboning by the state and local chambers of commerce, plus quite a few hometown newspapers such as ours, the ballot question on July 31 regarding a special added penny of sales tax that will run for 10 years solely for transportation projects wouldn’t have a prayer of carrying in most of the state. It still may not.
Indeed, this area’s voters can be excused for somehow thinking they are voting on a new tax to build a ton of new highways in the Atlanta metro. The pro-tax advertising bombardment has already begun there on TV that spills over into homes in Floyd, Bartow, Paulding and other counties where the fate of local new road projects — not dreams of untangling interstates — are actually on the ballot.
As noted before, rarely has such a major issue been sent into such a hostile environment ... or been so confusing.
First, this is actually 12 separate referenda for various parts of the state. ...
There’s even a “poison pill” in the legislation that won’t show on the ballot: Any region that defeats it will, in the future, have to ante up 30 percent in local “matching funds” to get any state road work done instead of the current 10 percent. Win (pay new tax) or lose (extract more local taxes) the state picks up more transportation money. ...
The balloting deck is stacked against passage in those areas where supporting campaign dollars and feet-on-ground organizational efforts are not overwhelming.
No citizen should really like this proposal as it is a forced selection between the devil and deep blue sea. ...
State leaders have said there is no alternative transportation plan if the TSPLOST is defeated but have already signaled what will happen. ...
Gov. Nathan Deal has warned: “You may not get the General Assembly to be able to delegate that authority back down to local levels of government to participate in the project selection process again, if this proves to be unsuccessful.”
House Speaker David Ralston chimed in: “If it fails, then I think it is going to be difficult to have the General Assembly go back and re-do something that’s failed. I don’t think there’s going to be any point in trying to dress up a crashed car.” ...
Now, would somebody please get into the driver’s seat before this thing runs off the road?
May 8: Rome News-Tribune
Give sportsmanship a chance to flourish
If you played football this timidly, you’d get crushed.
Either play the game or don’t. If you play it, play it right.
The Warren County and Hancock Central football teams, who famously ended their game last fall with an awful brawl — one that seriously injured Warren County coach David Daniel — are scheduled to meet again Sept. 28 in Warrenton. But they’re talking about barring fans, for security’s sake.
What in the world?
What a statement that would make — that we’ve entered some science fiction movie nightmare in which violence is so ubiquitous that it’s too dangerous for fans to attend a sporting event!
We urge the schools not to give up on sportsmanship so easily.
In fact, the schools — the entire Georgia High School Association, even — could turn the rematch into a spotlight on sportsmanship.
Rather than bar fans, urge them to come — and put on a show that drips with sportsmanship. Pre-game, post-game, halftime — it’s an unprecedented opportunity, in the most unlikely of places, to make a resounding statement about civility and sportsmanship.
Warren County school Superintendent Carole Jean Carey, who has suggested the no-fan rule (outside of parents and school officials), is understandably wary. It was her coach that suffered devastating injuries after being hit with a helmet. (Reports conflict on who hit whom and when, and no charges were filed.) Meanwhile, Hancock County school Superintendent Gwendolyn Jefferson Reeves reports being “elated” at the chance to put the brawl behind the two teams.
We call on them to meet in the middle — to be conscious of Carey’s wariness, but to adopt Jefferson Reeves’ forward-looking view.
Between the two of them, we’re certain the game could be used as a turnaround model of hope and sportsmanship — one that the entire state and region could learn from and be inspired by.
May 4: The Augusta Chronicle