Ga. 400 Commuters Benefit from Promise Kept

October 20, 2014

Like many residents of Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, I use Ga. 400 several times a week. Thanks to Governor Deal’s leadership, this commute keeps improving.

Ga. 400 commuters now enjoy a cheaper trip. The toll plaza that stood between the Lenox and Glenridge exits is a thing of the past.

In 2010, when he first ran for Governor, Nathan Deal pledged to end the toll. Some observers dismissed this promise as unlikely to be fulfilled. After all, that same year the State of Georgia announced it would extend the collection of 50 cents per trip and renege on its original promise to end the toll when the original bonds to construct Ga. 400 were paid off.

One stated purpose for the 2010 toll extension was to add connections to the junction of I-85 and Ga. 400, enabling southbound 400 commuters to go north on I-85 and southbound I-85 commuters to head north on 400. That project was completed earlier this year.

Governor Deal kept his promise to end the toll. To do so, his administration carefully managed resources to achieve a 2013 payoff of the 2010 bonds that funded the 85/400 interchange project, four years earlier than 2017 maturity date of these bonds.

This does not mean that projects to relieve congestion along the Ga. 400 corridor will come to a screeching halt. To the contrary, less than one month ago Governor Deal announced that a major interchange revamp will occur at the junction of I-285 and Ga. 400. All funding for this project has been identified. It will become reality over the next few years.

The toll is gone. The interchange at I-85 and Ga. 400 has been upgraded. The interchange at I-285 and Ga. 400 is certain to be upgraded. Governor Deal is working hard to make our commute on Ga. 400 faster, cheaper and better. His careful management of transportation priorities has made all the difference for our north metro communities.


Governor’s Leadership Spurred DeKalb Surplus

October 9, 2014

The DeKalb County School District recently announced that it is running a $30.9 million surplus. This represents an impressive improvement of $52.3 million over the $21.4 million deficit that faced the school district in February 2013.

February 2013 was the same month that Governor Nathan Deal removed six members of the DeKalb County Board of Education after the board had brought our school system to the brink of accreditation loss. In replacing these six members, Governor Deal appointed six highly qualified and professional citizens who promptly rolled up their sleeves and righted the ship.

Governor Deal led when DeKalb needed him. He took necessary steps in a moment of real crisis. His swift action vastly improved the trajectory of our school system. Now our schools’ accreditation is heading in the right direction. Accreditation loss no longer is a threat.

The district’s red ink has been reversed and has become a substantial surplus. The school system has eliminated furlough days and implemented teacher and staff pay raises. This is a direct result of the improved governance Governor Deal installed on our school board. It also is a result of the $930 million increase in education funding delivered in Governor Deal’s four state budgets.

The press conference in which Governor Deal announced the removal of the school board is the most vivid memory of my ten years in the State House. I was among a bipartisan group of seven DeKalb legislators who stood with Governor Deal that day as he announced his decision.

This bipartisan group did not include Senator Jason Carter, who attended the press conference, stood far behind the cameras, and did not support the decision that was being announced.

On a related note, Senator Carter voted in favor of three of Governor Deal’s four budgets. The budget he voted against – this year’s budget – contained the largest increase in education funding in seven years: $547 million. DeKalb is benefiting from that funding as part of its surplus.

As the father of two children in DeKalb public schools, I appreciate everything Governor Deal has done to improve the governance and financial condition of our school system. We can trust him to put aside partisan politics and make decisions with the best interests of our kids at heart.


Voter Registration Deadline

October 2, 2014

The deadline to register to vote for the upcoming General Election is this Monday, October 6. It’s easy to do. Click here to register online at Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s website.


DeKalb Delegation Public Hearings

October 2, 2014

The members of the State House who represent portions of the DeKalb County will hold three public hearings across the county to hear from you on state and local issues. There is one meeting at Brookhaven City Hall. Please join us and make your voice heard. The schedule is as follows:

Monday, October 13, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Brookhaven City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven 30319

Tuesday, October 21, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur 30030

Tuesday, October 28, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Porter Sanford Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur 30034


Sales Tax Holiday

August 1, 2014

Georgia’s annual back-to-school sales tax holiday is today and tomorrow, August 1 and 2. Through Saturday, August 2, you can shop tax-free for school supplies, clothing and computer equipment.

Please click here for the Georgia Department of Revenue’s complete list of exempt and non-exempt items.


July 22 Primary Runoff Election

July 21, 2014

Georgia’s primary runoff election is Tuesday, July 22. Your regular polling location will be open 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

If you have voted at Montgomery Elementary in the past, please remember that the Montgomery polling place has moved and is now split between Kittredge Magnet School and the Cross & Crown Lutheran Church. Please visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page” website to find your correct polling place:

Georgia Secretary of State “My Voter Page”

If you voted a Republican ballot in the May 20 primary, you must vote a Republican ballot in the runoff. The same rule applies if you voted a Democratic ballot on May 20. If you did not vote on May 20, you may choose either party’s runoff ballot.

DeKalb County voters are reminded that this runoff features a special election for DeKalb County Sheriff. This special election appears on everyone’s runoff ballot, regardless of party.

The incumbent, Sheriff Jeff Mann, has years of experience working in the sheriff’s office, is doing a good job and deserves to remain in office. His opponent is partly responsible for the mess in which DeKalb County now finds itself. The sheriff controls a large budget and contracting power independent from the county government. A careful choice for this office is critical.

Here are links to sample ballots and a voter’s guide:

DeKalb County Republican Sample Ballot
DeKalb County Democratic Sample Ballot
DeKalb County Nonpartisan Sample Ballot
Fulton County Republican Sample Ballot
Fulton County Democratic Sample Ballot
Fulton County Nonpartisan Sample Ballot
League of Women Voters/AJC Voter’s Guide


Early Voting & Sample Ballots for Primary Runoff

July 14, 2014

Early voting for the July 22 primary runoff election is available now through Friday, July 18, at the following times and locations:

DeKalb County Early Voting
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Office
Memorial at I-285 across from DeKalb County Jail
4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300
Decatur, GA 30032

Fulton County Early Voting
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
North Fulton Service Center
7741 Roswell Road, Suite 232
Sandy Springs, GA 30350

In addition, your regular polling location will be open Tuesday, July 22, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

DeKalb County voters are reminded that this runoff features a special election for DeKalb County Sheriff. The incumbent, Sheriff Jeff Mann, has years of experience working in the sheriff’s office, is doing a good job and deserves to remain in office. His opponent is partly responsible for the mess in which DeKalb County now finds itself. The sheriff controls a large budget and contracting power independent from the county government. A careful choice for this office is critical. All voters are eligible to vote in this special election regardless of whether they choose a Republican, Democratic or nonpartisan ballot.

In Fulton County, Jane Barwick has the right experience and is the best choice for Superior Court Judge.

Here are sample ballots and other resources for your review:

DeKalb County Republican Sample Ballot
DeKalb County Democratic Sample Ballot
DeKalb County Nonpartisan Sample Ballot
Fulton County Republican Sample Ballot
Fulton County Democratic Sample Ballot
Fulton County Nonpartisan Sample Ballot
Georgia Secretary of State “My Voter Page”
League of Women Voters/AJC Voter’s Guide


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,314 other followers