Public Input Often a Sham

Citizens attend town hall meetings giving the elected person a piece of their mind about votes they have taken or positions they have promoted to no avail.

In Gwinnett County, in recent years, we have watched with dismay as the county commission . Word is now coming to light that the predicted windfall of money that was to come with the building of the minor league ballpark near the Mall of Georgia has not been the great success that was predicted. Of course, many people will say the economy turned sour, and fewer people have extra money for entertainment at sporting events as a reason for the shortfall. Whatever the reason, the citizens of Gwinnett are now stuck with the bill that only promises to go higher in the next several years.

Added to these two failing events listed above, we now . Consultants, experts, and business people all stand in line as cheerleaders for the expansion of Briscoe Field, and their voice is being heard over the protest of the people who live near the airport. Could we stop for just a moment and suppose that all of these experts are correct and this will be the greatest windfall of money to ever come into Gwinnett County? At what price will that happen?

During the congressional recess, Congressmen and Senators host town hall meetings to hear from the people they are elected to represent in Washington. Local town councils and county commission bodies have, as part of their agenda, a time to hear from the people at their meetings. When decisions are made, however, it seems that which is suggested by the people is lost somewhere in a deep hole entirely covered in mud that cannot be seen from the surface.

In each new election cycle, people who run for office make a promise to keep an open door for their constituents and to listen to everything the people want to have done. However, somewhere between election night and the meeting of the council or commission, the newly elected person forgets the promises made during the campaign.

As soon as a person is elected, there is a gaggle of special interest groups who bombard them with ideas of how to govern (with their pet project at the top of the list). Citizens attend town hall meetings giving the elected person a piece of their mind about votes they have taken or positions they have promoted to no avail.

If the indications we are receiving now come to fruition, we can conclude already that Gwinnett County commissioners are not listening to the people who will be hurt by this airport, but they are listening to the special interest groups once again. With what we are seeing in Washington and other levels of government, why do they even go through the sham of having input from the people? From where I stand, it is dishonest that politicians ask for input knowing they are going to do the opposite of what the people have said.

Jimmy Orr September 21, 2011 at 04:15 AM
Yes, Cole, I remember you from your comments following Rob Woodall's Dacula Town Hall Meeting. I see you are still slithering around.
GregRodgers September 21, 2011 at 03:21 PM
"Some do so because they have a personal agenda (Beaudreau), others because their just not particularly smart (Howard), and others because they honestly think they're doing the right thing(??) And some candidates DO think they're smarter than everyone else. (Beaudreau and Lassiter)
Ray Newman September 22, 2011 at 12:42 PM
Well said, Dave. Voters need to investigate and find out as much as they can about all the candidates before they vote. Thanks for being willing to serve.
Mike Sims June 06, 2012 at 06:21 PM
You are correct, Patrick has moved to Union county and sided with those in favor of the Tsplost tax up here. We wish he would move back.
Dave Emanuel June 06, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I attended an interesting debate yesterday about T-Splost. Two interesting points-- 1- over 50% of the funds will be devoted to "transit" with a good portion of that rail. 2- Ridership of rail systems in cities all over the country is typically at the 15% or lower level. Apparently, one of the major benefits of T-Splost is that we're going to build more rail lines so people will have a wider choice of lines they won't ride.


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