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Alpharetta Mayor: ATL Millennials will Want to Move Here

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AJC political insider Jim Galloway reports on a recent meeting of (almost) every mayor in Fulton County, where the topic du jour was a potential one-cent sales tax for transportation — and where insightful statements and actions were plentiful. The transportation-funding measure could be put to Fulton voters on a November 2016 ballot, and almost every mayor in the county made it clear at the session they would want each penny of the tax to fund roads and bridges — not transit. Two mayors of cities that would be served by a proposed northward extension of MARTA's Red Line — Sandy Springs' Rusty Paul and Roswell's Jere Wood — were apparently alarmed enough to leave the downtown Atlanta meeting and hustle to Mayor Kasim Reed's office (Hizzoner had sent reps as fill-ins to the session). But Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle seemed more at ease with a future bereft of heavy MARTA rail, telling the AJC that affordable housing and top-performing schools will win over transit in the end. "Millennials want Alpharetta. They just don't know it," Belle Isle told the newspaper. "Millennials are people, at the end of the day. They're going to have children." If that's the case, legions of apartment-dwelling, income-disposing, highly educated intown Atlantans — now living in what MONEY magazine recently named the country's second best city for millennials — are just delaying the inevitable.