Monday, January 2, 2012

Brookhaven: Dunwoody Deja Vu

In two key regards Brookhaven is heading down the path recently paved by Dunwoody.

First is standard operating procedure for any powerful interest that wants to get their way: schedule a public vote at an inconvenient time, say the first Tuesday after the last new moon before the summer solstice. This provides the special interest with maximum benefit not just from ordinary public apathy, but also from summer distractions, vacations and outside activities. Expect them to push for a mid-summer vote where they can expect eighty percent approval from a very small turnout. And like Dunwoody, this will be done in a PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION YEAR, when fall voter turnout will be at a four year peak.  Were they patriotic supporters of this country's democratic principals the referendum would be on the general ballot, but they are more than willing to subvert our ideals to gain even a minor advantage.

The second was honed if not formulated by the Citizens for Dunwoody: form a private non-profit to run various "Task Force" efforts. These task forces were simply brilliant. They engaged people who wanted to think of themselves as  "part of the movement" and by appealing to their inflated sense of self-importance, kept them harmlessly engaged in the cause. Since the organization is PRIVATE so are all the meetings and reports. All the real shakers and movers have to do is round up the busy-bodies, teach them a secret handshake and give them some busy-work. At that point the "Task Forcers" will go press the flesh, saying asinine things like "trust me, I know, I'm on a the Task Force and the county has it all screwed up--the City will do much better". This isn't just marketing, it is prosthelytizing as it is not a matter of fact, but rather an article of faith.

It is not too late nor too early for reasoning folks in Brookhaven to take action. They should make two non-negotiable demands:
  1. put the cityhood referendum on the 2012 general election ballot
  2. operate the Task Forces under the legal constraints of Georgia's Open Meeting Laws and publish Task Force reports no later than six weeks before the referendum
You will be given some reasons why this just cannot happen. Any attempt to justify an "early vote" is unadulterated crap. Period. They will attempt to deflect the task force issue by using the "private corporation" shield, but as with Dunwoody, should the Brookhaven referendum pass, the Governor's office will establish an operational committee for the city between passage and first day of operation. You are only asking that the Governor's office start before the referendum.

If Mikey cannot pull these two simple things off, then perhaps his city isn't ready for prime time.