DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - JULY 2018

FORMER CORONER, RANDY DANIEL, DEFENDS HIS PAST SERVICE

Randy Daniel addressed the Work Session of the Board of Commission, rebuking Chair Ramona Jackson Jones for her remarks about how he conducted his office while serving as the County Coroner.  His remarks begin around the 6:45 minute mark on the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1fwectCgs0&feature=youtu.be

THE PROPOSED BUS (VAN) SYSTEM

Many people are under the impression that “the proposed bus system is a done deal.”  THIS IS NOT TRUE.

Although ARC (Atlanta Regional Commission) has approved the grant on THEIR END, the Board of Commissioners (BOC) MUST EITHER ACCEPT OR REJECT the grant on OUR END.  The PUBLIC meeting where the vote will be cast is planned for July 24, at 6 PM, at the Douglas County courthouse.  LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD BY ALL THE COMMISSIONS BY CALLING
 (770) 920-7266 OR BY EMAILING Bdofcommissioners@co.douglas.ga.us

  I have made it clear that I OPPOSE ACCEPTING THE GRANT for reasons listed below:

  • The BOC planned for only 2 routes INSIDE DOUGLAS COUNTY SINCE 2015. THE ORIGINAL CMAQ GRANT APPLICATION INCLUDED ONLY THESE 2 ROUTES.  We modeled our plan after Cherokee County who had only one route.  Our intention, if the first phase was successful, was to proceed with step two and launch a Flex bus system, whereby the elderly or disabled citizens could call and reserve a door-to-door pickup.  Carroll County has just launched such a system at a yearly cost of $35 thousand to the county.  Rates for the riders will be $3 one-way and $6 roundtrip.  This will serve anyone within the county needing transportation around the county. http://www.carrollcountyga.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=249
     
  • Subsequent to the BOC’s submission for the grant, ARC suggested that the grant application be amended to include 2 additional routes:  one providing public transportation down Riverside Drive in COBB COUNTY and another being a direct line from Douglas County to H E HOLMES Marta Station.  This amendment was accepted by the Transportation Committee without the prior knowledge and/or approval of the entire Board of Commissioners.  All committees under the BOC are “recommending bodies” only and may submit recommendations only to the full BOC.  This procedure was not followed.
     
  • Douglas County already has GRTA buses traveling back and forth to H E Holmes and the Atlanta area each business day during peak hours.  We also already have over 40 Vanpool vans that travel to various metro areas during peak hours.  THE RIDERSHIP FOR BOTH OF THESE SYSTEMS HAS DECREASED OVER 40% SINCE 2014.
     
  • According to our consultant, the cost of the proposed 4-route system is estimated to be $2 million per year.  Any shortfall during the 3-year life of the grant will fall on the citizens of Douglas County.  Also, the total cost of the system upon the completion of the grant (3 years) will be funded entirely by the citizens of Douglas County.  Acceptance of this grant will mandate the implementation of the 4 routes spelled out in the AMENDED CMAQ GRANT.
     
  • There has been so much deception by some about this bus (van) system, it would be impossible for me support it.  Recently, District 2 Commissioner, Kelly Robinson, being the sole commissioner in attendance at the Transportation Committee, added back a city route previously removed at the request of the Mayor, the Chairman of the BOC, and  many  City residents.
     
  • I purpose that we DECLINE THE CMAQ grant on July 24 and then consider the following:
    1. The county buying more transportation vouchers for our senior and disabled population.  We now have about 120 active with a waiting list of over 100 more.  The vouchers provide $100 worth of transportation for $10 to the citizen.
    2.  Returning to the ORGINAL PLAN of 2 looping routes inside the County as a pilot plan.  We already have the vans.
    3. A Flex-bus system at some point like the system in Carroll County where senior or disabled citizens could reserve a pickup at their doorstep for essential trips within the county.
    4. Have public meetings in each district hosted by that commissioner to hear what would most benefit their perspective citizens.

PROPERTY TAX APPEAL CLASS

Join the Douglas County Peoples’ Action Committee for a FREE property value appeal class on Thursday, July 19th, at the American Legion,  6449 Bankhead Highway, Douglasville, GA 30134.  The class will begin at 6:30 PM and will last about 2 hours. This is a public service in light of the large increases folks are seeing in their property values from recent assessment notices.  Handouts will be provided and the instructor will walk you step by step through the appeal process.