For those of you who might not know , Powder Springs has a new permanent City Manager, Brad Hulsey. Hulsey has been "Interim" City Mgr since February, 2012.
I thought it a good time to share with you some history that Hulsey and I share together.
He was elected to the City Council in 1995 and assumed office in January 1996. At that time Richard Sailors was Mayor. I was not elected until 1999, the same year he ran and won the Mayor's slot.
In 1997 the area learned that Norfolk Southern Railroad (NS) was going to build a massive new rail Intermodal Yard 8 miles east of the city limits in Clarkdale. You no doubt notice this when going east on 278.
Since it was built you also should note the increase in slow moving trains and lots of trucks on 278 going towards Hiram and 1-20. The rail yard is the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi and has more room to grow if the economy picks up.
Then Mayor Sailors, Brad Hulsey, myself and other volunteers began gearing up for a fight to stop or at least modify the intended project.
While we were doing this some area businesses thought that the project would increase taxes and employment. Not so. The taxes go to Austell and Cobb County.
It is taxed at a rate about the same as a junk yard. It is fully automated more so than other rail yards of its type which means very few persons actually work there.
The drayage trucks that haul the trailers come from all over. They haul the trailers for cheap to about a 50 mile radius of the yard. So there really is no economic benefit to the area considering it cost to build over $100,000,000.
This fight was longer than a large political campaign, lasting about five years. We volunteers were grateful that Sailors and Hulsey did such a good job supporting when some politicians had to be goaded into doing something. However, when they did help it was big time. Former County Commission Bill Byrne and Woody Thompson got the Cobb commission to file law suits to stop it.
In the end we lost in a jury trial but the NS decided to settle with us in lieu of an appeal. That is why we have Lewis Road, they along with some State money paid for it. Hulsey, along with State Senator Steve Thompson were part of the negotiation. By that time Hulsey was mayor.
It was undoubtedly the most strung out, expensive fight this area had since Mr. Sherman and then the boll weevils visited us.
I was proud of our City and our small but hard working volunteers. In fact that was the main reason I decided to run in '99. I wanted to be part of a City that had some spine.
I don't know if I am able to fight something like this again. But it is nice to know someone who was there through the 10th round.
Thanks for reading,