July 31 Election Primer

July 30, 2012

Tuesday, July 31, is Election Day. Your usual polling place will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Please remember to vote!

Click these links to see the DeKalb County Republican, Democratic and nonpartisan sample ballots.

Click these links to see the Fulton County Republican, Democratic and nonpartisan sample ballots.

You can also click here to retrieve a sample ballot that is specific to your polling location.

The City of Brookhaven referendum is the very last item on your DeKalb County ballot. You will need to be sure to vote all the way to the end in order to vote on this issue.

The T-SPLOST sales tax referendum is also on the ballot. Click here to review the transportation project list that is associated with this issue.

Each political party has a handful of nonbinding “straw poll” questions on the ballot as well.

I would like to give a favorable mention to the following candidates: Chuck Eaton for Public Service Commissioner, Elaine Boyer for DeKalb County Commission District 1, Pam Speaks for DeKalb County Board of Education District 8, Judge Todd Markle for Fulton County Superior Court and Judge Dax Lopez for DeKalb County State Court.

And I would discourage voting for Michael Rothenberg for DeKalb County Superior Court. He has been indicted for felony theft (click for article).

See you at the polls!


Early Voting Guide

July 23, 2012

Early voting for the upcoming primary election is this Monday through Friday, July 23 to 27.

The primary election is Tuesday, July 31. Your usual polling place will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. that day.

However, you can vote this week, Monday through Friday, July 23 to 27, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the nearest DeKalb County early voting location, which is:

Chamblee City Hall
5468 Peachtree Road
Chamblee, GA 30341
across from the train tracks in Downtown Chamblee

The nearest Fulton County early voting location is open Monday through Friday, July 23 to 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at:

Fulton County Government
North Fulton Annex
7741 Roswell Road, Suite 232
Sandy Springs, GA 30350

Click these links to see the DeKalb County Republican, Democratic and nonpartisan sample ballots.

Click these links to see the Fulton County Republican, Democratic and nonpartisan sample ballots.

You can also click here to retrieve a sample ballot that is specific to your polling location.

In DeKalb County, the City of Brookhaven referendum is the very last item on the ballot. You will need to be sure to vote all the way to the end in order to vote in this referendum.

DeKalb voters should be aware that Michael Rothenberg, a candidate for Superior Court judge, has been indicted for felony theft. Click here to read more about the indictment. Mr. Rothenberg also ran for judge in 2010. I revoked an endorsement from him at the time.

The T-SPLOST sales tax referendum is also on the ballot. Click here to review the transportation project list that is associated with this issue.

Each political party has a handful of nonbinding “straw poll” questions on the ballot as well.

See you at the polls!


Governor Ends Georgia 400 Toll

July 19, 2012

Governor Nathan Deal has announced this morning that the Georgia 400 toll will be removed by the end of 2013. This is an important issue for my State House district, which in 2013 will include a stretch of Georgia 400 in Sandy Springs just north of the toll plaza.

Kudos to Governor Deal for fixing this broken promise.

The Governor’s full press release is as follows:

Deal to end Ga. 400 toll next year

Fulfilling his promise to commuters, Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that he will have the state pay off its bond debt on Dec. 1, 2013, and move rapidly after that to remove the Ga. 400 toll by the end of that year. This will stop collection four years earlier than previously planned.

“Ga. 400 commuters have paid more than their fair share already, and this is the earliest we can bring it down without paying a penalty for early repayment of the bonds,” Deal said. “When the Ga. 400 toll went up, the state of Georgia promised commuters that it wasn’t forever. If we don’t keep that promise, we lose the faith of the people. We face many challenges when it comes to paying for new capacity, particularly in the Atlanta region. There are no easy answers, no secret pots of money, but it is imperative that governments build the trust of their people. As your governor, I will keep the promises I make to you.”

The Ga. 400 toll was originally scheduled to come down after 20 years, ending in 2011. In 2010 – after then-candidate Deal promised to end the toll the following year – the state issued new bonds tied to the toll revenue in order to pay for needed improvements in the Ga. 400 corridor, including a new connector to I-85. The $40 million in new bonds were issued Dec. 1, 2010, and they mature June 1, 2017. But at the three-year mark the state can repay the bonds without a penalty. Further, the state needs time to plan for physically bringing down the gates and the dramatic restructuring that will be needed in the toll area.

“As I have said many times before: I inherited a situation where we could not bring down the gates immediately, and we face a situation where we would have to pay a penalty for early repayment,” Deal said. “This timeline gives commuters a finish line, while still allowing us to meet our obligations. Moving forward, we’ll need to continue to work on long-term solutions to congestion in the 400 corridor. And I look forward to doing that in a transparent fashion that commuters can trust.”

The governor’s proposal requires approval of the State Road and Tollway Authority.


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