Making Headway in Metro Atlanta Transit Planning

Regional transit planning is headed to Metro Atlanta.  Late Thursday night, the GA General Assembly took the first step towards community connectivity by approving  the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority. The ATL will build the framework in creating a solid regional transit governance & funding structure for the Metro area.

A Moving Tribute to Zell Plus A Few Life Lessons

Greg Bluestein and Jill Vejnoska of the AJC write about yesterday’s moving memorial service for former Gov. Zell Miller.  Included at the end of the story is part of Bryan Miller’s tribute to his grandfather where he shares portions of a personal letter Gov. Miller wrote to Bryan and other loved ones’ years ago.  Thank you Bryan for sharing. Lessons from Miller is a great reminder for what’s important and how we interact with others,  at least for me anyway. 

  1.  Do not be afraid to fail while going after something you really want. You will always learn   from it. Never give up. Persistence will overcome everything else. I guarantee it.

  2.  If you listen more than you talk, you will not only learn more, but people will think you are smarter, not dumber, than you really are.

  3. For every action there is a consequence – always. It can be a good consequence or a bad one, but it will come just as sure as night follows the day.

  4. Use frequently but sincerely the words “I’m sorry,” “thank you” and “I love you.”

  5. Being on time will be noted and will impress people. Being late is a very rude thing to do. It says to the other people, “my time is more important than your time.” A person who is always late is a selfish person. Mark it down.

  6. Being mentally tough will help you more in life than being physically tough.

  7. Whiners are terrible people to be around. Don’t be one. Ask yourself from time to time, “Am I whining too much?” Blaming others for your own misfortune is the same thing and just as bad.

  8. Notice and appreciate what makes your heart leap up. If nothing does, examine your life because something is missing.

  9. Search for your niche. This may take years, although often it occurs early in life. There is something out there that you can do better or easier than other people. You have a knack or talent for it. Find it. It’s there. And when you do, others will beat a path to your door to get you to do it for them. It may bring fame, fortune or happiness. Keep in mind that there are also things you just simply cannot do very well, but there are others who can. If you’re lucky, you will marry them.

  10. From time to time, make yourself do something you don’t really want to do. It will make you stronger.

  11. Smoking will shorten your life. I’ve seen too many loved ones die because of it.

  12. Family and home are important. One should know where he came from and who suffered or sacrificed to get us where we are. Having a sense of family and having a sense of place is going to be increasingly hard in this modern, fast-moving, ever-changing world. But if you do, it will bring you comfort and stability.

  13. Those who teach lessons are not smart or know everything. They’ve just lived a long time.

  14. Keep a good sense of humor, and laugh at yourself more than you do others.

Chairman Jason Shaw Introduces Legislation to Create the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, February 16th, 2018

State Representative Jason Shaw (R-Lakeland) introduced legislation that would create the  Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation.

“Our state has experienced tremendous economic success in recent years, and we are proud to be named the No.1 state in the country to do business for five consecutive years,” said Rep. Shaw. “However, this significant growth has been largely focused within the Metro Atlanta region, and rural Georgia has not seen the same level of economic prosperity. Rural Georgia faces distinct economic challenges, and with this legislation, we could continue to study these issues. The Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation would provide a central location for research and information on rural development, which is crucial to enhancing economic opportunities in these regions.”

This legislation would create, in connection with the University System of Georgia, the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation to serve as a central information and research hub for rural leadership training and best practices. Best practices may include community planning models, industry-specific assistance and cooperative efforts with nonprofits, religious organizations and other higher education partners. The center could establish satellite offices as necessary to accomplish its mission.

The Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation would be located within a college or institution of the University System of Georgia that awards Bachelor of Science degrees in rural community development, and the president of the college or institution would appoint a center director. The center would assume the business and responsibilities of the Centers of Innovation Agribusiness administered by the Department of Economic Development.

Additionally, the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation would include the Georgia Rural Development Council, a 12-member council that would offer guidance to the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation and study the conditions, needs, issues and problems affecting rural economic development. This council would also examine related policy areas as they deem necessary and appropriate, such as education, unemployment, infrastructure and economic growth incentives.

The council would be made of up six councilmembers, appointed by the governor, and each of these six members would represent one of the following areas: leadership management; business development and entrepreneurship; finance and taxes; logistics of rural industries; health care; and education. The Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate would each appoint three councilmembers from different geographic areas of the state.

This bill is a product of the House Rural Development Council, which was established by House Resolution 389 during the 2017 legislative session. This council worked with rural communities to find ways to encourage economic growth and held hearings across the state during the summer and fall of 2017. The council will continue its work through the remainder of 2018.

Atlanta makes the short list!

Atlanta makes the short list for Amazon’s HQ2. Amazon has 3 distribution centers around metro Atlanta providing over 2,000 jobs and a fourth distribution center in Macon will employ another 500 workers. HQ2 is expected to generate tens of thousands of jobs & tens of billions of dollars in additional investment throughout the state. Assuming our budget forecasters are right, GA should remain par for the course for 2018 but a hole in one would sure be nice! Read more here.

The General Assembly Rolls into Town Along with the National Championship

The Georgia General Assembly is back in Session for what we hope will be a very short 40 legislative days. Priorities in addition to passing the budget, include lowering our state income taxes, giving public transportation a giant size bone by providing a desperately needed funding stream, and  helping our rural neighbors with a much needed economic boost, plus a few other little matters.