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Letter to the editor
Broken promises torpedoed T-SPLOST
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Forsyth County News

There is no question that transportation needs improvement in the metro area. However, based on past performance of politicians and others in charge of monies, I question who can you trust? Millions of dollars have been wasted on projects funded by taxpayers’ hard-earned money. Here’re a few examples:

Ga. 400 toll funds, originally set to expire in 2011, were designated for construction and improvements to 400. Yet in 2002, Gov. Barnes took $10.4 million from toll funds and purchased 6.8 acres at Atlantic Station. That price was three times the GDOT appraised value of the land.

In September 2010, Gov. Perdue extended the toll by allowing it to expire for a few days, then created a new 10-year extension. Conveniently a few days before the T-SPLOST vote, Gov. Deal announced plans to eliminate the toll in December 2013.

We can’t trust Perdue, who in 2005 had a law rewritten retroactively, enabling him to save $100,000 on real estate taxes.  

In December, 2010 Perdue had the state pay $28.7 million for 10,000 acres in Oaky Woods for property at almost 2.5 times the assessed value and in 2009 he spent $19 million for a Go Fish Georgia project.

In December 2007, Gena Evans became the GDOT commissioner.With a BS and PhD in civil engineering from Georgia Tech and numerous prior positions in management, Evans was probably the best qualified person to ever hold that position. When she started implementing programs to modernize and streamline the DOT, the “good ol boys” fired her in February 2009.

There are many other projects at the local, state and national level (think Solyndra), that squandered taxpayer money and benefited the chosen few. If the millions spent on the above is any indication, how could we trust them to wisely spend the billions of T-SPLOST funds?

The landscape is littered with broken promises by politicians who promise one thing then do another. Now is not the time to add a tax increase. Therefore, I voted no to the T-SPLOST.

Bill Barrett