Johns Creek council votes ‘full and complete opposition’ to MARTA rail expansion

A MARTA train makes its way north past Ga. 400 traffic near Sandy Springs on a typical afternoon rush hour. Ben Gray, bgray@ajc.com

A MARTA train makes its way north past Ga. 400 traffic near Sandy Springs on a typical afternoon rush hour. Ben Gray, bgray@ajc.com

Our apologies for not getting this to you sooner, but it’s been a busy week.

On Monday, with little warning and no public comment, the Johns Creek City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing the expansion of a MARTA rail line into north Fulton County.

While they were at it, the mayor and council members also declared themselves ticked off at state lawmakers and Gov. Nathan Deal for passage of a nearly $1 billion-a-year transportation funding package last year. But that was a side issue.

The resolution was clearly a response to an effort one week earlier, by the mayors of Roswell and Sandy Springs, to begin a countywide discussion of MARTA’s proposed expansion – and the half-penny tax that would be required to fund it.

You can listen to the entire Johns Creek discussion by clicking here. Two members wanted to table the measure until the council’s Nov. 30 meeting, to allow for some public input.

The resolution’s sponsor, council member Bob Gray, disagreed:

“While public comment would be an interesting exercise, I have no doubt about what the result of that public comment would be. And I feel that there’s a head of steam on the support for this. I think the sooner that we can squelch that and represent our point of view as a city, the better.”

Mayor Mike Bodker said he supported the sentiment of the resolution, but questioned some of the wording:

“When I look at the details of the ‘whereas’s’ and I look at maintaining our relationship with other parties, I can tell you that many of them are, in my opinion, potentially inflammatory and in fact inaccurate. Or at least we can’t back them up with fact.…We’re drawing conclusions that I’m not sure we can back up.”

This didn’t bother Gray:

“If it’s a bit inflammatory, I’m very okay with that. I think it embellishes the delivery of the message, and makes it rather unambiguous what our meaning is behind it.”

Gray refused to back off, and the council approved the non-binding resolution. You can read it here:


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