Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin have kept her distance from the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST)proposal but now that the referendum failed, shestated on her blog that the issue of transportation always belonged “on the shoulders of the State and Governor Deal.”
When answering the question of what T-SPLOST vote “doesn’t mean” to her, she wrote on her Blogging While Blue websitethe following:
It doesn’t mean the State of Georgia is off the hook for leading the development, planning and funding of a metro Atlanta comprehensive transportation and environmental plan. Or that the Governor doesn’t have the obligation and responsibility to do everything in his power to invest in a transformative, smart transportation network of trains, rail, buses, roads, bridges, trails, sidewalks and highways. Transit is worthy of state funding in a smart transportation plan.
It doesn’t mean metro Atlanta should play second fiddle in the race for state funding for its needs – to clean the air we breathe or to improve transportation accessibility and mobility.
Finally, the issue of resolving the region’s transportation problems is back on the shoulders of the State and Governor Deal, which is where I think it should have been all along.
It certainly appears that Franklin didn’t neccessarly support the measure which could explain her previous silence on the subject.
“Now that the vote is over I have been asked what I think,” Franklin wrote. “Before I even begin to offer an answer to such a heady question, I should probably do a recap on what the T-SPLOST vote means to me (…).” (click here to read the rest)
It’s hard to believe that the high profile Democrat was only asked about her opinion “now that the vote is over.”
Franklin was the first female mayor of Atlanta, first black female mayor of Atlanta, first black female mayor of any large Southern City, TIME magazine named her one of the five best big-city mayors in America, U.S. News & World Report included her in their “Best Leaders of 2005” issue, she was on The White House Project bi-partisan list of its “8 in ’08 – eight women that could run for the White House, she won her 2005 reelection by over 90%, and the list goes on. Franklin is a popular figure in Georgia.
In addition, one of the biggest supporters of T-SPLOST was current Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. He worked as a campaign manager for Franklin in both of her mayoral runs, and she gave him her informal endorsement in 2009.
Certainly Reed could have used Franklin’s help and perhaps asked for it, but she could have been helpful only if she was actually a supporter of the T-SPLOST referendum.