Friday, September 12, 2008

There they go again...

Thomas has an interesting report from the secessionist movement in Buckhead. To sum it up, he says:
All in all, this was a surreal experience.
I'm sure it was! I've already said plenty about this, so no use wasting my breath. I will add that I've talked a one community leader in Buckhead about this who seemed pretty pissed off at the idea. So I'm not really worried about it. Of course, I've said that before and been dead wrong. The real reason this will never in a million years happen? From Thomas's post:
State Rep. Ed Lindsey, R-Buckhead, told the crowd that a secession and attempt at cityhood would be complex and politically difficult. Any move first must be approved by the Atlanta delegation in the House — of its 15 members, 14 are Democrats who don’t live in Buckhead, Lindsey says.
Um, good luck with that. Also, maybe the FCTF should think about the fact that it's not like other cities and governments are having an easy time making budgets work these days. We are in a recession, or didn't you notice?

For the record that I'm not completely in disagreement with the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation. I think option number 1 is entirely worthwhile:
There are two ways out of the mire, the attorney told the crowd. Residents would have to either vote for fiscal-minded city and school board leaders or split from the city. He also advocated a complete switch to charter schools and privatizing some public services.
Also, charter schools and privatizing some services are not bad ideas. I'm not sure I would agree with them as to which services, of course, but the ideas should certainly be on the table. However, using charter schools as a way to pass the buck on paying for education is a canard. A community has a responsibility to educate all of its children. The debate over charter schools should be discussed on its potential benefit to our youth, not as a way to avoid taxes.

I'm in complete agreement that the city is in desperate need of reform. I just think the secession idea is a non-starter that will only breed more resentment and division, which is not how you move a city or a region forward. And moving Atlanta Forward has been the goal since 1925! (you'd probably have to be an Atlanta history buff to get that joke... I always found the name of that program hilarious.)

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