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Local Leaders Must Listen to Electorate

Size and scope of government requires balance.

One of the perks of writing an opinion column is that it allows me the opportunity to express my personal opinion on a wide range of issues and concerns. It has been said, "The great thing about having an opinion is that it is like a nose, everybody has one." With this column, I will begin expressing my opinions about issues that touch , at the local, state, and federal levels.

Admittedly, there are personal preferences and feelings concerning many issues. We are blessed to have many different choices in our country. We can choose where to live, what to wear, when to sleep, what movies to attend - the list of personal choices that we are allowed to make continues. With freedom of religion, we can choose our place of worship or not worship and who to worship or not worship without fear of government control. We are truly a blessed people in a free nation.

With all of this being said, we do agree to certain controls and interferences in our lives. We all agree that when driving a motorized vehicle, we will stop when we see a traffic light turn red. Then, when the traffic light turns from red to green, we may proceed on our journey. Even with that understanding about the traffic lights, there are people who try to beat the odds and continue when the light has signaled to stop.

The same can be said of politics. Local leaders need to carefully consider the outcome of the election just conducted in November. Voters sent a clear message signaling politicians to stop - stop excessive spending, stop expanding government and stop ignoring constituents. From the small hamlets, villages, towns, cities, and large metro cities, the electorate appears to have awakened.

While we hear about the spending spree that is taking place in Washington, it is at the local level where spending can quickly be increased to a point that it is necessary to exact more money from local property owners by raising taxes as Gwinnett County did last year. As an advocate for less government and lower taxes, I have spoken with city and county commissioners many times about keeping the lid on spending.

In a growing area like Dacula, it is easy to be swayed into thinking that bigger is better, but that is not always true when we are talking about having to pay for the largesse of government. Once, in another city, an elected official told me, "We have not fully tapped into the pockets of the citizens of this city, yet." My reply was quick to assure him that to accomplish what he desired would cost him more than it was worth. He was defeated in the next election.

The opposing views of big government and less government are always before the citizens of every community. These two political worldviews clash at every level. Many times, people clamor for more government services, with little understanding that the desire for more government provision results in a larger price tag. Each time there is an increase in government size, the cost to the local tax payer goes higher.

While it might be nice to have the perks, , and public gatherings of larger cities, there is a price to be paid for living beyond one's means, personally and governmentally. We are seeing this reality played out before us internationally with the riots in England by students who are going to have to pay more for their college education. We are hearing of countries, such as Ireland, that are close to declaring bankruptcy because of run-away spending. We know of states, (California and New York) that are facing great financial issues because of uncontrolled spending.

Local governments are not exempt from the same financial rules that govern states and nations. From where I stand, it is time for government officials from to the White House to listen to their constituents' desire for balance in growth as they make decisions regarding the size and scope of government.  

Rick Johnson December 30, 2010 at 10:25 PM
Great to see that you are doing a column! We have been impressed with your wisdom for many years and look forward to reading your thoughts regularly. Rick Johnson, CEO Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC "A FAMILY COMPANY"

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