In yet another example of abuse and misuse of political power and position, which seems to be an epidemic, the citizens of Johns Creek were snubbed at the Feb. 28 city council meeting.
The city’s charter was subverted and its citizens bypassed, relegated to a position where their voices would not be heard in a manner prescribed by the charter.
The charter, essentially the city’s constitution, specifically lays out a review and change process for the charter. It basically states that at the end of the fifth year of cityhood, which is this December, a citizen charter commission will be created to both review the charter and recommend changes to the Georgia General Assembly.
With only several months to go until commission formation and with well over four years without significant incident from the existing charter provisions, the council nevertheless voted 6 to 1 not to wait for that process but rather submit their own changes to the Georgia General Assembly.
The six council members voted to approve the measure. Mayor Bodker, typical I will say of his acute sensitivity to citizen inclusion and involvement, voted against the measure.
The action of those six council members was, in my opinion, definitive evidence of what I call “elected official hubris.” It is an arrogance that develops when political figures come to believe they are above and know better what should be done and how to do it than their constituency, the people who elected them. Further, it manifests itself in, among other things, blatant disregard for the established process in favor of their personal and political preferences. This instance of not following the provisions of the charter exemplifies such hubris in spades.
Unfortunately, there are many, many examples of abuse and misuse of political power and position, too numerous to name. What the council did says to its constituents, again the people who elected them, “We are not going to follow the charter because we know better than you what should be done and, further, you might tell us things we don’t want to hear or do.”
Our government is of the people, by the people and for the people, not the politicians. Actions like this should be remembered when election time rolls around. I have already contacted our state legislators with my feelings on this issue and encourage you to do the same.