Here we go again.
One of our continuing frustrations is how few members of the public choose to attend the meetings of the area's governing bodies. People like to complain about their government but those complaints can ring hollow when members of the public are not engaged in the governing process and allow their elected officials to operate in a vacuum.
Of course, there are the old cries that "They're going to do what they want" and "They already have their minds made up," but that can be a self-fulfilling prophecy (cop out) that one will never know the truth of unless those elected officials are challenged by members of the public to justify their actions and decisions. Perhaps they have not considered your concerns or views, and never will, if you don't take the time to attend their meetings and let them know what you think, what you believe to be important, what changes you think need to happen or not happen.
It's been said we get the government we deserve and although that is a complicated proposition, if you allow your elected officials to run your life without your input then it may very well be true in your case.
Coming up are several more opportunities for members of the public to interact with local elected officials, and this time it may concern your pocketbook or wallet. Our two local school systems are holding public hearings in advance of expected increases in property taxes and you're invited (hence the word "public"). We encourage you to attend if you can and put the "public" in the hearing by informing yourself, asking questions and making these officials justify the spending by the school systems.
Here is the meeting information (detailed information about the proposed tax increases was published in the Daily Citizen-News by the school systems on Aug. 7.):
• The Whitfield County Board of Education has tentatively adopted a property tax rate that will require an increase in property taxes by 1.3%. Public hearings on the proposed tax increase are at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the central office, 1306 S. Thornton Ave.
Tuesday, Aug. 20
• Dalton Public Schools has tentatively adopted a property tax rate that will require an increase in property taxes by 0.95%. A public hearing on the proposed increase is at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall, after which the rate is expected to be approved.
Thursday, Aug. 22
• The Whitfield County Board of Education has tentatively adopted a property tax rate that will require an increase in property taxes by 1.3%. A public hearing on the proposed tax increase is at 6 p.m. at the central office, 1306 S. Thornton Ave., after which the rate is expected to be approved.
These are your opportunities. Let them hear from you.