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Former mayor reflects on T-SPLOST campaign

Dave Williams

Dave Williams

SUWANEE -- If you followed Dave Williams' Twitter timeline earlier this summer, his tweets might have made Rand McNally stop to catch his breath.

In a 10-day stretch, Williams chatted with a Realtors association in Fayette County, visited a UPS office in Sandy Springs and then attended a GOP breakfast in Gwinnett. For the former Suwanee mayor and now a vice president for transportation with the metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Williams' focus leading up to July 31 was to campaign for a "Yes" vote in the transportation referendum.

Williams, who worked for the MAC Atlanta Sports Council when the 1996 Olympic Games were awarded, called the transportation vote, "an opportunity of a generation."

"There's no guarantee this region will have another chance to vote on a $7 billion or $8 billion plan again," he said.

In the wake of metro Atlantans voting down the measure, Williams said he's still committed to the need to fix transportation problems. But contrary to some beliefs, Williams didn't lose his job.

"I've had people asking me, 'Do you even have a job anymore?," he said last week.

Williams reiterated that the job he currently holds has been around for decades, and there are other regional projects to work on, such as the Port of Savannah, especially when the legislature is in session.

Despite being a former mayor and CEO of a company, Williams said he hoped he learned something about himself during the campaign.

"I hope I've gotten better working as part of a team," he said. "In the past, as mayor or CEO of company, a lot of the decisions kind of ended with me. With this, it's interesting when you're not the person at the top of the chair, you learn perspectives that are more important. I hope I've been a better team player."

For Suwanee residents, while the Buford Highway project was well-known, Williams said the project with the most impact on the transportation referedum project list for Gwinnett residents wasn't even in the county.

"Buford Highway was the closest, but in terms of impact, I don't think Ga. 400/(Interstate) 285 can be overstated as far as its impact on metro Atlanta," he said. "People have business meetings, medical needs and the top end perimeter is really the No. 1 issue that people in Gwinnett County have."

Williams also said he would work more with his counterparts in other Southern cities, such as in Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh, N.C. and Jacksonville, Fla.

"We're teammates much more than competitors," Williams said.

Comments

Don_Coyote 2 years, 1 month ago

"There's no guarantee this region will have another chance to vote on a $7 billion or $8 billion plan again."

I would prefer a guarantee that an unconstitutional taxing "special district" or region as he calls it, NOT have another chance to vote on $7,000,000,000 - $8,000,000,000 of pork.

City of Atlanta = 140% Return on investment.

Gwinnett = 74% ROI

With numbers like that you may as well throw in the Brooklyn Bridge next time.

If Mr. Williams wants to do something for the "region" then get the gas tax funds utilized proportionally to the amount collected by congressional district rather than the equal distribution mandated today. This would bring 35% back into the metro Atlanta area and concentrate road development in the areas where it is most needed. There have been too many roads to nowhere built at metro Atlanta's expense.

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dentaldawg83 2 years, 1 month ago

There should be NO REGIONAL "government"...we lose oour sovereignty with this approach. we elect official to run ourn cities, counties and state. We, the people have no say in a "regional" body and would have been forced to pay for other's improvements without having a say in how that money was spent. Also,the regional approach is a tenent of United Nations Agenda 21 which calls for urbanization of all of us humans in various ways. Any politician here locally that even hints at favoring a regional approach will be voted against by me.

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notblind 2 years, 1 month ago

People like this guy are the enemies of the American taxpayer. They've never seen a tax increase they didn't like.

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BuzzG 2 years, 1 month ago

“It is remarkably difficult to make a man understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.“ Upton Sinclaire

That is why this guy cannot understand why we don't want more government or more taxes.

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JimmyOrr 2 years, 1 month ago

Don_Coyote, dentaldawg83, notblind, BuzzG, your e-mails say it all. Put all four together and same would come close to winning a Pultizer prize for outstanding journalism. BuzzG, allow me to somewhat paraphase your last sentence and say, "This guy "ain't' got a clue."

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SabrinaWorks247 2 years, 1 month ago

Hi Jimmy:

The following comment proves why you are right when you said, "This guy ain't got a clue."

"For Suwanee residents, while the Buford Highway project was well-known, Williams said the project with the most impact on the transportation referedum project list for Gwinnett residents wasn't even in the county.

"Buford Highway was the closest, but in terms of impact, I don't think Ga. 400/(Interstate) 285 can be overstated as far as its impact on metro Atlanta," he said. "People have business meetings, medical needs and the top end perimeter is really the No. 1 issue that people in Gwinnett County have."

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gwinnettisgreat1 2 years, 1 month ago

You know it's funny to me. The people who wanted the TSPLOST so bad all worked for the government. DOT workers, transportation people, zoning board, Mike B. until he realized that was the wrong way to go... and yet, the government workers STILL cry and complain about not getting "it".

I would be ticked if my company didn't land a 7-8 Billion dollar contract either... with that much money do you know what kind of job security I would have and all the toys I could by for "my company."

Government workers never met a tax they did not like.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 1 month ago

One aspect I discovered was that people Inside the perimeter (ITP) were vastly pro-TSPLOST while people Outside the Peritmeter (OTP) were against the measure. In some instances, the mudlsinging was unbearable, but I came away with the impression that the OTPers were a bunch of ignorant, backwoods hicks who had no business discussing issues of governance with the intelligent ITP crowd. That's just my experience.

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R 2 years, 1 month ago

Inside vs. outside? Pretty much explained right here.

City of Atlanta = 140% Return on investment. Gwinnett = 74% ROI

Well the ad campaign “Untie Atlanta!” was a proven failure. North of Macon, it’s just not "all about Atlanta" anymore.

Perhaps, if it had been focused on “Untying GA.”, it may have held a bit more sway. In the end though, it was still nothing more than a northeastern staple of the old “revenue sharing” policy.

Now if folks want to consider a “regional” approach, lets try this first.

Dissolve all city, county governments and services located in the region and then recombine at the regional level. This reduces the total number of redundancies we currently carry. In GA., there are cases where county and city have begun to do just this.

If all the current political office holders are willing to surrender their titles and then campaign for the markedly smaller number of remaining offices, we may just have something…

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