Columbus attorney set for panel on TSPLOST

Local attorney Frank Myers has been appointed to the Citizen Review Panel that will oversee spending of Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax proceeds, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle announced this week.

Myers joins Sanders Griffith, senior executive vice president of TSYS, as a Columbus representative. Griffith was one of three members appointed two weeks ago by House Speaker David Ralston. The panel is charged with making sure TSPLOST funds are spent on projects for which the funds were designated.

Myers, a political operative and former Muscogee County Democratic Party chairman, worked to get the TSPLOST referendum passed in the River Valley Region, which includes Muscogee County. River Valley was one of only three of the 12 regions in Georgia that passed the sales tax.

"I think it's going to be the easiest job in the world," Myers said. "The eyes of the state will be on the three regions that passed the TSPLOST, so I'm confident the DOT will step up."

The five-member panels consist of three people appointed by the speaker of the House and two appointed by the lieutenant governor. Each must be a resident of the district. The law creating the panels requires them to meet at least three times a year, but they can meet as often as their elected chairmen prefer.

Members of the panel receive no salary, but are provided the state's standard $105 per diem for days that they meet or travel to review work.

Griffith and Myers join Jermiah Carney and Buddy Leger of Cordele and Anthony Murray of Buena Vista on the panel.

The River Valley region consists of Muscogee, Harris, Talbot, Taylor, Macon, Marion, Chattahoochee, Dooly, Stewart, Webster, Sumter, Crisp, Randolph, Schley, Quitman and Clay counties.

The 10-year sales tax is expected to produce about $260 million for Muscogee County transportation projects over its lifetime.