Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gandering Goose

In a recent edition of the Dunwoody Fan Magazine, a state representative pontificates on the matter of a "City of DeKalb", suggesting that all the presented reasons favoring a unified city/county government are not only borne of faulty logic, but are, in essence, evil.

He points out, and rightly so, that by way of incorporation DeKalb would gain access to franchise fees, a clear grab for other people's money many of whom do not live in DeKalb, cannot vote in DeKalb, and gain none of the enormous benefits DeKalb will shower upon its residents with this ill gotten revenue.

And yet, he rather conveniently fails to point out that many of his own constituents tap into this equally ill gotten source of revenue without finding themselves in any moral quandary. In fact, the editor of the Dunwoody Fan Magazine, when it was pointed out that Dunwoody, screeching "Taxation w/o Representation" in its drive to cityhood, might not be on firm moral ground in adding a new tax against non-citizens, replied with "it has been in the plan all along and we cannot afford the city without it." Even more astounding is that this arrogant self-righteousness, a fine quality in the City of Dunwoody, is magically transformed into a heinous evil once outside the city limits.

Perhaps arrogance and self-righteousness simply don't travel well as well to Decatur as to the State House.

But our representative's bashing of the Dark Overlord, DeKalb County, was not complete. Revealing the true reason behind his objection, that incorporation would prevent annexations by Dunwoody, Doraville and Chamblee, he presented a fairly uncompelling case of "this land is our land, this land's not your land", harking back to a day when other, real live human beings were things to be owned and bargained for---mere property to be acquired and collected.

North DeKalb and its newest city have yet to pass the smell test, and they seem little concerned about their neighbors downwind. Were they, as individuals and collectively, to have an "ethical epiphany" they should work towards:
  1. a system whereby all utilities paying any city any franchise fees, would collect those fees only from the residents and businesses within that city's limits; and
  2. the free association of any residents in unincorporated areas to form, as they themselves have,  their own city, be it the City of DeKalb, some new independent city, or to join with a neighboring community.
Do these ideas originate from and are they supported our local statesman? Hardly. In fact he intends to use the DeKalb delegation to deny citizens of unincorporated DeKalb the opportunity to form their own city, though when that same delegation sought to block the City of Dunwoody, that was considered wrong.

Isn't it amazing? Where Dunwoody is involved what's good for the goose is almost never what's good for the gander.