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Comment Archives: stories: News & Views: Opinion

Re: “Cut the check

"Simple fact is, ABI signed a contract with APS and hasn't lived up to their part. End of story. "

That's not entirely accurate. ABI has until 2016 before they will be considered in default according to the contract.

Posted by Atlately on 07/19/2014 at 1:54 PM

Re: “Atlanta needs a design director

Ignatius' links has some brilliant commentary on dead spots around town.…

one-way streets are a big pet peeve.
because many city planners see streets as "sewers for traffic" as Andres Duany says.

one thing i disagree with Kunstler on: the caption for streetscape downtown off Peachtree between new GSU buidlings and woodruff park. "normal urban conditions... out-of-date in Atlanta" since it's relatively new development. student/tourist driven but welcome change to neighboring streets.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by John Ashe on 07/17/2014 at 11:08 PM

Re: “Atlanta needs a design director

as a rule, great architects don't make for great city planners. or even good city planners. fl wright, mies, le corb. all failed at designing urbanscapes. design at city scale is truly collaborative, if at times unintentionally so.

a city design advisory role might be good, but atl doesnt need a design director, it just needs vision in current and future leadership. vision for liveable cities, not just a collection of special interests.

new urbanism has been mentioned, in more ways than one, as a good direction forward. glenwood park is one example. yes indeed street level design is paramount. mixed-used is still relatively new, being a style retro to how development happened naturally, at smaller scales before developers like portman paved the way to make boring downtown caverns and dead streets. the walkway connectors are the opposite of good urbanism.

would also like to see more in-depth coverage of urban design, not just architecture, in CL (and AJC and ABC) to continue these discussions.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by John Ashe on 07/17/2014 at 10:45 PM

Re: “Cut the check

" ABI signed a contract with APS and hasn't lived up to their part. End of story. It doesn't matter who is corrupt. It doesn't matter about SACS, Beverly Hall, Kasim Reed's political ambitions, yuppies, hipsters, homeless, gangsters of love named Maurice, or any other third party. There is a legal contract that is legally binding between two legal entities. "

The bottom line...the real magilla...the crux of the biscuit...the nut at the bottom....

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by oydave on 07/17/2014 at 10:18 PM

Re: “Cut the check

I think we are missing the point. First of all, no one will benefit from the transformation of the intown neighborhoods impacted by the BeltLine more than APS. Their investment in the TAD made good business and educational sense from the beginning, and you could create the case that they should have invested their entire share of the increment into the BeltLine rather than cutting a deal to get cash back out.

Second, in negotiating the original TAD deal, APS refused to take a percentage of the increment gained over time and insisted on a flat cash payment. That meant that BeltLine was taking all of the downside risk (i.e., they would have to pay APS regardless of what happened with property values). While that risk might have seemed small in 2005, we all know how it turned out.

Third, APS really has no right to be asking for more money than they would have gained if the TAD had never occurred. The fair way out of this is for BeltLine to pay the percent of the property tax increment that was anticipated in the original BeltLine financial projection. That percent applied to the actual increment realized would be fair and reasonable to both parties.

Every year the BeltLine is delayed is a year that APS fails to benefit from the improved neighborhood conditions they desperately need to be successful. If it weren't for the obstinate knucklehead in the Mayor's Office.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Roger in ATL on 07/17/2014 at 6:41 PM

Re: “Cut the check

APS seems more and more like an incredibly wasteful jobs program for incompetent bureaucrats.

now i'm no fan of Reed or the Beltline elite, but i do think the beltline is more than a 'bike trail' as the author so dismissively writes. there is a bigger picture to improving neighborhoods through which it runs. i guess joeff hasnt even been in southwest atl.

and anyway, how much money does the city waste on road construction? how much of the property taxes go towards other less worth projects like wasteful car traffic 'solutions'...

