AJC Gwinnett: Referendum supporters speak to business leaders
November 2, 2006
Referendum supporters speak to business leaders
BYLINE: BEN SMITH
DATE: November 2, 2006
PUBLICATION: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
EDITION: Main; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
SECTION: Gwinnett News
Supporters of separate referendums — one to extend a 1 percent sales tax for schools and another to empower the county commission to send tax revenues back to the blighted areas from which they were collected — on Wednesday pitched their causes to a roomful of business leaders.
The two referendum questions are listed at the bottom of Gwinnett ballots for Tuesday’s election.
The Gwinnett Chamber forum was part of a stepped-up campaign for both causes in the final week of the election season.
Supporters of the referendum intended to revitalize Gwinnett’s blighted areas through the creation of tax allocation districts put their first cable television ads on the air Wednesday.
The campaign also started calling 75,000 Gwinnett households with a recorded message from U.S. Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.) stating his support for the TAD referendum, according to campaign strategist Mark Rountree.
Supporters of the SPLOST referendum for schools say the tax must be extended to enable the school system to build dozens of new schools, among other things, to handle Gwinnett’s mushrooming student population.
“We believe this is a wise investment in our children,” said Mike Levengood, an attorney heading up the SPLOST campaign. “We ask that you vote ‘yes’ Nov. 7.
“We ask that you go all the way to the bottom of the ballot.”
Michael Sullivan, a lawyer promoting the TAD referendum, spoke last at the Wednesday forum.
“Clearly they’re saving the most exciting issue for last,” Sullivan said of the complicated proposal.
Then Sullivan turned serious.
“This is one of the most important issues on your ballot,” he said.