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Resident publishes rebuttal letter to Rome News-Tribune editorial

Listed below is a rebuttal letter (from a Cartersville resident) to a recent Rome News-Tribune editorial that poked fun and sarcasm at opponents of Route D-VE. Not surprisingly, the paper did not publish the letter, as it was very critical of the their obstructionist past and antics on another well-known road debate – I-75 through Bartow County. We obtained a copy and wanted to share it with the public, as it raises several interesting points.

A link to the original editorial is at the bottom.

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Dear Editor,

In the editorial, “Termites removed from U.S. 411,” the paper’s attempt at April Fool’s Day humor was filled with hypocrisy. Based on this paper’s news archives from the 1960s and 1970s, its editors – along with the City of Rome and Floyd County – should know what it takes to be a persistent pest (or termite).

In the 1960s, they all banded together to form and support the “I-75 West Committee” to derail the state highway department’s approved, eastern route of I-75 through Bartow County (which passed to the east of Carterville.)

When the highway department finalized the eastern route in 1965, the paper published an editorial complaining that the agency did not listen to an “imposing array of evidence” for the western route, which passed to the west of Cartersville and was all of nearly four miles closer to Rome. The paper also whined that the state did not have an “open mind” towards Rome’s preferred western route due to its “preconceived attitude.”

Following this decision, the committee did not stop there. Instead, they enlisted the help of state and national conservation groups and elected officials to block the construction of the eastern route due to its excessive cost, environmental issues and more. For years, Rome and its coalition of the willing were successful in delaying the construction of this final portion of I-75 in Georgia. Their obstructionist ways ultimately held back regional economic development, strained taxpayers and led to continued travel woes.

Thankfully, the feds came to rescue in 1972 to end Rome’s countless road blocks and threats of lawsuits, and was able to broker a compromise on the route that pleased many.

It seems to me that Cartersville residents are only playing by a set of rules those “termites” from Rome established when it was convenient for them.

Regards,

Shelley Johnson

Cartersville, GA

Link to original Rome News-Tribune editorial

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