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by John Ashe on 07/17/2014 at 4:45 PM

Re: “Cut the check

@tward, while we're fact-checking, Beltline TAD and bond funds have paid for only a fraction of the projects you enumerate.
The majority of the funding for those projects comes from the City's Water Sewer ratepayers, the Federal taxpayer and private donations funneled through Atlanta Beltline Partnership.

Of course, without the disgraceful (because unnecessary) payment of $65 million to Wayne Mason (plus interest on the bonds issued to pay it), the Beltline would have had much more of its own money to contribute.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by cityzen on 07/16/2014 at 5:16 PM

Re: “Cut the check

In this discussion: people who think contract law is based on popularity of the parties involved.

Simple fact is, ABI signed a contract with APS and hasn't lived up to their part. End of story. It doesn't matter who is corrupt. It doesn't matter about SACS, Beverly Hall, Kasim Reed's political ambitions, yuppies, hipsters, homeless, gangsters of love named Maurice, or any other third party. There is a legal contract that is legally binding between two legal entities. All this "nuh uh, the Beltline is popular, they win!" talk will get laughed out of court. The legal system simply doesn't work that way.

If ABI can find a way to invalidate the contract, then they should go for it. But demanding to be let out because they didn't get the better part of a deal they agreed to is like going to Vegas and demanding back the money you lost at the poker table because you were counting on winning. And it doesn't matter if you're the most popular star athlete in the world, you still have to pay. And it doesn't matter if jogging trails are more popular than educating kids, ABI still has to pay what they agreed to. If the economy went the other way and they ended up with much more money than envisioned in the deal, they would laugh if APS demanded ABI give them more.

Seriously, are we next going to find out which side Perez Hilton and Taylor Swift are on in this bizarre form of justice by popularity?

13 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Reed doesn't care about common people on 07/16/2014 at 4:05 PM

Re: “Cut the check

So I'm guessing you don't use a fact-checker; if so you would realize that since the beginning of the TAD the beltline has paved helped create over 7 miles of paved trails in total (including the west end, north side, and sw connector trails). Also the beltline has created old fourth ward park, boulevard crossing, and D.H. Stanton park, while at the same time rehabilitating Gordon White park. In addition they have remediated over 40 acres of brownfield and helped bring over $1 billion in new development to the city.

In addition, the Atlanta Beltline Inc. has utilized 15% of its TAD dollars to find the creation of 259 affordable housing units. All of this information is readily available on the projects website, maybe you should stop by and read up before writing under such basic and erroneous assumptions.

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by tward4187 on 07/16/2014 at 3:24 PM

Re: “Cut the check

If Mayor Reed follow's CL's advice, the City will be broke again in no time. Leaders must take the long view when making decisions that will ultimately affect the future of all relevant stakeholders. APS and the City have a symbiotic relationship, which requires their leaders to take a reasonable and cooperative approach in negotiating a solution. To be reasonable includes considering the totality of the circumstance when settling the current dispute, and developing a plan that provides the best future outcome for both organizations and their mutual constituents.

5 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by LarryK on 07/16/2014 at 2:07 PM

Re: “Cut the check

And of course Thomas can't provide a single instance of where I am off base.

True or false, did Kasim Reed meet with former chair El, attempting to get him to resign, so Lachandra Butler-Burks, the woman who ACTIVELY CONSPIRED with Beverly Hall to cover up cheating, could be reinstalled as the chairman of the APS school board?

True or false, did Lachandra Butler-Burks, when it became apparent she couldn't get elected dog catcher, let alone back on the APS board, not end up with a "golden parachute" job in Atlanta City government?

Those are VERIFIABLE facts, facts that show Kasim Reed, rather than protect Atlanta's children, protected those who VICTIMIZED Atlanta's children.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Beverly Fraud on 07/16/2014 at 1:31 PM

Re: “Cut the check

Beverly, who's paying you? With all due respect,You and your benefactor need
to go get your facts straight! Because you are completely off base and not making any sense.

