I don't live in Dunwoody but like many civic-minded folks in DeKalb I have followed the debate very closely. I've often asked myself how I would vote if I had a vote. Today, I'm asking myself, "If I had voted 'yes,' would I live to regret it?"
In spite of what I considered some very strong arguments for and against the formation of a City of Dunwoody, I think voters on both sides of the issue can rest assured of their future success as a city. Why?
Let's put aside the Byzantine arguments about the limits of property tax or the distribution of HOST or the threat of legal battles; important though they may be, these are the minutae all governments must wade through. Dunwoody will succeed as a city not because it is 'richer' than the majority of DeKalb, not because it has less or more apartments, not because it will 'plunder' PCID. No, Dunwoody will succeed because its citizens of all stations and stripes care enough to do more.
Dunwoody will succeed because it has decided to act like a community. With their votes, they have driven a stake into the ground around which to rally their citizens. They care enough to work, to fight, and to sacrifice for their community and they will succeed at any cost. Do the rest of us feel this way about our own DeKalb community?
Whatever you think about the merits of the arguments made by the 'Yes' movement in Dunwoody, no one can dispute their energy and dedication. I will be admonished for making the comparison (the stakes are quite different) but there was another small dedicated group who declared their own community on a hot July day many, many years ago. In spite of skeptics and limited resources, their energy and dedication changed the world.
It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it.-George Washington
As the rest of DeKalb watches the struggles of the new City of Dunwoody, even as fighting over tax spoils ensues, don't overlook the fact that the citizens of Dunwoody have already guaranteed their success by their level of participation and volunteerism. If they don't lose that, the day and the future are won.
Let's all recognize this as a postive message and one for the rest of us in DeKalb to emulate in our own communities.
Zip Code: 30033