Bookman/Wingfield: Does the ATL need a regional government?

kyle-JayAs I note in the video below, I recently went digging through some Bureau of Economic Analysis data, trying to see how we’re doing here in the 28-county metro Atlanta region compared to our regional competitors.

The answer, based on data through 2013, was “not well”.

ATL growth

UPDATE:

I just took a look, and jobs data tell the same story. By October 2010, Nashville had recovered all of the jobs that it lost in the recession, and it has since added another 77,000 jobs, an increase of 9.5 percent. Dallas-Fort Worth has added 429,000 jobs since its pre-recession peak, an increase of 14 percent. Charlotte recovered all of its lost jobs four years ago, and is now 135,000 ahead of its pre-recession job total, an increase of 13 percent. Denver recovered all of its lost jobs three years ago, and since then has added another 110,000.

As of April, the Atlanta metro region was still 5,000 jobs short of its peak in April of 2008.

There are a lot of possible explanations, but I do know this much. Each of those regions has a much better capability to address regional issues such as transportation, either through dominant cities or counties or through a regional governance mechanism, such as the Middle Tennessee Regional Transportation Authority. In Denver, it’s the Regional Transportation District, with a publicly elected board of directors that provides services such as bus rides throughout an eight-county area directly to the Colorado Rockies downtown stadium.

Metro Atlanta does not have that capability. The central city of Atlanta has less than 8 percent of the population in the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area, which comprises 28 counties and almost 150 cities. MARTA is confined to the two inner-most counties (although Clayton County recently joined as well), and is pointedly excluded from serving the new home of the Braves. And of course, new cities seem to be popping up faster than Republican presidential candidates, with the notable difference that the cities will be permanent. We are a lot better at dividing ourselves than uniting ourselves.

Metro Atlanta also lacks a state government energized to seriously address regional urban issues. That’s just not their mindset. To the contrary, much of state government appears to treat the metro region with suspicion bordering on animosity, which explains why MARTA is the only major transit system in the country without regular state financial support.

Look at Gov. Nathan Deal’s new appointment as state transportation planning director. Former state Rep. Jay Roberts is a competent guy who led the House Transportation Committee. He comes to the job from Ocilla, a small town in south Georgia with a population of 4,100, and his occupation is listed as farmer and cotton gin manager. That’s who is now in charge of planning major transportation projects for the Atlanta metro region, the ninth largest in the country.

Again, that’s not meant personally. It’s just that if we took that role seriously, we would have a trained, experienced professional as state transportation planning director, someone with expertise in the transportation challenges of a major urban region. Instead we have a politician, because that is how the job and function is perceived. Its emphasis is on serving political interests, not on professional transportation planning.

So here’s our discussion:



Reader Comments 0

1016 comments
Peachs
Peachs

Eric Cantor fascinates me for some reason.  A Jewish guy leading a core Republican base then losing an election and disappearing from any mention even as we see Dennis Hastert ,a far less ambitious soul ,accumulating fairly fast wealth leaving his office. The goal of the Republican Party is not for the country as a whole to succeed but for the individual to succeed and a lot of that is for the competition to have to default from the contest.  The south in particular is collateral damage to the greed of this party and leaders like Cantor.

straker
straker

Paul


Republican politicians have learned that denouncing Obama is all they really have to do to satisfy their gullible electorate.


Little things, like keeping their promise to repeal Obamacare, don't seem to matter.

Peachs
Peachs

@straker they can't repeal Obamacare it works too well now.  To bring it up would highlight the misdirection this party has taken us.  Georgia was far better under Democrats period than this crowd of extremist.  

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@straker

like keeping their promise to repeal Obamacare

I do wonder how many majority party Congrefscritters are praying every night that the SCOTUS does what Jay predicted and come down 6-3 against King v. Burwell. 

Gotta be a lot.

Peachs
Peachs

Atlanta is ground zero for separate and control mentality.  It is the heart of gerrymandering, take the punch out of the majority and put it in the hands of a few who surround themselves with a cult following who buys anything that spill from the mouth of these protectors of the universe. 


