Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Metro Atlanta Chamber President Sam Williams were two supporters of the transportation sales tax referendum who made their way to Alpharetta earlier this week to lobby for its passage.
The hosted a fundraiser at its offices to answer questions about the transportation referendum, which will go before voters on July 31. They also were ready to collect checks on behalf of the Citizens for Transportation Mobility to continue what they call an education process.
Will you vote for or against the region's transportation referendum this summer? Why?
Andy Macke, who heads the local chamber's push to get the transporation referendum passed, touted the predicted four-to-one return on investment the estimated $8 billion collected over 10 years will bring. He reminded the local executives and business leaders of the time they spend waiting in traffic while taking their kids to soccer practice and school events.
Cagle said the traffic congestion has forced companies recruiting workers to reduce the geographic area from which they can draw workers. They used to be able to pull in workers from far outside the immediate metro area, but long commutes put a stop to that.
When Gov. Nathan Deal speaks at the May 22 Eggs & Enterprise Breakfast in Johns Creek, he — and the anticipated 500 attendees — will be given green T-shirts that ask residents to support the referendum. Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce President Brandon Beach said they will be asked to wear those shirts at the swimming pool, soccer and baseball fields, and just around the neighborhood to draw more support.
Cagle responded to a question on why people oppose the transportation referendum.
"There are a lot of factors that will enter into reasons why someone would not vote for the referendum," Cagle said. "One is, let's face it. This is a tough economic time and there is a huge anti-tax mentality at whatever level. And so that sentiment is out there."
Other factors include people not liking the lineup of projects for their region.
Macke said Comcast is spending $100,000 to educate voters on the issue.
Residents can use an interactive map on the Atlanta Regional Commission's website to learn about the projects in the 10-county region.