County cars, C-Tran and Xpress, oh my!

Thanks to Governor Sonny Perdue’s late signing of House Bill 1446, one thing that we will not be voting on come July 20 is the legislation aimed at reinstating bus service. It is also possible that by this time next year, there will be no public transportation in Clayton at all.

On Tuesday, July 13 (5:30 PM–7:00 PM) C-Tran supporters will march from the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) Park and Ride in Jonesboro to the Board of Commissioners meeting. As per the web site, “The purpose of this rally is to urge the [BOC] to approve House Bill 277, allowing for a public transportation only sales tax to bring back public transportation in Clayton County.”

According to the AJC, Clayton residents will vote on whether to join MARTA in November via a non-binding straw poll. The BOC has until September 2 to approve a binding vote and if not, the state legislature would need to grant an extension.

Additionally, Xpress bus riders are facing fare increases and a looming cutoff date.

“In order to permit the Xpress service to continue operation until June 2011, when the fiscal year 2012 state budget can be considered, [GRTA] management has proposed a group of expense reductions and revenue enhancements,” states Marketing Director Robert Alexander.

Those enhancements include, “Reduc[ing] the rate of discount on the pre-sold fare media and restructure the pass and multiple ticket system; end acceptance of free transfers from MARTA; and, increase cash fares for six GRTA-operated Xpress routes …”  which includes Clayton’s route #440.  Fares will be calculated based on distance, so the farther away you live the more money you’ll pay.

Xpress will accept public comment on the proposed fare policy change through August 6, 2010.  Xpress customers and the public may provide comment on the proposed fare policy changes in writing delivered to the GRTA offices (245 Peachtree Center Ave., Suite 800, Atlanta, 30303); by e-mail to customerservice@XpressGa.com; or at either of two public meetings that will be held on August 5, 2010, the first from 11:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and the second from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Both meetings will be held at the GRTA offices.

Do you ride the Xpress bus? Will you pay the increased fare or find another way to work? Will you march on Tuesday to help reinstate bus service in Clayton?

Finally, what are your thoughts on Tax Commissioner Terry Baskins’ recent brush with the law? Out of all the county employees whose car(s) could be taken, why take one from the person responsible for collecting taxes?

84 comments Add your comment

We should all be disgusted

July 15th, 2010
10:44 am

John Stewart you are pathetic and all that crap you just blogged is just that crap! Your ignorance is evident in your gibberish. Your attacks on the three commissioners shows your lack of knowledge, inability to see the forest for the trees and your misguided quest to destroy the good works of the new administration. Your ignorance and Willie Lynch tactics will not prevail in Clayton so take your ars on with that crap.

Pittbull

July 15th, 2010
10:47 am

The scum crawl out of there hole right before every election, and spew here venom. I love it! Watch them squirm. LOL! Remember how Victors crew did the same thing? LOL

We should all be disgusted

July 15th, 2010
10:54 am

Richard Reagan? Come on now people do not fall for this one either. Who is Richard Reagan? Do you know? Does anyone know? What has he done in the community? Do not be blind-sided by this one.

On another note if our commissioners were white we would not hear a negative word! An all white board ruled for many years and the end result was a county destroyed by their greed and racism.

Stay the course Singleton, Ralph and Hambrick and we are thankful for your hard work and ability to take a lickin and keep on tickin! The real and true community has your back!

Delta

July 15th, 2010
11:28 am

I wish the CLayton County was back the way it was in the late 70’s and 80’s when Charlie Griswell, Raymond E. Johnson, James Stewart, Gerald Matthews, C. Bray, etc on were on the Board, this county was so much better.

Pittbull

July 15th, 2010
11:48 am

We should all be disgusted

Yes the county is so much better now isn’t it? Jobs, and business have left. Crime everywhere, section eight everywhere, foreclosures every other house, and three unqualified, wanna be commissioners who are out of there league. Yeah we are in great shape.

ex-employer

July 15th, 2010
11:56 am

@ We should all be disgusted!
Yes, we are ALL disgusted with Singleton, Hambrick, & Ralph. We understand that your a Singleton supporter BUT! It’s OVER..as in.. DONE! she’s FINISH!

John Stewart

July 15th, 2010
12:13 pm

@We should all be disgusted

I am so glad you responded. Let me ask you something Ms. Singelton’s judgment on the board. Just a few weeks ago Mr. Hugh Morton offered to the commission some FREE land in Ms. Singleton’s district for a police precinct and the board rejected it (the 3 amigos that is) saying they couldn’t afford to put a precinct in that location. Now at the next board meeting we find out that the same FREE land that was offered to the county will now be LEASED for 40K a year and the precinct that they couldn’t afford will go up on that location. THIS IS FACT!!!! Go look up the minutes. I thought we were in a budget crisis but we can now afford to pay 40K a yr for FREE land.

