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Gwinnett key to Atlanta regional success, ARC director says

DULUTH -- Gwinnett leaders aren't just needed to keep the county great, Atlanta Regional Commission Executive Director Douglas Hooker said Wednesday, calling on them to help in gaining success for the entire Atlanta region.

"Gwinnett has a key role in how this region is going to grow into the future," said Hooker, who took over the role last year, in an introductory speech to the membership of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

"It is no secret that Gwinnett County has lead our region and our nation in growth and progress the last few decades," Hooker said of a population surge that took the once rural county to become Georgia's second largest. "That kind of success doesn't happen without leadership, vision, planning and determination, traits we must apply going forward."

The county has played a prominent role in the regional agency, which guides issues such as transportation. Former Chairman Wayne Hill lead the organization for two terms, and recently Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson headed a regional roundtable preparing for the upcoming Transportation Investment Act vote in July.

That partnership, Hooker said, is key, since Gwinnett's stake in regional issues like water is huge.

ARC grants have also given $26 million in 14 local communities attempting to create live, work, play areas, which are important for the growing aging population.

"We are doing groundbreaking work here, and you all are at the forefront," he said, adding that the ARC predicts will have a popultion of more than 1.2 million by 2040.

Last fall, Hooker joined the ARC, replacing the retiring Chick Krautler. He has extensive public and private experience in Atlanta, including working as public service commissioner for the city of Atlanta, director of the State Road and Tollway Authority and as an inaugural board member of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District.

In introducing him at Wednesday's event, Nash said Hooker's experience and familiarity with Atlanta would serve him well.

Comments

SuxBeanU 2 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like they are rallying the troops for a full frontal assault on the taxpayers of Gwinnett County in the T-SPLOST/TIA battle. Of course they don't have a plan yet on what they are going to do, but, show us the money and we will throw something together to show the taxpayers that we are trying. With all the outfits swarming around this T-SPLOST/TIA thing with their hands out, will there be enough money left over to actually do any roadwork?

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 2 months ago

"With all the outfits swarming around this T-SPLOST/TIA thing with their hands out, will there be enough money left over to actually do any roadwork?"

Not really. But, you never know, they might be able to fit some roadwork in there at the very end, after the multimillion-dollar consulting and research fees are paid-in-full (many times over), of course.

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jjbod1 2 years, 2 months ago

Yea Gwinnett is a gateway to Atlanta alright. One with a a big troll waiting for you to pay a TOLL to get there. I used to be proud of Gwinnett and bragged about living here. Now its become a big joke. I really think there was a reason for taking down the Success lives here water towers, other than the fact that they where falling apart. Its because this county is also falling apart. Its really sad : (

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 2 months ago

jjbod1: To see a true example of what the regional "powers-that-be" REALLY have in store for the future of Gwinnett County, take a trip in-person (or at least take a look on the web) at Orange County, California:

From Wikipedia: "Orange County is a county in the U.S. state of California. Its county seat is Santa Ana. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,010,232, up from 2,846,293 at the 2000 census, making it the third most populous county in California, behind Los Angeles County and San Diego County.[1] It is the sixth most populous county in the United States as of 2009..."

..."Orange County was at the time the largest US county to have gone bankrupt, when in 1994 longtime treasurer Robert Citron's investment strategies left the county with inadequate capital to allow for any raise in interest rates for its trading positions. When the conservative residents of Orange County voted down a proposal to raise taxes in order to balance the budget, bankruptcy followed soon after. Citron later pleaded guilty to six felonies regarding the matter..."

..."Whereas most population centers in the United States tend to be identified by a major city, there is no defined urban center in Orange County. It is mostly suburban, except for some traditionally urban areas at the centers of the older cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange, Huntington Beach, and Fullerton. There are several edge city-style developments such as Irvine Business Center, South Coast Metro and Newport Center."

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 2 months ago

If you think that this county has become a big joke, then you may not want to stick around because it is well on its way to becoming a total NIGHTMARE. The overcrowded schools, the once-vibrant declining suburban shopping centers and close-in older suburban neighborhoods and apartment neighborhoods around them, the illegal immigration, the overdevelopment, the shady land deals, the severe traffic congestion and the gridlock, it's all only going to continue to get exponentially much worse.

Just as Orange County, California straddles the very major West Coast transcontinental highway I-5, Gwinnett County straddles what has evolved into a very major highway I-85, which is a major link between the mineral rich industrial Gulf Coast and the highly-populated Northeastern Megalopolis, a major link which has evolved into one of the busiest drug, gun, money and human smuggling highways on the entire planet because of its strategic connection between the illegal drug supply areas of Mexico and Latin America and the highly-lucrative markets of the U.S. East Coast (Massachusetts to Florida) where illegal drugs are in increasingly high demand.

