We got a notice a week or so ago from our homeowners association about a couple upcoming meetings. It seems that there's some hubbub about people wanting to either incorporate our subdivision into Roswell, the nearby township, or annex it into a new one (thus far imaginatively dubbed "Newtown"). I sent fosteronfilm to the meetings to gather intelligence because I was eyeball deep in "Beauty's Folly" at the time this came up. Now that I'm catching up on everything I backburnered last week, I've had some time to absorb the import of this furor.
It comes down to a political play of the local governments to keep the affluent north of Atlanta from benefiting the more needy south Atlanta areas with their tax dollars. As far as I can tell, that's the sum of it. The parcel of land which includes a handful of neighborhoods (including our subdivision) is currently unincorporated. Thus, our taxes go to the big Fulton County money pool, which includes all of Atlanta. The overwhelmingly-Republican denizens of this area are aghast that their money is going to other neighborhoods to help improve the lot of those less affluent, so want to either incorporate or annex us. Apparently they've wanted to do this for a while, but have been unable to until the recent elections gave the conservatives the upper hand in the local legislature. Hence, they want to push this through before the government weights and balances tilt back to the Democrats, and so we can expect this to play out sometime next year. fosteronfilm and I shall have very little say in the matter, except perhaps to express whether we would prefer to be Roswellians or Newtownians.
For us, personally, it means little. Our address will remain the same (my first concern since I conduct so much business through the mail) regardless of the outcome. Our property taxes may or may not go up (but alas, certainly not down)--both the annex and incorporation sides are frothing to reassure us how superior their taxation situation will be over the other's--and we may or may not get a sidewalk or two, or a softball field or something equally frivolous (softball's all good and well, but I don't play it, and therefore I don't see why I should want to pay to have a new softball field installed when there's perfectly serviceable ones within close driving distance) in the nearby park. Meanwhile, the tax money we don't particularly need to maintain this prosperous north Atlanta bit of land and which those in south Atlanta could use to improve schools and other essentials, will be denied them.
All hail the greed and selfishness of Republican politics.
And my assertion that homeowners associations are the work of the Devil remains irrefutable.
After spending the weekend downstairs with skunk and husband, I'm back in the library. I did a pair of passes on the funny little story, now titled "The Devil and Mrs. Comstock's Snickerdoodles" and after some debate, have decided not to send it through Critters. I may, undoubtedly, come to regret this brash recklessness, but I can always offer it up for critique if it gets utterly panned by the first few editors I send it to.
But the thing is, I like this story; I'm happy with it, and it says what I want it to say. It's meant to be light and quirky and I could so easily see it being ruined by subjecting it to too many rewrites. I think it's ready to see the world. Going to give it another pass on paper because without the extra sets of critical eyes, I'm concerned about those typos that I always seem to miss. Then I'm sending it out.
I think the tone and tale might appeal to teenage sensibilities (although I also wonder if it would appeal to an even younger audience, given how sophisticated today's children are), so I'm sending it to Cicada. So mote it be.
Next up: nose to grindstone on "Rue and Ruin."
Club 100 For Writers
You should chat with j_hotlanta about this. As a resident of Rivermont and a politically-minded individual, he's close to the debate and seems very knowledgable about it. I think the issues are more complex than you've been led to believe.
I'm pretty neutral about this particular situation, but I would like to see us become Milton County again, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, I don't think Alpharettans should have to drive to Turner Field at oh-dark-thirty on a weekday morning to sit in a jury pool.
On November 14th, 2005 03:42 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
My mom, the yellow dog Texas democrat believes, that ultimately, the purpose of government is to redistribute wealth. Heh.
I'm a tad more selfish, but I spend little time bellyaching about taxes, just the inefficient manner in which they are spent. (I've worked for the Feds, and local government. All are overstaffed and poorly managed.)
In our neck of the woods, folks resist annexation because it ends up costing more in property taxes with little gain in "services."
Schools, however, aren't necessarily improved by more money. In fact, many schools in poor neighborhoods actually receive more Federal and State funding. Sadly, the reason some schools suck is the parents. Yep. The more affluent [parents] demand more of their schools; those with less are often uninvolved with the educational system (and don't vote). It's a sad fact that the progressives don't like to admit to because they feel it places blame on the poor. (I went to a poor school; my mom was one of the few parents who gave a crap; drove her crazy.)
OTOH, the "let 'em rot" sort of mentality boggles the mind. I'm not sure how deteriorating neighborhoods benefit society as a whole, but I suppose for the "usually" white, upper-middle class, out of sight is out of mind.
Mischief and controvery made. Hee.
It's all about the money.
Atlanta-main (fulton county/city of atlanta) is a damn expensive place to run. They need more and more money to run it each year (although a good portion of that is largely bureaucracy and general Govt ineptitude).
The more the outlying areas incorporation, the less money is available inside the Perimeter.
Of course, the folk outside the Perimeter (OTP) don't really want to have to pay the level of money needed to maintain things ITP. Can't really blame them. I'm up in Cumming, and I'd hate to pay ITP property taxes.
Incorporating into a non-Fulton slush fund may actually make your taxes cheaper.
Did anyone send you a comparative list of taxes and services for each option?
and after some debate, have decided not to send it through Critters.
Oh, BUM. Your stories are always good to crit. Sometimes the stuff on Critters just leads to extreme depression. I accept that grammar and spelling are no longer important parts of most school curriculums, but a writer needs to learn to use words.
But right now I'd better go wash up. Otherwise the kedgeree is going to be stuck all over the saucepan.