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Forum will present T-SPLOST pros, cons

Chairman Bell and anti-tax activist to speak

Clayton County Chairman Eldrin Bell and an activist opposed to the Transportation Investment Act are scheduled to speak Saturday at an educational forum organized and moderated by the chairman of the county GOP.

Slated for 2 p.m. at the park in front of Morrow City Hall, the event is being organized by Clayton County GOP chairman Carl Swensson. He said that he’s organizing this on his own, though, and not as a party function.

“This is nothing to do with the GOP. This is not a GOP or Democrat issue,” said Swensson, who counts himself as a member of the Tea Party. “This is politics.”

At issue is the tax intended to finance the act, known popularly as the T-SPLOST. A referendum on the tax, which will bankroll about $8.5 billion worth of regional road and transit projects, will be held on July 31.

As Clayton County’s representative on the Atlanta Regional Commission, Bell supports the T-SPLOST. His office confirmed Wednesday that he is scheduled to speak there.

Presenting the other point of view will be Mike Lowry, a volunteer for the Transportation Leadership Coalition and its website, traffictruth.net, which provides information opposing the T-SPLOST.

Lowry, who advises start-ups at Georgia Tech’s Atlanta Technology Development Center, has lived in the Atlanta area most of his life. He said his blog entries for a Roswell website led him to join the coaltion, which has “75 to 80 volunteers.”

Swensson said both Bell and Lowry will speak, then audience members will be invited to write questions on index cards for the two to answer. Swensson will serve as moderator.