Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Given the stellar performance by the Georgia Legislature over the last couple of sessions, I find it humorous that Sen. Don Balfour and Rep. Curt Thompson would weigh in on the Gwinnett tax hike.
Rep. Thompson's proposal of a binding referendum is the absolute default position of every politician who is unable or unwilling to make the tough decisions. Periodically, we need to remember we are not a democracy - we are a republic. As such we elect representatives to make decisions for us. Binding referendums and voter propositions, as in California, are an ineffective form of governance and an absolute abdication of responsibility on the part our elected officials.
In a similar regard, I dispute Commissioner Mike Beaudreau's assertion that the residents of Gwinnett bear some responsibility for the proposed millage increase because we didn't participate in the budgetary process. As a resident of District 3, I voted to hire Commissioner Beaudreau and Chairman Charles Bannister. Along with the other three commissioners, they hire the staff to run the county. In the case of the budget and millage increase, the BOC and staff performed badly, but because a republic allows for resident input, we had public hearings and the bad decisions were changed. I think the system worked exactly as was intended.
A republic may not be a perfect form of government, and it's workings are sometimes messy, as evidenced by the public hearings. But it is what we have and in my opinion better than the all the known alternatives.