Independence, interdependence can coexist

Ever since 1776, being independent has been a part of our national DNA. Obviously, the founders couldn’t have imagined the interconnected world in which we live today. However, they did understand human nature and they didn’t trust it — much less did they trust centralized government authority. The greatest legacy of the founders when creating the Constitution was the decentralization of power. They believed local control would best allow citizens to be engaged in the affairs that affected them.

Indeed, technology and mobility have caused our region, our nation, and even our world to become more interconnected and interdependent. Because of these societal trends, expected productivity levels have caused citizens to be less engaged in the process of self-government. Without that check and balance, central planners are increasingly creating the bulwarks of regional governance that is unelected and unaccountable to the people.

The Georgia Government Accountability Act of 2012 would have authorized a Legislative Sunset Advisory Committee to recommend elimination or consolidation of state agencies, ensuring increased accountability and a more efficient state government. This legislation was overwhelmingly passed by the Georgia House and Senate, yet it was vetoed by Governor Deal.

Included in the review would have been multiple state agencies that oversee transportation. A revamping and consolidation of these agencies would go a long way toward increasing the efficiency of our state transportation system. Speaking of accountability, what happened to the $1 Billion of unallocated DOT funds discovered in the state audit?

Another solution for regional transportation would be House Bill 195 introduced in 2013 that would allow counties to create their own special district, set their own list of projects and have their own referendum.

The colonies that declared their independence had to be interdependent on each other in their battle to beat the British. As we celebrate our nation’s birth, let’s resolve to protect our individual liberty and independence for another 237 years, while still working cooperatively and interdependently to solve problems of regional importance. Citizens need to remain engaged to prevent a few elites from consolidating power and ignoring the consent of the governed.

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