Saturday, May 24, 2008

Old School Thinking

Someone recently pointed out to me the median age of the Chatham County Commission is like 60. For the record, I don't know their ages and if you exclude Kicklighter (the baby), the median gets higher. I turned 55 this year so I guess I fit that general calibration. I know compared to Pete Liakakis, I am a full generation younger.

Lots of people say that age is all in your head. That sounds nice but I think otherwise. What then tells us most about a person's mental agility? Perhaps what a person says sheds the most light on what goes on upstairs. Recently at Pat Farrell's first ever Town Hall Meeting (May 6) Pete was defending his deciding vote which raised property taxes in 2005, "If you live in a $50,000 house, it means you only have to pay 45 cents more a month in property taxes."

My guess is that the average home value in 2005 was almost 3 times Pete's number. In fact, I don't think there are any homes anywhere in Chatham County with a fair market value of $50,000.

Maybe how adept a person is with information technology provides another clue to whether or not they are "with it." Scott Larson recently reported that Pete told him, "I have small knowledge of computers." Indeed, Pete does not have a computer and I imagine he does not know how to use one. Odd for 2008, but not so odd for someone born during the great depression.

I'm trying to be fair, let's face it when I was in college there were no desktop or laptop computers. But I did go to college and graduate in 1976 from the University of California. As my professional career slowly started, I bought a computer and learned to use one.

If Chatham County is going to change with the times (maybe catch up is a better way to put it), we need to think quicker and smarter. Recycling is not a new concept. Impact fees have been around since 1991 in Georgia. CAT buses running on diesel is way old school. Bike paths and sidewalks are everywhere except in Chatham County. Regional thinking and planning must be established. Stacking the MPC with Realtors and developers is a turkey shoot on the environment. 

It probably wouldn't hurt, and probably would help,  lowering the median age on the county commission.

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