Archive for February, 2012

3/1: Process needed for creating towns?

Moderated by Rick Badie

North DeKalb residents want their corner of the world to become a city because they desire better services and lower property taxes. Brookhaven, some want to call it. With others, the name Ashford strikes a chord.

Today, a Democratic legislator proposes state guidelines to handle creations of towns. But State Rep. Mike Jacobs  who supports Brookhaven’s cityhood says no community should have to seek permission to dictate its destiny.

DeKalb CEO Burrell Davis responds to Jacobs’ commentary.

What do you think?

Continue reading 3/1: Process needed for creating towns? »

2/29: Skilled-labor shortage a crisis

Moderated by Rick Badie

Wanted: Blue-collar workers. Machinists, toolmakers and such. As the manufacturing industry rises tepidly, a skilled-labor shortage has been declared a regional crisis.

Today, an economics expert addresses the state’s response to the issue while a Kennesaw factory owner experiencing an increase in orders wants to hire but finds talent scarce.

What do you think?

Continue reading 2/29: Skilled-labor shortage a crisis »

2/28: DeKalb and sales tax referendum

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The DeKalb County NAACP has joined with some county commissioners in opposing the regional transportation sales tax referendum in July.

They are protesting the lack of an I-20 east rail line in the plans.

DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis counters that the approved bus transit is a step in the right direction, and residents must pass the tax for there to be any hope of rail in the future.

What do you think?

Continue reading 2/28: DeKalb and sales tax referendum »

2/27: Debating charter school amendment

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Folks who assume education news is dull haven’t been following the lively debate in the General Assembly over the charter school amendment, the subject of a guest column today.  (You may comment on his essay below.)

Nor have they been paying attention to the passionate discussion sparked by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to consider again whether race should be a factor in college admissions, which I tackle. To comment on this essay, visit my Get Schooled blog at this link.

Continue reading 2/27: Debating charter school amendment »

2/26: A central transit vision

The AJC Editorial Board

Present-day struggles make the future difficult to discern. Yet that’s what great, leading-edge cities and states do.

The ability to assemble scattered hints and hunches into a vision for tomorrow, however hazy, sets apart leaders from followers. That collective talent enabled much of the Atlanta metro’s success.

All of which makes intriguing the still-on-the-drawing-board concept of the Multimodal Passenger Terminal (MMPT) proposed for that part of downtown known as the “Gulch.” This valley of concrete and steel was created as Atlanta grew up and out of the area around the Zero Milepost where the railroads began here. It’s no accident that Atlanta was first named Terminus. Two centuries later, that’s still an apt descriptor for this logistics and business capital of the Southeast.

The big, open question for Atlanta and the Gulch plan is what all that means in the 21st century, especially now as we continue to struggle away from a wicked …

Continue reading 2/26: A central transit vision »

2/24: The doctor is not in

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Georgia is facing a shortage of primary care doctors, and the numbers may not get much better in the short term.

The new health care laws are bringing more people into the system, even as increasing numbers of medical students opt to earn more money — to pay off their growing school debts — by becoming specialists.

Today, one expert looks at where Georgia fits nationally, and a medical school dean writes about what needs to be done to correct the problem.

What are your ideas on the subject?

Continue reading 2/24: The doctor is not in »

2/23: Capping lobbyists’ gifts

Moderated by Rick Badie

We expect integrity to trump political ideologies and social mores. It’s no wonder, then, that proposed ethics legislation designed to cap lobbyists’ gifts to Georgia lawmakers has garnered broad support from opposite sides of the aisle.

Today, a Democratic leader says the bills aren’t strict enough while a tea party activist laments their standstill in the General Assembly. Plus, we offer some other views on the lobbyist cap issue.

What do you think?

Continue reading 2/23: Capping lobbyists’ gifts »

2/22: Tackling tax policy reform

Moderated by Rick Badie

Republican politicians across the heartland are tackling tax policy reform. Their idea: Repeal or reduce the personal income tax. Should Georgia do likewise?

The director of a policy organization says Georgia would suffer without it. A think-tank president suggests the tax’s demise would enhance the economy. And we offer a few more facts about the topic.

What do you think?

Continue reading 2/22: Tackling tax policy reform »

2/21: Federal gas tax debated

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The federal gas tax, it seems, is a constant source of debate.

Today, a MARTA leader writes about the need to maintain the dedicated transit funds it provides, which are jeopardized by proposed legislation in Washington.

Meanwhile, a Georgia congressman calls the dispersal of the funds unfair and offers a different option — return the money to the states for use.

What do you think about the federal gas tax?

Continue reading 2/21: Federal gas tax debated »

2/20: School board size; Teach for America

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Is there an ideal size for a school board? The Legislature attempted to answer that question last year with a law reducing the DeKalb board, but inadvertently created a mess, which I describe today.

In a guest column, a Teach for America teacher wonders why Cobb wouldn’t welcome her and her peers.

Tell us what you think here or on my Get Schooled blog.

Continue reading 2/20: School board size; Teach for America »