Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Here's the mayor's 'blue-ribbon' panel that will cut waste to pay for infrastructure bonds

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Sometime in the near future, but most likely this year, Atlanta voters will be asked if they support City Hall taking on up to $250 million in debt so construction crews can replace bridges, fill potholes, repair sidewalks, and synchronize traffic lights.

To pay for that bond issuance without raising property taxes on Atlantans, Mayor Kasim Reed is tasking a panel of elected officials, union reps, and corporate bigwigs to find cost savings in the budget. Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook and Delta CEO Richard Anderson will serve as co-chairs. Here are the other folks on the panel group dubbed "The Efficiency Commission," which might also be the name of a pro wrestling tag team:

* Atlanta City Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean
* Ken Allen of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers
* Stephen Borders of the Atlanta Professional Firefighters union
* Atlanta City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms
* Martin L. Flanagan, President & CEO of Invesco
* Alan Lee of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union
* Atlanta City Councilman C.T. Martin
* Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood
* Gina Pagnotta of the Professional Association of City Employees
* Atlanta City Councilwoman Joyce Shepard
* Terrance Simon of the Progressive Firefighters of Atlanta union
* William Taggart, President & CEO of the Atlanta Life Financial Group
* Geri Thomas, State President of Georgia at Bank of America
* Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan

The group will meet four times between now and mid-June, when City Council is expected to vote on next year's budget, and make recommendations on how the city can free up cash to pay for the infrastructure improvements. It will have the full support of city staff as well.

So, anyone wanna take bets on what a panel led by Shook and financial wizard Anderson might suggest the mayor and City Council do to save cash at City Hall? Maybe offer some ideas?

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