If you nurture the urban success you commit suicide for the cast system of the south.  Change is the enemy of a cast system and it happens at lighting speed in the big city. When you look out the window and even Cuba is passing you in modern advancement this denial of facts and bubble existence ain't going to keep em on the farm any more...

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Peachs

I've given this some thought and am coming to realize that some of this is just a matter of being doomed by history. The City of Atlanta probably needed to annex a lot more territory back in the early days so that it had a bigger population and physical footprint in relation to its surrounding area.

Someone mentioned Seattle as a place with a well-run transit system. And I looked, and noted that the ratio of city residents to metro area is about 1 to 5. Well, here in Atlanta-metro, it's about 1 to 11.

Hard to throw your weight around, particularly when you factor in all the historical mistrust among the usual identity-politicking suspects.

I dunno what it'll take for the area to act regionally rather than building walls and drawbridges, to be honest. I might not stick around to see how this story ends in person, either.

Peachs
Peachs

@Visual_Cortex @Peachs watch Detroit and your will see the footprint of a plan the rest of the nation that has turned it's back to this problem will face. The lack of facing reality by the Republican Party, shock and aw and then nothing will be the recipe of change in this situation.  Failure will give birth to success.  

bu2
bu2

@Visual_Cortex @Peachs 


They need to break the old pact.  They made a deal for peace in Atlanta by allowing Black politicians to loot the coffers of the city of Atlanta and APS while White politicians looted the coffers of Cobb and Gwinnett County and their school systems.


People need to elect better people and to elect leaders, not looters.  How that Fulton County tax commissioner keeps getting elected is just beyond me. 

straker
straker

I Whine - "you don't sit in judgement of me, fascists"


Since your definition of the word "fascist" doesn't exist in the dictionary, we really have no idea of who you're referring to.

Paul42
Paul42

Just saw Rick Perry on a morning show.  He's like a lot of other Republican  candidates.  Do the obligatory "denounce Obama " intro, then when they get somewhat specific in answer to "what would you do with ISIS" they repeat what Obama’s doing, such as "build a coalition and get other countries involved."


All around the country I can hear conservatives saying  "yeah!  Why doesn't Obama do that?!!?"

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Paul42

build a coalition and get other countries involved

Ya know, maybe we could try some Freedom Bombing raids as well to help out the folks who are fighting the Daesh.

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

You don't sit in judgement of me, fascists. And you never will.


Deal with it.

Wena Mow Masipa How
Wena Mow Masipa How

Little kiddie fascists aren't judged; they're educated. The process is taking longer with you, but persistence is the key.

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@IReportYouWhine#1 You don't sit in judgement of me, communist.  And you never will.

Deal with it.

Oh, and BTW, we can and do laugh at you.

A LOT

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

Kaid Benefield said in The Atlantic: "Planning at the regional scale is critical. As our economic, land use and transportation patterns have evolved over the last century, metropolitan areas have become increasingly important. In most parts of the country, the political boundaries established by municipalities long ago are no longer relevant to businesses' or residents' activities, to say nothing of environmental media such as air and water.

As a result, to meaningfully influence environmental impacts associated with development, land use, and transportation, we must act at a level where central cities and suburbs can be considered together."

This is too much common sense for the folks who would deny government the opportunity to do what it does best - accomplish group goals. The tragedy of it is that when the predictions for Atlanta in books like "The City in Mind" come to pass and the now pristine suburbs become the choking ring of death to the heart of the region, these same folks will blame the core and try to implement some type of regional plan that they so oppose today. It will be too late.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@Visual_Cortex @IReportYouWhine#1 



I had a gig teaching at a University for a few years - adjunct professor.

Lowery is clueless. Just another attempt to rile up the tp crowd.

It must be tiring to always be outraged about something.

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

 The media’s focus is on Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, and whether she took official actions to benefit her family’s global charity. But the mistake is starting from the premise that the Clinton Foundation is a “charity.” What’s clear by now is that this family enterprise was set up as a global shakedown operation, designed to finance and nurture the Clintons’ continued political ambitions. It’s a Hillary super PAC that throws in the occasional good deed.


Perp walk time.


http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-clinton-charity-begins-at-home-1433459849

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@IReportYouWhine#1

Perp walk time.

Ah, aspirational postings like that, they do bring back sweet memories. 