Roach

July 15th, 2010
12:24 pm

It’s not about better or worse *then.* It’s about making things better *now* and in the future. Down with the puppet master and his puppet commissioners, down with the dirty tricks and the fat lawsuit settlements that bankrupt our future. Clayton County must stand up. Singleton has to go.

kallen

July 15th, 2010
12:33 pm

FYI about two upcoming candidate forums:

Meet the Candidates & Transit Forum TONIGHT, July 15 at 6:00 pm at the Lovejoy Community Center.

This forum is open to ALL candidates. Look at the candidate’s qualifications, record, and activities in the community. They need to be able to fulfill the role required by the office, make sound judgments, and be accessible to the community. You are invited to “Meet the Candidates & Transit Forum” Thursday, July 15, 2010 at Lovejoy Community Center at 6:00 pm. The Lovejoy Community Center is located at 11622 Hastings Bridge Road, Lovejoy, Georgia 30250. For more information call (678) 479-8655

AND

Candidate Meet and Greet Breakfast
Saturday, July 17, 2010
8:00am – 10:00am
Location: Oakwood Café, 16 Forest Parkway, Forest Park, GA

You, your family, friends and neighbors are cordially invited to join us for Breakfast.

Listen to the candidates speak about current issues, who they are and how they plan to represent you once they are elected. Afterwards, we will have a more informal time to mingle and talk to the candidates on a one on one basis.

Our Guests include:

Max Wood – Attorney General
Melvin Everson – Labor Commissioner
Gerry Purcell – Insurance Commissioner
Preston Smith – Attorney General
Jeff May – Public Service Commissioner
Pam Adamson – School Board District 1
Gail Buckner – Secretary of State
Tim Echols – Public Service Commissioner
Maria Sheffield – Insurance Commissioner

say what?

July 15th, 2010
12:54 pm

I cannot tell which COWARD is sending the anti-Sonna message so I had no other choice but to vote for her. No where on the trash did it say what the person would do for us. I looked for positive messages and received none from that PO box, and now the phone calls. If you are big enough to sling mud be ADULT enough to say that you did it. Otherwise you are childish, and children and Cowards have no place on the BOC.
@ John Stewart- you really do not qualify for such a lovely name. How is Baskin unable to collect taxes without a car? Tax collectors no longer go door to door, most activities are technology based, or did he not know that? I do find that it smacks of hypocrisy to say take home cars are for law enforcement jobs, yet Cohilias has a car. Apply the rule to everyone- friend or foe.

In Rex, a police officer drove his patrol car home, and when it is not in the yard, guess what? The criminals knew he wasn’t home and stole his personal truck, broke into his home. What crime was detered in the community, and how safe are the citizens while he is away doing his job? I would love for every patrolman/woman to take home a car, but the police department chose to make a departmental change to reflect the decrease in budget.

I do not know if every incumbent basher realizes this but the economy TANKED globally/worldwide/on the planet called EARTH. Not the BOC fault that mortgage companies encouraged and approved sub prime mortgages to people working at Burger King 40 hours/week @$6/hr. That responsibility lies with your former neighbors who wanted their own home, and not to pay rent for someone else to create wealth. Job loss is globally, but primarily in the US as companies continue to EXPORT jobs. Nursing shortages in QA/QC are now outsourced because your medical records can be read online; thereby our hardworking nurses no longer have an advancement ladder. I cannot believe that people blame elected officials for EVERYTHING negative in a community but the fact is maybe it is the populace fault that negative continues to pool in certain communities.

Yeah right

July 15th, 2010
1:17 pm

@Say What? I don’t agree with the crap mail that’s been going around about many candidates not just Singleton, but man or woman up and just admit that you wanted to vote for Singleton and did exactly that.

I hope you put the same amount of work into investigating other candidates running in your district as you did trying to find out who sent that mailer. Positive messages don’t guarantee a worthwhile candidate.

