In the debate over House Bill 626, which gives voters in unicorporated DeKalb an opportunity to vote later this year to incorporate as the City of
Brookhaven Ashford Brookhaven, Rep. Howard Mosby (D-Atlanta), the Chairman of the DeKalb County Delegation gave an impassioned speech about the imporance of local control:
“What has DeKalb County done to deserve this? For the last six years we’ve been down here fighting some local issue that our local delegation should be dealing with.”
“Why is DeKalb County here today? And I kinda got a theory on this. And I believe that we are down here today for one simple reason: it’s politics. It’s politics. Our county is run by Democrats. The delegation is run by Democrats. And some people don’t want to deal with Democrats.”
“I have a problem with the fact that we are debating policy that is going to affect the lives of the citizens in our county and we’re here because I’m a Democrat. This is not your issue, this is my issue. I understand your colleague has put you in this position, to allow you, or to have you vote on an issue that only affects my community. But it is my community.”
“I’ve been living in DeKalb County 45 years…. I have a vested interest in what happens there. Some of you may have live in DeKalb County, some of you may have visited DeKalb County, but this is our County, and I would appreciate it if you would allow us to control our own destiny.”
“This is a DeKalb County, this is a local issue, and I’m asking you to allow us to do this. To allow us to control what’s going on in our community, to allow us to be in charge, that the people who duly elected us to be in charge of their affairs, let us to do our job. I appreciate your help, but we can handle this. We can handle this. We know what we can do to make DeKalb County great.”
“I want this body to show the people of this state that you do believe in local control. I want this body to show the people of this state that you don’t support the heavy hand of state government coming down and demanding that the people in a local area do what that state is telling them to do. That we have the sovereign right to govern ourselves. I want you all to show the state that you believe that. You preach it, now it’s time for you to practice it.”
Here’s the livestream of today’s debate. Rep. Mosby begins around 3:28:00.
That’s a great speech about the importance of local control. Unfortunately, Mr. Mosby doesn’t understand that “local control” is about “local” and not about “control.” Mr. Mosby’s interest seems more in controlling Brookhaven residents from Decatur than in actual local control.
Most readers here know that I live in Brookhaven, and I support incorporation for the very reasons that Mr. Mosby articulates. Strike the partisan language and substitute “the heavy hand of DeKalb County” for “the heavy hand of state government” in that last paragraph and that’s exactly what Brookhaven residents are asking for.
As it currently stands, we are taxed and our taxes spent by a county commission in Decatur, none of whose members lives in Brookhaven.
Mr. Mosby asks what DeKalb County has done to deserve this. Shall we review?
S&P downgraded DeKalb County bonds by five rating slots.
The county government granted early retirement to 800 employees, then hired 600 new ones.
I know I’m missing a few, but that’s enough for just the last year. Clearly DeKalb County cannot handle the people’s business. And that’s before we even discuss that train wreck of a delegation meeting last week.
After the bill passed, the state government is not forcing anything on the citizens of DeKalb County, it has setup a structure under which a group of citizens can vote on whether we wish to incorporate and govern ourselves more locally. That’s real local control.