Readers Write 3/6

There may be a reason for DeKalb County residents to consider voting for another layer of government, but it’s not the nonsense presented by Rep. Mike Jacobs in his op-ed (“Permission slip defies logic,” Opinion, Mar. 1). When choice commercial and residential properties are usurped into new cities, it increases the tax burden for everyone left outside city limits. The citizens and businesses of DeKalb who will shoulder the cost of a new city cannot vote on it under current law. That’s taxation without representation.

The current law also creates economic classism and dilutes minority voting strength. It moves us as a county and region further from the “beloved community” advocated by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rep. Jacobs also brings out the “wasteful government” bogeyman. Since 2009, I have cut spending by $130 million. The operating budget has declined from $636 million to $559 million. We have 1,000 fewer employees than in 2008, while maintaining the same levels of services. We are the most efficient government of its size, anywhere.

Burrell Ellis, CEO, DeKalb County

Spending not always matter of choice

In “Ga. abortion bill adds to national debate” (News, March 2), Janice Givens states, “I can’t pay for someone to have an abortion or contraceptives.” As participants in a democracy, we often have to pay for things we are morally against. I do not like that my hard-earned money goes toward war or subsidizing the gas and oil industry, but I am not going to stop paying taxes. Not every woman wants (or needs) birth control, but affordable access is a basic human right. This is not a matter of religious freedom; it is an issue of not allowing others to impose their religious beliefs on those of different faiths or on nonbelievers.

Melanie Carlson, Athens

Put politics aside and develop real solutions

Regardless of the candidate or party, the so-called solutions to the energy problems are essentially the same rhetoric generally directed to the budget deficit: pushing it down the road to the future. Regardless of how many wells we drill in the U.S., we will run out of oil. Regardless of how many smaller, more fuel- efficient automobiles are manufactured and purchased, we will run out of oil. Even if all vehicles were converted to use natural gas instead of petroleum fuels, we will run out of natural gas. Production of renewable fuels appears a reasonable solution. However, when the increased costs of food and feed stock are measured against production, this is not so attractive. The only real solution is development of cost-efficient alternative (and renewable) fuels used in extremely fuel-efficient vehicles. Until that is accomplished, any policy is postponing the inevitable for our children and grandchildren to handle. If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can develop such technology.

Mike  Deal, Alpharetta

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