John F. Schaffner
Let me start by saying I offered this space to the executives of Atlanta BeltLine Inc. to offer their sales pitch on why they chose to ignore the community’s input on the alignment of the planned trail through Tanyard Creek Park and instead select a route proposed by the PATH Foundation, which had been met with overwhelming objections from the surrounding neighborhoods.
Apparently they could not reach a consensus on what to say in the space offered to them because the guest column was not forthcoming.
I have decided to use this space instead to call upon the residents of Buckhead to make their voices heard about this and other BeltLine decisions that impact their neighborhoods and lifestyles. I urge residents to make their voices heard often (maybe daily) by phone calls and e-mails and to the broad base of decision makers and influencers.
After months of asking the question, “Who will make the final decision on the PATH trail alignment?”, we now know there is group of city officials and BeltLine executives and staff, known as Mayor Shirley Franklin’s BeltLine Sub-Cabinet, who made the final decision.
To help our readers reach out to the members of this BeltLine Sub-Cabinet, to Mayor Franklin and to Buckhead representatives on City Council, we have posted below their contact information.
It matters not to me whether the viewpoints expressed by residents to these “public servants” favor the decisions that have been made or are expressions of discontent. It is the responsibility of these individuals to at the very least listen to the public they serve. It is your responsibility to voice your viewpoints and insist that you are heard.
It was obvious at the Jan. 22 public meeting of the Northside Study Group for the BeltLine Master Plan that most of the 70 residents who attended felt they had wasted months of meetings on the Tanyard Creek Park trail because their input was ignored in the final decision.
The question is: Is it too late to make a difference? We hope it is never too late to right a potential wrong PATH.