Atlanta image taking a beating in the 2014 Icecapades
How bad is it? It's so bad that even folks up north are watching the news, shaking their heads, and saying "Bless Their Heart."
Here in the Atlanta area, there's a different kind of blessing going on, as reporters are channeling the rage of those who were stuck spending the night in schools, on school buses stranded in the road, and commuters who faced times upwards of 7 to 10 and even 12 (twelve!) hours home if not more. The reporters are unleashing on Gov. Nathan Deal, who made the unfortunate remark that this snowstorm was "unexpected."
Today big-time national weatherman Al Roker went off on Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Taking lumps on a nationwide level is not a good precedent. It doesn't take any soul searching to see there is a distinct lack of leadership at the state and local government level. Heck, here in Fayette we dodged several bullets as apparently all our schoolchildren made it safely home, even on buses that slipped and inched their way to destinations. There surely will be repercussions for those who decided to open schools yesterday.
Long after the ice is gone, however, this Icecapade will have a ripple affect on metro Atlanta as a whole, and unfortunately we're lumped in that. What company in their right mind will want to move to a place where winter traffic is so freakin' bad?
While we're at it, a big raspberry to all the metro Atlanta companies who had their employees even come to work yesterday when so many, many of them have the option to telecommute, much like I'm doing right this very second even though my office is just 1.5 miles up the road.
When all is said and done, the kindness of humanity will bear out, and that's a wonderful thing. Those are great stories. I think we all here in Fayette County owe our school bus drivers a debt of gratitude for taking care of our kiddos and getting them home safely and skillfully. A big shout out also goes to our policemen and women, sheriffs deputies, firemen, EMTs and paramedics. They were working all over the place yesterday and listening to the police scanner yesterday I almost got whiplash just trying to follow all the wrecks they were going to.
When all is said and done, I hope Deal and Reed take a good long look on how their lack of leadership has negatively impacted the way people view Atlanta OUTSIDE of Georgia. Given the events of yesterday, no one can say with a straight face anymore that Georgia is a business-friendly state.
Businesses depend on getting their employees in and out of the office, and for that we can't just give Deal and Reed and 'F' on their report card. We need to hold them back a grade or two.