I feel Ted Fowler’s pain (Why should we suffer for other’s riches? January 2, 2020). I live in northwest Madison County, far from and upwind of the Georgia Renewable Power plant, but I'm as angry as he is for the same reasons.
We have a toxic entity in our midst, threatening our health even as far away as I am. This on top of the toxic soup already out there from thousands of other sources near and far (particularly Atlanta).
Some years ago, the county was in the process of laying out a master land use plan. It was decided that the Hwy. 72 corridor and the south end of the county would be dedicated to business/industrial development since it was closest to Athens’s ever-expanding influence and had the rail line. Such development would reduce the property tax burden on county residents, many of whom complain about property taxes. Was Mr. Fowler aware of this? Did he voice his opinion on that? Was a coalition formed to fight that concept?
Madison County's millage rate is quite high relative to the very low rates of Athens and Oconee County because they have more residents, more business and more industrial development. Do the residents of Madison County want high property taxes and peace and quiet or do they want low property taxes in exchange for part of the county getting less peaceful and quiet? We can't have our cake and eat it, too.
This is a lesson in paying attention at all times to what governments are doing at every level. It takes time and effort that is in very short supply in each of our lives, but if we don't (each and all of us), we end up where we are now. We should start by voting for the person, not the party! And then don't trust that person. Communicate your opinions regularly to them so they'll know what to do. Watch for corruption, self-serving and immorality. Speak up; if you see something, say something right away not later after the fact.
And keep watching government. How? Reliable sources of journalism! Learn how to discern what is supported by truth, not what individuals want to hear; not what anyone finds fun and exciting; not what everyone else around them seems to be sourcing. Without real, professional, unbiased journalism democracy will die! They go hand in hand. We all need to support the truly professional members of the journalism community by subscribing regardless of the cost, even donating or advertising with them. They are our eyes and ears because we can't do it alone.