From the questions and concerns that individuals expressed, it is clear that we have more work to do in effectively sharing information about the Transit Plan. We must also assess and discuss the usefulness and feasibility of potential changes to the plan that surfaced during the campaign. I anticipate that the county will create a process for vetting such proposed changes, as well as providing additional public education about the plan.
The turnout for this referendum confirms the wisdom of placing such issues on the ballot in conjunction with other issues and elections that will help ensure broad turnout. I believed the turnout for the March referendum would be much higher than what was normally seen in special elections, based on the importance of the transit issue and the level of community discussion that had been ongoing about it for many years. However, less than 17 percent of total registered voters cast a vote. I am particularly surprised that younger voters, those who stand to be affected more by worsening traffic issues, did not show up in greater numbers. The timing of the next transit referendum will be a critical decision that the Board of Commissioners as a whole must make.
Over the next few months, the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners will lay out the next steps for transit expansion because doing otherwise is not an acceptable alternative. To keep Gwinnett moving, we must determine a path forward for transit options and improvements.
Charlotte Nash is chairman of the Gwinnett County Commission.