MARAN: Vote yes to continue path to success

Jim Maran

Jim Maran


Visit our special election section for complete coverage of the 2012 primaries, HERE.

Ronald Reagan said it best when he said, "The state of our transportation system affects our commerce, our economy, and our future." His statement and wisdom ring as true today as it did in 1983.

In a moderately spirited debate, the pros and cons for the Regional Transportation Referendum have been weighed. It's now decision time. And it really comes down to this: Are Gwinnett and metro Atlanta better off with $8.5 billion in transportation improvements or without it? I believe the entire state would be far better off with this investment in our future, and metro Atlanta business owners and job creators couldn't agree more.

Business owners and job creators support the Referendum because they know it will give Gwinnett, metro Atlanta, and the state of Georgia the opportunity to make history by giving a necessary injection to the economic recovery and ensure prosperity for generations to come. Throughout Georgia, business owners and their employees are aligning to make sure we continue on our path of success.

Here's a look at how $8.5 billion can move metro Atlanta's economy forward:

• Metro Atlanta will create or support an additional 200,000 new jobs, including jobs that are maintained year after year. That's 34,000 new jobs in construction alone, allowing us to recoup more than half of the 57,000 construction jobs lost in the recession.

• Metro Atlanta will realize a 4 to 1 return on investment. The $8.5 billion invested will result in a $34.8 billion increase in gross regional product in the Atlanta region by 2040, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

• Metro Atlantans will save $9.2 billion in travel time costs. The average metro Atlanta consumer spends $924 each year on wasted fuel and non-productive time sitting in traffic.

• Metro Atlantans will realize an $18 billion increase in personal income. With reduced travel time and fuel costs, metro Atlanta incomes will increase a collective $18 billion by 2040.

So, what happens without this $8.5 billion in transportation investment? With the world's busiest international airport, one of the fastest growing seaports in the country, and a Department of Transportation that recently ranked No. 1 nationally in projects delivered on-budget and second in projects delivered on-time -- Georgia is already an incredible place to be. With Gwinnett's numerous assets -- a quality workforce, a world-class education system, and a solid business environment -- Gwinnett will continue to be one of the best places to live and work in the U.S.

In a recent Council for Quality Growth event, Congressman John Mica, when asked what would happen without this investment, replied that the matching federal funds would simply go elsewhere -- likely to one of our competitors. And site selectors would pass on Gwinnett for similar metro areas with better transportation systems and other cities will move forward as we sit still -- in congested traffic. Make no mistake -- the rest of the country is watching this vote.

On Tuesday, Gwinnett County residents will join voters across metro Atlanta in voting on the Regional Transportation Referendum that offers a solution. If approved, the referendum will fund 157 projects, as unanimously agreed upon by a regional roundtable of 21 city and county leaders.

Georgia's path to success is deeply rooted with a history of providing a solid infrastructure for moving people and products. As such, metro Atlanta has become a global economic powerhouse. It's time for Georgia to unite so that we may continue to be recognized globally for our economic capacity. At the polls on Tuesday, ask yourself if we are better off with $8.5 billion in transportation improvements. If you believe we are, then vote yes for the Regional Transportation Referendum and help set the stage for continued economic success.

Jim Maran is President and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.


jack 2 years, 6 months ago

"Metro Atlanta will create or support an additional 200,000 new jobs,...."

The same 200,000 jobs claim PolitiFact rated "Mostly False" ?

"If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth." -Joseph Goebbels


toby 2 years, 6 months ago

This vote is about "We the People" are still in charge. If we give more money to the government to waste, we lose again. Once government is trusted to handle our money and quit making the filthy rich richer, then we may allow them to have more money. Not until then. Out of the $8.5B, how much actually goes into asphalt, concrete, steel and labor? I bet less than 1/2. The rest goes into greedy pockets. Just say NO to TSPLOST this Tuesday. Please!


rco1847 2 years, 6 months ago

It's obvious this Maran Guy is part of the "ol boy network". Everyone supporting this is expecting to make something from it while the rest pay for it. The nerve of shoving the EZ-Pass lanes down our throats will be balanced when we shove it up you a__es. WE DON"T TRUST YOU. You will get voted out if you keep pushing this tax atx tax tax and spend program.

The Gwinnett Chamber of Communists should be run out of town as well. If they want to run for office do so - otherwise shut your mouths. These guys have all gotten to big for their britches because thier pockets are filled with our money.


CD 2 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if Jim's REAL concern is that the Mexican drug lords are getting stuck in traffic jams on their way to deliver product. If only we had a few more pawnshops.


Don 2 years, 6 months ago

No more taxes!

I wonder if he would vote to have his house appraised higher so he could pay more taxes.

Look who funds the Gwinnett Chamber, ER Snell and what do they do? Build roads.

Jim, take another trip to China to promote business, no bother trying to lure American companies to Gwinnett!

Vote No!


JimmyOrr 2 years, 6 months ago

Question Murphy & Cline. There was an opposing viewpoint written on TSPLOST in Sunday's edition by none other than Elliott Brack. Why didn't you post Elliot's commentary on-line today same as you did Maran's? There was no comparison between Elliot's viewpoint and that of Maran as it was obvious that one (Elliot's) was written by a professional whereas the other (Maran's) was written by an amateur. Ongoing, let's keep the GDP fair and balanced. If there are two viewpoints, one pro and one con, print both of them on-line so as to let your reader's comment accordingly. In the meantime, if neither of you has voted, please vote NO to TSPLOST Tuesday, July 31, 2012.


toby 2 years, 6 months ago

Sitting here watching the Olympic's and every commercial break has the vote yes commercial in it. Who is paying for these? I really hope they have wasted therir money. The rich getting more richer off the backs of the tax payers. I'm sick of it.


R 2 years, 6 months ago

If you live within a CID area you did ...

If you live in Gwinnett, you did, somewhat through funds provided by Gwinnett BOC and GCPS collected by tax. If you rented a car or stayed at a motel/hotel, you did.

Finally, we can see our "tax dollars at work" fundraising for MORE tax dollars...


CitizenY 2 years, 6 months ago

The bureaucrats behind the plans for the T-SPLOST money have spent the last year of their parasitic lives deciding how to divvy up the chickens before they're hatched. These are the very same bureaucrats who are totally unnecessary, considering how they've spent their time and our money. If you give these jokers more money in Gwinnett they'll just spend it on MORE MEDIANS.


FordGalaxy 2 years, 6 months ago

Metro Atlanta will create... Metro Atlanta will save... Metro Atlanta will realize...

I was unaware that this law came with guarantees.


Gundoctor1 2 years, 5 months ago

Hows that hope and change working for you right now Jim????? 48K no 16K yea and counting.HMMMMMMMMM Good call there buddy. Of course, I guess you could say it's early. That's what Custer said!!!!! Look at all those Indians... ha ha


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