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Krowne on 07/16/2014 at 12:57 PM

Re: “Cut the check

Joeff, I hate to break it to you, but lack of funding is not APS' biggest problem. In fact there have been several major exposes in recent years demonstrating that the central administrative costs of APS are both multiple times higher than other metro Atlanta school systems and other major urban systems across the nation.

Incompetence, mismanagement, lack of leadership, and during the mafia-like Hall administration, outright criminality have been the order of the day at APS for decades.

You probably know this already, but you are going to have to roll up your sleeves and WORK to make sure that your daughter's elementary school is functioning and serving the needs of all the children who attend there. APS will not do this; you have to do it yourself. It is up to you and your fellow neighborhood parents to work together to create the fun, amazing, challenging, and accountable elementary school that you want for your child.

Sometimes in life, money don't mean a thing. This is one of those times.

17 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Cassie on 07/16/2014 at 12:44 PM

Re: “Cut the check

@ Tom Tidwell
The problems are (1) large sums of money are being spent unwiseely on the Beltline, partly from APS, and (2) the City and the Belline have not honored their agreement with APS. The APS moneys are paid by all taxpayers.

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Burroughston Broch on 07/16/2014 at 12:22 PM

Re: “Cut the check

APS is not underfunded, as one commentator noted. APS spends more per student than any district in Georgia. The failings at APS are not the result of lack of revenue, but ineffeciencies and bureacracy. Eventually, APS should get paid the money it is owed, but it doesn't need to be today. This is a made-up "crisis," that needs to be resolved with everyone's interests in mind. APS recognizes that the Beltline is a long-term investment that could pay huge dividends. The Mayor has no leverage and he needs to get over his feelings of frustration and impotence and start acting like a leader, not a 1st year law student.

18 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tom Tidwell on 07/16/2014 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Cut the check

Two Public Entities should be able to sit down and resolve this

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Whatsben on 07/16/2014 at 11:22 AM

Re: “Cut the check

Actually LegallyDee, APS was NEVER about to lose accreditation. Empty threat if there ever was one.

It was a POLITICAL POWER PLAY designed to keep Beverly Hall in power and do "damage control" during the cheating scandal and Kasim Reed was MORE than willing to sacrifice educational outcomes of students in order to carry the water for the "bidness" community trying to sweep it under the rug.

All this was posted BEFORE it happened on the Get Schooled blog, so it's not revisionist history. The fact is if Reed had been any more transparent in his attempts to help make the cheating scandal "go away", he would have been legally required to change his name to Saran Wrap.

You are right on one thing: It would have been nice if you had indeed known the facts before you posted.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Beverly Fraud on 07/16/2014 at 11:09 AM

Re: “Cut the check

Funny. Where were all of these commenters when APS was about to loose its accreditation? Mayor Reed was the only one who was willing to do whatever it took to get APS out of the bind they were facing. It helps to know all of the facts!

2 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by LegallyDee on 07/16/2014 at 10:25 AM

Re: “Cut the check

Unilaterally choosing not to fulfill your obligations is not "cleaning up the mess". If that were the case, every new mayor could just walk away from the commitments that previous mayors had made on anything they don't like. You cannot run a city, a state, or a business that way. I can't tell my credit card company that I've decided not to pay for that nice patio set or sofa or whatever I bought last year just because my income didn't go up like I had anticipated it would. You clean up this type of mess by digging yourself out of it and not making the same mistake again. I like Kasim Reed a lot more than the CL staff seems to, but he's being a petulant baby this time.

15 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Policywank on 07/16/2014 at 9:54 AM

Re: “Cut the check

This one is a tough call. Elected officials propose and approve budgets seemingly for the good of the people that they represent. The APS Board, the Atlanta City Council, and the Fulton Co. Commission approved this funding mechanism (TAD) in 2005. I don't think that APS has received an expected amount, on time, ever. And now city officials want to renegotiate. Based on what? Their stellar reputation for making good on their agreements.

8 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by It_ain't_EZ_B_N_ME! on 07/16/2014 at 8:59 AM

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