Elections matter. Of course, that’s self-evident – and even seems a little silly to say – but some have far-reaching impacts to which we need to give serious thought before we cast our votes. Last year, it was a Presidential race, as well as the entire House of Representatives and the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. This year, we have two City Councilmembers running on their records of service facing challengers who say they could have done better. It will be up to you to carefully consider and decide.
We also have a very important decision on a new one-penny sales tax called a special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST). DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond – a citizen of Tucker – calls it a “transformational moment for DeKalb”. You’ll hear a lot of opinions on both sides of the issue, but really, one of the beauties of local government is that you get to decide in a direct referendum. Unlike tax increases at the state and federal levels, your vote on the question will directly determine the outcome.
As with every election including our two Council races, I encourage you to look beneath the surface. Please educate yourself and separate fact from fiction. Spend a little time reading up on SPLOST and talking to people who have a thorough understanding of why it’s proposed and what it’s intended to accomplish. All the mayors of DeKalb had input into how this SPLOST will be structured if it passes. For Tucker, it represents about $33 million over six years, which your Council determined would be spent mostly on road improvements and repaving, sidewalks, parks and public safety – including updating our fire stations. For more information, including the specific ballot question (it’s long and complicated) and Tucker’s project list for the money should the bill pass, please visit www.tuckerga.gov.
Wherever you come down on elections of your local officials, this SPLOST or any of the other issues that will come before us, I hope you’ll be mindful that having a direct vote and a much greater influence on these issues were at the core of our decision to adopt cityhood for Tucker. It’s sometimes messy or slower than we’d like, but we’re taking on these decisions more locally than ever before and that’s always a good thing.