Published on February 25th, 2015 |3
Shook ‘frustrated’ with no project list as bond voting begins
“There is no project list and (early) voting has begun,” Shook told the CID board. “Polls show it will pass overwhelmingly, which explains the mayor’s total serenity concerning the bond vote.”
On March 17th, Atlanta citizens will get the chance to vote on a proposed $250 million bond aimed at funding infrastructure improvements and repairs throughout the city.
But Buckhead residents have the opportunity to vote early—between Feb. 28 and March 13—at the Chastain Park Recreation Center, 240 West Wieuca Road, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. All other early voting spots are outside of Buckhead.
Asked by CID board chairman David Allman if he is comfortable that the funds will be equitably distributed among the council districts in the city, Shook replied, “In my 13 years (at city hall), I have never seen a case where everyone is holding their cards so close to the vest.”
The perceived inference was that Mayor Kasim Reed and his administration may be using the project list as a bargaining tool to get passage of legislation through City Council that the administration wants adopted.
“I assume this will pass and the note will be paid off with (the city’s) savings, not a tax increase,” because Shook said it is important to Reed that no tax increase is necessary.
Acknowledging that there are some things on the basic city list of projects that voters can look at online, Shook explained that “leaves us with millions to spend.” He said he knows a lot will get done as a result of the bond issue, “but I can’t say what will get done in Buckhead.”
The Buckhead CID staff has presented to the city a list of Buckhead infrastructure projects as priorities to be funded through the bond issue, both through the part of the $252 million that is going to major projects of citywide impact and those for the pot that has been promised to each council district, the amount of which still has not been determined.
Shook told the CID board, “My plan is to use those fund for projects such as sidewalks.” He also said there are some 40 stormwater intakes that are not properly working and need to be fixed. He reported that the CID’s Project Manager Tony Peters is working with the city’s Watershed Management Department on those.
Shook praised Peters and the CID for the work they have done in identifying infrastructure items in need of inclusion in this repair and maintenance bond issue.