Monday, June 15, 2015

Three Pee Uh-Oh

Part of the smoke and mirrors used to push new cities thru the political sausage grinder is the proposition that all good things happen when you build your city around "Public-Private Partnerships." Better Service At A Better Price[TM]. That's what you are (being) told. As existence proofs they will point to Sandy Springs and Dunwoody.

Small problem: that was then and this is now.

As time goes by these "local governments" take on all the attributes of the more distant non-local governments they so detested. Sandy Springs somehow found it in everyone's best interest, certainly the new government bureaucracy, to bring more and more functions in-house. Same with Dunwoody as our 2016 budget calls for replacing contracted services with new hires. Governments. Politicians. Bureaucracy. Bloat. Synonym.

Dunwoody's case is a bit more puzzling than Sandy Springs. Sandy Springs jumped into the deep end of Three Pee Uh-Oh pool, outsourcing nearly everything but the elected offices. To a large degree that includes outsourcing transparency as corporations are not subject to FOIA requests. But Dunwoody was a bit more moderate, modeled more like Sandy Springs as it was at the time Dunwoody incorporated. By then Sandy Springs had already acted on their Three Pee Uh-Oh buyer's remorse which set in very early on.

With Dunwoody, now, it is the temporal juxtaposition of two announcements that raises eyebrows. First, a judge has sided with the medical corporation planning a residential mini-hospital smack in the midst of a neighborhood of McMansions. Apparently our swift thinking and even swifter acting "Staff" gave them an early go-ahead. Council tried to override and the judge got involved. Even better, rules and ordinances crafted by "Staff" and approved by Council were so simplistic in their protection of neighbors' interests that it could be circumvented by a single LLC and only thirty days. Basically the judge called them all out labelling "Staff" and Council as incompetent fools. Who are we to disagree? This was all foreshadowed by Council stepping in to override a Zoning decision on a lot subdivide choosing political expediency over legal process to quell neighborhood whining. Sadly that developer lacked the resources to put them in their place.

So now the 2016 budget calls for boarding more "Staff" on this ship of fools. One could argue that it can only help as these new fools cannot be as bad as the current crop. One would be ignoring the fact that outside sewerage treatment dilution is no solution to pollution. The stinky floaters will still be bobbing on the surface.

The key takeaway for the soon-to-be cities of Cliffside and Tucker is that what you are being sold will not be what you'll have after only a few years. Assuming you even get it in the first place. That's the real Uh-Oh.