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R 2 years, 2 months ago

Apparently, you always talk up the rich uncle or aunt when you want to get to into their wallet.

Gwinnett, hang on to your purses and at least demand we get dinner first...

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, R, but, as usual, this one-sided transaction between Gwinnett County taxpayers and greedy self-serving politicians and land spectulators will, once again, not be of the "lubricated" sort, if you know what I mean (which, unfortunately, a lot of Gwinnett taxpayers know EXACTLY what I mean).

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NewsReader 2 years, 2 months ago

I've never quite heard it worded that way...LOL...hysterical.

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R 2 years, 2 months ago

Another reason to be wary

"Atlanta’s economy – primarily its employment and income gains over the last year – were so anemic that the city came in at No. 189 in the think tank’s list of top 200 global performers. Atlanta shares a particularly déclassé neighborhood filled with the likes of Richmond (No. 191), Madrid (195) and Athens (200)."

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 2 months ago

Now everone, repeat after me:

WE'RE NUMBER 189! WE'RE NUMBER 189! WE'RE NUMBER 189!

We are NOT the champions!

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 2 months ago

Just another chapter in the continuing local saga that can best be described as "The Art of the Shady Land Deal":

""It is no secret that Gwinnett County has lead our region and our nation in growth and progress the last few decades," Hooker said of a population surge that took the once rural county to become Georgia's second largest. "That kind of success doesn't happen without leadership, vision, planning and determination, traits we must apply going forward.""

What Mr. Hooker really meant to say was "That kind of success doesn't happen without the leadership, vision, planning and determination of MONEY-HUNGRY OVERDEVELOPERS and GREEDY, SELF-SERVING LAND SPECTULATORS.

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NewsReader 2 years, 2 months ago

You mean like Kevin Kenerly who recently filed for bankruptcy with all of his, what was it now, $50K worth of assets. It would be comical if it weren't so terribly serious.

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Linda 2 years, 2 months ago

very good NewsReader, I can only hope Kevin winds up in a 6 x 6 room. LOL

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news2me 2 years, 2 months ago

Whenever the RE market shows the slightest hint of recovery, just watch the taxbase of this county leave. The push for mass transit, etc and commercialization of Briscoe will kill this county. Majority - minority status has already set Gwinnett on a downward spiral. They have built it up just to knock it down and earn lots of $$$ in the process. The very people living in this county won't be the ones using the airport. The trek to get to this north of the metro airport will prove to be just as bad as going to Hartsfield is now for the people that will use it. Gwinnett will be the new Clayton County.

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Suwaneesince1991 2 years, 2 months ago

"Aren't we wonderful? Look at all the wonderful things we've done! Now give us your money!"

uh..... NEVER!

I'm tired of this class warfare and redistribution of wealth.

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Linda 2 years, 2 months ago

I want a refund!! The commissioners didn't use my money for the betterment of Gwinnett County only for themselves. Please refund my tax dollars to I can move out. 189 is pitiful.

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Mack711 2 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like Hooker is trying to 'hook Gwinnett to pay for all the problems that are assiciated with the ARC. Now he knows that the money is in Gwinnett and Cobb counties and before you know he will deliver that same speech to Cobb. This is an attempt to hold Gwinnettcitizens hostage for the payment of all ARC fininicial problems. MARTA is one of the organizations that is in deep fininical debt. Think we should bail them out, no, but Hooker does.

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kevin 2 years, 2 months ago

Like someone pointed out in Sat. paper's letter to editor, these SPLOST deals are costing us a fortune because the county must pay for the support and staffing of these facilities when they are built with that money. Roads must be maintained as well. The county should be charging the appropriate fees for the the public to use our so-called "free" facilities like parks, fields, lights, etc. The free ride is over folks. You pay to use it.

I will never vote for one more SPLOST deal.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 2 months ago

You forgot to include the cost of the "Land spectulator's and government idiot's kickback fee" in which county politicians and bureaucrats buy this land at overinflated prices from crony spectulators and developers and get kickbacks for doing so. Several million for swampland, anyone?

Ahhh, THE ART of the SHADY LAND DEAL.

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kevin 2 years, 2 months ago

the people must wake up and not support this SPLOST they are proposing. We the hundreds of millions we've spent and it will never be enough. Get the Marta train in more places but make sure it ends up in a high-density destination or that too will be a waste. All this we are talking about is only to benefit commuters going to/from work. Why should the rest of us be stuck with the tax bill. The city of Atlanta is the only one that will benefit from more SPLOST dollars. Let them figure out their own solutions. THe CEO's of al those hundreds of companies downtown should pay for their own survival. You elected a Mayor that can't figure it out without getting more power & money from the rest of us.

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