Hey, any lefties here remember dreaming of "Fitzmas"?

gotalife
gotalife

Tax the wealthy 100 % and pay off their debt.


Then drop it back to now.


They will still not need one American's help.


They will be okay.

gotalife
gotalife

When sanity returns to American politics, we should listen to Hillary say"balance is off". Way off.


So, lets write bills for 30 years to help the middle class and poor.


Focus on it like they focused on helping corporations and the wealthy for 30 years.


Election reform to make it short and cheap.


Get the freaking money out of politics.


It is about people not money.



td1234
td1234

@gotalife Good. Progressive judges seem to not believe in the Constitution so they should not be confirmed. Wait until we have a Republican President with a Republican Senate. 

gotalife
gotalife

@td1234 @gotalife I will be preparing for a total collapse with riots and depression. I would advise Americans to do the same thing.

td1234
td1234

@gotalife @td1234 Why because people may actually follow the Constitution and not move us more to a socialist nation. 

gotalife
gotalife

@td1234 @gotalife  Socialism to bail them out. The wealthy love socialism and sticking you with the their debt. I say no to paying off their debt. Draw the line in the sand.

Wena Mow Masipa How
Wena Mow Masipa How

McConnell and his GOP are a stain on our nation.

"been moving at a snail's pace this year. Republicans have only confirmed four district court nominees and no circuit court nominees.

For some context: President George W. Bush had to work with a Democratic Senate in his final two years in office. By this point in Bush's seventh year, the Senate had confirmed 15 of his district court nominees and three circuit court nominees."

gotalife
gotalife

"Snowden: balance of power has shifted as people defy government surveillance


Whistleblower says ‘profound difference’ has occurred over past two years after leaking of NSA documents as public demands privacy"


America does not cower so your fear card does not work.

bu2
bu2

@US_Patriot 


That's hilarious!!!!!!


But I think they are right-"only in Russia."

bu2
bu2

@US_Patriot 

Atlanta would build a streetcar that would take 90 minutes to get from downtown to the Chattahoochie, build a $100 million footbridge across the Chattahoochie and transfer to another streetcar on the other side that would go one mile where you would transfer to a bus.


The footbridge would, of course, be built by friends of Mayor Reed and former Mayor Cassell.  They would also get city financing to build a hotel and mixed use mid-rise on city owned property by the foot of the bridge.

gotalife
gotalife

“It was a post on social media to bombs on target in less than 24 hours,” Gen. Hawk Carlisle said during an Air Force Association event. “Incredible work when you think about.”

“The guys that were working down out of Hurlburt, they’re combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command. And in some social media, open forum, bragging about the command and control capabilities for Daesh, ISIL. And these guys go: ‘We got an in.’ So they do some work, long story short, about 22 hours later” the building had been destroyed by a strike, he said.


JV indeed.

td1234
td1234

"The share of Republicans who believe immigrants strengthen the country dropped sharply from about 45 percent in 2013 to just 27 percent this year. The share of Democrats who view immigrants favorably dropped a few points to 62 percent, and the share of Independents dropped slightly to 57 percent.

Despite a number of polls similar to this one showing more Americans than not — across party and demographic lines — are concerned about legal immigration, most of the Republican and Democratic 2016 candidates favor an increase.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum are the only 2016 candidates talking about slowing the rate of legal immigration into the country, for the sake of American workers.

The foreign-born population will reach 51 million by 2023, which is the largest share of total population ever recorded in American history, the U.S. Census Bureau recently projected.



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/04/poll-7-in-10-americans-do-not-want-more-immigration/#ixzz3c9AwHnB2

bu2
bu2

@td1234 

Do you really think those polled were clear this poll was asking about legal vs. total immigration?

josef
josef

@bu2 @td1234 

This is not a good thing.Disapproval of the “Auslaender” on the increase is, historically, one of the signs of a serious move toward repressive, centralized government away from a decentralized, open and democratic society.

td1234
td1234

@josef I already believe we are in a repressive centralized government. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@td1234 @josef

Oh, what a giveaway!  Did'j'hear that, did'j'hear that, eh?  

That's what I'm on about!  

Did you see 'im repressing me?  You saw it, didn't you?!