Sunday, May 8, 2011

City Increasing Taxes

You heard it here first. Actually if you really heard it here first you haven't been listening.

For quite some time the mayor and city council, all very smart folks, have been working to fritter our money away on their pet projects while ignoring core services. Ultimately this achieves the goal of every politician: increase their power by increasing the money available to wield power. And just where does that additional money come from? You guessed it: tax increases!

Have you noticed the poor condition of streets in Dunwoody? Do you realize that the referendum was a stop-work order to the county's road repair crews? Or, that Dunwoody has done little or nothing to pave and properly maintain our streets in two years? Ah, but some consultants have been paid. Smart consultants. Sadly that won't keep your front end aligned now will it?

Have you also noticed the bloated police department? Perhaps if fewer officers were sent on international junkets to Israel and Georgia, or patrols spent time in the city rather than cruising 285 we wouldn't need the bloat. We might even go round up burglars, for whom we have solid physical evidence, rather than calling them up and inviting them for coffee and donuts. Guess what, the perp didn't show.

And then there is legal. If a certain startup had shown the growth that the city attorney's office has, well we might have quite a savings in that department as well.

But routine negligence and excessive overhead are simply not enough. By delaying work on core needs we built up a surplus and that just had to go. And it did -- to buy the "PVC Farm". Why? Not because it was a good land deal and certainly not because we lacked other, more important uses for the money. The real reason is much simpler.

It seems some folks, probably from neighboring apartments, have installed a basketball goal. In Dunwoody!!! Not very smart, eh? As you may know, we've had heated debates over where the next baseball fields are located, but basketball courts? Fuggedaboutit! Dribble, dribble, fake-pump, shoot is a sports analogy about the lack of transparent government in Dunwoody, not something we want to see on the commute home.

Ahhh but baseball. That's the pure American sport for the pure unhyphenated-American. For loyal Dunwoody fans this purchase was a triple play. It eliminated a majority of our surplus funds. It will eliminate the basketball goals. And it prevents the construction of apartment homes. Clearly a higher priority than roads and sidewalks.

It doesn't take Nostradamus to have seen this coming. After all when we voted for a city we immediately made it more expensive to live in Dunwoody. The county, being unincorporated, doesn't levy franchise fees, while our fledgling, now poor-mouthing, city does. Fees that we all pay. And it is quite the line item on the income side of the ledger.

So there you have it. The city started off with more funds and a new, larger source of funding than the county ever had and now look at where we are: two years of decaying infrastructure and a decimated surplus followed by a call for tax increases. Some are saying Dunwoody really is full of smart people who certainly should have known this would be the direct consequence of forming this city. Though we don't get a "do-over", when you go to the polls this fall you might want to ask yourself: "are these people worth what I'm already paying, let alone more?" Show them how much smarter you've become.