The principle of local control of government took it on the chin last week. [The proposed city of] Sharon Springs would return representative government to the citizens of south Forsyth and provide them a means to properly manage growth.
That simple notion apparently is too much for some lawmakers to comprehend. Or perhaps it’s too frightening a prospect.
The level of frustration in this county is palpable. Our children are packed into overcrowded schools and are subject to constant redistricting. We lose precious family time while we’re stuck in traffic.
And our budgets are stretched by ever-rising property taxes and burgeoning public debt. Yet the growth continues at a breakneck pace, unrestrained by those in a position to apply the brakes.
We are virtually powerless to influence the process with the county commission. With only one in five answering to voters in a given district, they rule on issues with impunity. Adding a single new commissioner changes that dynamic very little.
Sharon Springs is the single best option on the table to return representative local government to the people. Decisions will be made by council members who are our neighbors, not by commissioners living in the far corners of the county. It establishes real community identity and allows us to chart our own direction.
So we looked to our representatives in the General Assembly, two of which were newcomers elected with strong grassroots support from homeowner groups. We asked them to place the Sharon Springs referendum on the ballot in 2016. Let the citizens decide if Sharon Springs is the best option available. That’s it, nothing more.
But the political establishment made it very clear last week that they don’t want you to have that choice. They are saying in a most unequivocal voice that you’re incapable of deciding on local control.
The citizens of south Forsyth are smarter than that. We deserve better. Put Sharon Springs on the ballot in 2016.