(The late Lester Maddox, above)
Check this out, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, about MARTA's budget problems.The ghost of Lester Maddox -- the ax-handle-toting, proudly segregationist Georgia politician -- is with us still, in the form of a provision that's hamstringing MARTA's efforts to deal with the downturn in sales tax receipts due to the recession. (The photo above is Maddox in 2001.)
It seems that way back when MARTA was being formed, then-Lt. Gov. Maddox ensured that a provision in state law would prevent the subway-transit system from using more than 50 percent of its revenues for operations. MARTA wants the legislature to remove those restrictions.
Charlotte's transit system is in no way perfect, but we in the Queen City should thank our lucky stars the city didn't have to try to placate politicians who were quite as antediluvian as Lester Maddox. (Though to be fair to Georgia I could, of course, name some Charlotte names of folks who lacked only for ax handles ...)