We should all be disgusted

July 15th, 2010
2:19 pm

Singleton haters need to let it go. Don’t jump on me about my support for my commissioner because of your anger and hatred towards the Commissioners. The arguments you present here are very juvenile and personal. Tuesday, July 20 is on the horizon. The good people of district one will re-elect our commissioner.

ex-employer

July 15th, 2010
2:34 pm

I agree with Roach!!! Singleton must go!! and all her flunkies!!

jimmy (conservative brother)

July 15th, 2010
3:16 pm

I wish I had a better choice in my district 4. It is probably due to the election that Edmonson is trying to distance himself from the “three headed puppets.” I do not see anything positive done by the commissioners. We have been burdened with budget shortfalls since they have been in office. My taxes have increased while county services have decreased.
It is like the elected officials in this county take turns embarrassing themselves and causing shame on this county. If anyone can tell me why you would vote for Singleton, Edmonson, Hambrick or Ralph and feel good about it let me know.
They banded together to create a position of power which they believed they could control and now it appears that the position created is going to cost the county first in the way of law suits and then I hope it will cost them their part time jobs. They have attempted to politically assassinate two people and it appears that those attempts have back fired.
If they had a valid reason to fire the chief of police then state that reason and move on. Don’t create some big scandal, call the media and put on a public display of lies and half truths while denying the accused person the ability to defend themselves.
If we have budget issues then lets make moves to really correct the budget issues like selling or leasing the airport in Henry County, or selling the beach for starters. Not closing training facilities for law enforcement or taking vehicles from Constitutionally elected officials.
After the election we should immediately call for the termination of the two new created positions from which all the trouble seems to be coming. Then force a resolution requiring all meetings of the commissioners to be recorded whether those meetings are closed door or in public. That way the formation of these little cliques could be more closely monitored and all of their deviant little plots can be exposed before they have a chance to negatively effect the lives of anyone in this county.

say what?

July 15th, 2010
3:43 pm

@yeah right- actually did reach out to one of the candidates, and she did respond. However, her paranoia led her to unbecoming behavior. Guess I will get another email from her because of this post- yes the candidates do watch this blog!!! I reviewed the answers given to ajc.com, but some candidates did not respond. I have looked at websites, but I have not seen much other than “we need new leadership” and “we need transportation”. What transportation other than c-Tran and MARTA do any candidates have; if not many other options, then we don’t need it. MARTA is so broke that they have cut forty routes. Marta is not an option if they cannot service the areas to which they are mandated to cover.
Short sighted leadership can do no better than ineffective leadership. How about addressing my other points? The world is beyond Sonna and Shegale, and their petty sets/egos.

Blast from the Past

July 15th, 2010
5:33 pm

Did Wade buy the land – that would account for the 3 voting that way . or maybe kick-backs to the commissioners or Mr Starr. Paying 40,000 a year for free land – this must be investigated. Smells rotten.

Bon Bon

July 15th, 2010
5:37 pm

to – DD of CC – gotta defeat the Scotts first.

Resolute

July 15th, 2010
5:47 pm

To Delta – apparently you were not paying attention to the goings on of Bray and Griswell thru the 80s and 90s that set this county up to be exactly what it is. These two made sure that the word NO was never spoken to a contractor. Due to the money-grubing by these two – they were enriched and we got high occupancy subdivision – 6 to 8 houses to an acre, way too many apartments and no true planning guidelines. Even the guidelines they had they disregarded. The 70 and 80 in Clayton may have been better -in your estimation, but it just took longer for the damage these two caused – to be seen. Go look at some of the BOC meeting minutes from those time. You may be suprised.

Port O'John

July 15th, 2010
7:05 pm

Clayton County’s rich want to change the demographics of the population. It’s way too late for that! The majority population of Clayton will remain no matter what. Even if they to walk to Atlanta daily! However, when ever they learn the power of the “Vote” they’ll rule!

Pittbull

July 15th, 2010
11:56 pm

Port O’John

Clayton County rich? My god what world are you in? Are you homeless? There is not one rich person in this county.

jimmy (conservative brother)

July 16th, 2010
3:07 am

Double Action, I’m clear that some deals are made in private places, however they are still discussed in closed door sessions prior to being presented for a vote at the commissioner’s meeting. I do not assume that Eldrin was at the Golf course when the others attempted to nip his authority by creating the Assistant Chairman title that Ralph now holds or the creation of the position held by Cohelas.
In the closed door session someone has to present the resolution and present their reasons for the resolution and then that resolution is discussed. If these meetings were recorded we might be able to find out some of the foolish reasoning behind some of their latest resolutions and we might be able to get a better understanding of exactly what they are trying to do.
I would love to know what Eldrin said when some of these plans were presented. I would also like to know how these resolutions were sold to the other commissioners. If the other commissioners are just agreeing with the resolutions presented by Ralph without any discussion then you would definitely have your answer on whether they are indeed a three headed monster.
I know that it is not fool proof but it will provide a degree of transparency that we don’t have now. Oh! Maybe we would know some of the questions the Dekalb Co. D.A. wanted to know about how internal police records were obtained in the Turner investigation or why it was not handled in executive session instead of in an open forum. I’m sure some of these things were discussed in official closed door session prior to being presented to the public.

