Ku said he hoped commissioners would agree on a plan in time for November, while Commissioner Jace Brooks said he was confident they would. Commissioner Marlene Fosque said she was open to possibilities regarding the transit plan and was waiting to see the final results of the discussion, which will resume March 26. Commissioner Tommy Hunter said he thought a measure would make the ballot, but he wouldn’t support it.
“Would appear the new MO in Gwinnett will be to vote until we get the result government wants,” he said in a text message to the AJC.
Over the next two weeks, consultants will go through the various proposals to better lay out for commissioners what they will be getting with each plan they might approve. There are trade-offs for reliability, frequency, mode of transportation and other factors that commissioners will have to consider, in addition to making sure whatever they approve is within the limits of what they’ll be able to fund and build.
“There’s a good bit of work involved in it,” said Alan Chapman, Gwinnett’s transportation director.
Depending on the funding route commissioners take, Gwinnett’s cities might also have a say in approving any proposals. The ATL board’s transit plan hasn’t been updated since it was first approved last year, so Gwinnett is the first entity to go through the process to amend the plan.
Commissioners are aware that there are deadlines that need to be met. Fosque said she was concerned about the time frame for finishing the analysis.
“This is really tight,” she said.
Nash countered that the commission had worked quickly to bring a MARTA proposal to voters last year, too. Still, Brooks said, “There is no time to dilly-dally.”
Nash said she’d found the discussion helpful, particularly as she learned what questions her colleagues still have. Ku said he thought the final decision would be a difficult one as each plan leads to different trade-offs, but that he thought the county had good options.
“The best plan is something that’s regionally focused, has connectivity and is scalable,” he said.