Monday, May 6, 2013

Winston Churchill's Destruction of Dunwoody

One of Winston Churchill's quotable quotes on democracy
"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter"
seems to have struck a cord with the powers-that-were who pushed thru the creation of Dunwoody. While promoting this city as a platform for local control they were crafting a city charter that effectively relegates our elected Council and Mayor to ceremonial status all but eliminating the voter's say over those who run their city.

They blessed us with what is really "representative democracy" in name only by creating what is in fact a Bureaucratic Monarchy. They effectively stripped our Mayor and Council of any real authority and concentrated what should be distributed power with built in checks and balances answerable to the voter into a single bureaucratic position effectively answerable to no one: the City Manager.

Our current charter has given us a Council and Mayor with the authority to preside over ribbon cuttings while it is King Warren of the Wold who decides when and where and even if these ribbon cuttings occur. He negotiates backroom real estate deals with the full power and purse of the City and deigns to engage Council only when their approval, guided by his hand, is needed--at which point it has been reduced to a mere formality. His casual dismissal of his public non-engagement when making drastic changes to Brookrun Parkway is probably the closest we will get to honesty and transparency during his reign with every other action cloaked in impenetrable opacity with the CAD dis-integration being but one example.

The basis for this Orwellian perversion is not just the aforementioned Churchill quote but the twisted notion that when power corrupts it only affects politicians while appointed officials are somehow immune. There have been many a pub chat regarding the general integrity of anyone who would even consider entering politics but history has proven time and again that humans, any and all, are ill suited to manage power and ultimately it is power that controls them. The key factors of power's corrupting effect are concentration and time and we have had quite enough of both.

We have spent far too much time and effort attempting to disprove the harsh reality of power's corrupting effect and we should now consider another bit of wisdom from Churchill:
"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."
Here in Dunwoody it is time that we give democracy a try. The power of the ballot box, our power, is effected only through the power of our elected officials and it is now time, with all good care and prudence, to put that power in their hands and return bureaucrats to the role where they best serve--being bureaucrats.

We must create a new charter that will be our Magna Carta.