Brown described DeKalb’s governance as “a dictator/czarist model.” Under the current system, commissioners, who bear the brunt of complaints, have no control over the budget or daily operations. Yet residents expect their locally elected representatives to be advocates on their behalf.
Brown’s metaphor was as accurate then as it is now. It should be pointed out that Brown originally supported the CEO government system. In 2003, there was another series of grand jury investigations into the workings of DeKalb. They reached the same conclusion that the recent grand jury did: DeKalb’s government is broken and needs to be fixed. The question we should ask is, how would the citizens of DeKalb be best served?
We are currently in the throes of the exact scenario that Brown predicted almost a decade ago: “Remember and heed the following words of Reinhold Niebuhr, one of the most distinguished theologians of the 20th century: ‘Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ Therefore, at some point in the future, there will likely be a CEO who will prove this adage to be correct.”
If you are a DeKalb citizen, this is a call to action to appeal to your House or Senate representative for reformation of DeKalb’s government. The time for change is now.
Elaine Boyer is the District 1 DeKalb County Commissioner.