Monday, June 10, 2013

Boiling The Frogs

As expected by many and all but guaranteed by some the committee recommending changes to the City Charter are not moving towards enhanced democracy for our citizens but in fact are moving further away. This City was founded amid cries for responsible taxation and spending and now a committee comprised largely of the same folks who brought you Dunwoody 1.0 are now suggesting a way for the City to raise taxes without putting the issue to a vote.

This flies under the flag of shifting services to the City and consequently shifting the taxes (IE: City revenue) to the City coffers but rather than hew true to our founding principals these tax changes will be done without ballot box approval. Perhaps the spanking they received at the hands of the voters over the Parks Bonds left a bruise. At the end of the day this City is all about money flowing thru their hands. It is their way of amassing power and they're greedy for it. The more money they can pump thru their leaky pipes the better. You almost have to wonder if they've been planning all along to start the City with the appearance of "local control" and then chip away at Citizen input at every opportunity. And what can be more opportune than rewriting the charter?

The imminent issue being discussed centers around a "City of Dunwoody Fire Department". Sort of. Turns out Dunwoody cannot afford a Fire Department of it's very own--economies of scale are needed to make it even remotely affordable. The astute observer might notice this is why we have a County Fire Department but astute observers are banished from City Hall. But the FD groupies will not be deterred and offer the notion of a multi-city FD. The stated reason is improved response time--waving the public safety flag as "public safety" is a powerful tool to get whatever you want. But these are the same yahoos who bought into the increased cost of Chatcomm which placed the response time of second responders ahead of first responders. Their concern for public safety is further compromised in their incompetence in completing the CAD-to-CAD interface.

These shenanigans--the "let us tax you shell game"--could have been sold any number of ways, including "you won't pay higher taxes...the only change will be who you write the check when your mortgage company sells your loan". This is largely true but wasn't used. Instead we hear how the City Council must be empowered "to move fast" in the event DeKalb adjusts their services. 'Cuz we all know how fast DeKalb moves.

Look folks, it's those loud red trucks that need to move fast, not City Council changing our taxes--this should be done after public vetting, debate and deliberation. Democracy demands no less. When will we demand democracy?