Blast from the Past

July 16th, 2010
8:08 am

Lee Scott and Jewel Scott in the local Clayton newspaper have said they are only running for office to serve. Yeah, right. And Lee even said he would bow out of the race if Jewel were to win the Democratic primary. Lee is either lying – no surprise – or he feels like he did when Jewel was DA – when he slammed his fist on a table in a local eatery and said “I run the DA office” . He may feel he can run the commission seat by ruling over his wife. There is nothing in their past to show she has her own mind or would ever go against Lee’s quest for influence and power.

SynamonSays!

July 16th, 2010
8:23 am

Thank you Resolute for making it plain.

Resolute

July 16th, 2010
9:47 am

Enter your comments here

Resolute

July 16th, 2010
9:51 am

Congratulations to the Clayton County’s fifth State Court judge. Judge Aaron Mason is a welcome addition to our court system. This will allow our backed-up cases to be cleared more judiciously and give the judges a little breathing room. Welcome and good luck, Judge Mason.

say what?

July 16th, 2010
11:05 am

why is Ed Walls name tied to the financing of the anti-Sonna messages? He is the former MARTA board chair found having oral sex at the airport, and former investment banker for Clayton County. It amazes me that people will align themselves with sleeze to then claim someone else is sleezy.

Luckily Fred Daniels,Sr has replaced him on the MARTA board.

BnB

July 17th, 2010
12:11 pm

Jeff Turner deserves an investigation to clear him of the erroneous charges leveled by the Wade trio of commissioners. It will also hopefully serve to initiate an investigation into the dealings of the workings of the commissioners and their unorthodox and vendetta plagued time in office. Eldrin – do not stand in the way.

Good Question

July 18th, 2010
10:57 pm

Why is Ed Wall a convicted sex offender fixated on sending out smear messages, mailers and raising money for Singleton’s opponent, the ex wife of Commissioner Ralph? Who else is behind this attack on Singleton?

If you would all just leave...

July 18th, 2010
11:01 pm

Don’t like it just leave Clayton, so that those of us who love Clayton can bury the negative and move forward in being the Best in the metro area>

BnB

July 19th, 2010
3:12 pm

So now the day before the primary election, Lee Scott’s mongrels – those who do his bidding for money – are pulling up and stealing campaign signs of their opposition, and putting his own in place. If your ne’er-do-wells step foot on my land Lee, they will be in jail for trespassing and for stealing. I made a deal with those I support that these sign were my property as long as they were on my land. I will prosecute, old man. Oh yeah Lee – your signs are gone now , too. Have a good day – loser.

Clayton is terrible

July 19th, 2010
4:57 pm

So many idiots here. Don’t want bus service but you want rail service like Clayton is that densely populated. Clayton is suppose to be so nice and full of all these homeowners in these nice areas but you can’t even foot a small 1% sales tax to better the county’s transit needs. Someone above had the nerve to say Clayton will move forward to be the best county in metro ATL… yeah that will happen… when the other 27 counties are destroyed and taken off of the map!

BonBon

July 20th, 2010
10:23 am

Is Clayton densely populated? IT is one of the smallest counties in the state – but with 50,000 students – Clayton is behind only 5 metro counties in student population. Those students come with parents. Yes – Clayton is more than populated enough to reap benefits from a regional rail syatem.

Buy A Clue

July 25th, 2010
1:52 pm

You’d think they would eventually understand that the residents of Clayton County do not want public transportation targeted to the poor. Now I’ll gladly pay a little extra in state tax so the poor can live closer to downtown Atlanta with decent transportation and better paying opportunities to work in restaurants and hotels. If Clayton County keep electing officials that insist on catering to poor blacks instead of the middle class and the developers who build the bells and whistles the middle class wants – then we will continue to be the arm pit of Atlanta.

say what?

July 25th, 2010
10:05 pm

@buy a Clue=exactly! Public transportation’s only option is NOT joining MARTA and or bringing back MARTA run C-Tran. Think of transportation on a larger scale to include mixed use (transit station, retail, work, live, play) development. tired of hearing that MARTA needs to come to Clayton for the poor people. what about those of us not necessarily poor, but could be close to it?