DeKalb Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson will host next month “a candid conversation about heavy rail to Stonecrest,” continuing the now decades-long debate over MARTA service in the southern end of the county.
Scheduled panelists for the public event — which will be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Stonecrest Library — include DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond; interim MARTA CEO Collie Greenwood; Stonecrest Mayor Jazzmin Cobble; and U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, who is also a former DeKalb commissioner and Davis Johnson’s husband.
Commissioners Larry Johnson and Lorraine Cochran Johnson are also slated to attend, as is Lee May, former interim DeKalb CEO and current chair of the DeKalb Pastors Christian Alliance.
Few details about the discussion were included in a flyer announcing the event. But the conversation about extending transit into southern DeKalb has been revived over the last year or so and at times gotten heated.
Longtime commissioners like Mereda Davis Johnson and Larry Johnson have been resolute in their desire to bring heavy rail to the area, something that has been desired by many residents for many years but never come to fruition. They say the time is now right, with an increased federal interest in infrastructure investment and a pair of Democratic senators that are partial to the deep blue county.
Other county commissioners have stressed the need to consider other, less costly forms of transit.
Whatever’s built would likely require a local funding source to match any federal money DeKalb receives.
The Stonecrest Library is located at 3123 Klondike Road.