When it came to Cobb, ARC, commission right that ‘Minimal’ is Maximal
July 31, 2013 11:53 PM | 1154 views | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BACK IN APRIL an editorial in this space asked whether the members of Cobb Board of Commissioners “were elected to represent the people of Cobb, or “to kowtow to the bureaucrats who run the Atlanta Regional Commission?”

We now know the answer to that question, at least in part, and the commission’s answer was the right one.

At issue was which of two levels of certification to obtain from the ARC — “minimal” or “excellence.”

While the natural inclination for a forward-thinking community like ours would be to choose the latter, caution flags quickly started going up once it was learned what achieving that designation would entail. While some of it is routine stuff like ensuring pedestrian and bicycle access in and around bus stops. But some of it is not. Things like putting a heavy emphasis on providing tax-funded multilingual services in government operations for those who don’t speak English and who aren’t interested in learning it.

Other requirements for getting the higher designation include providing multilingual websites; providing multilingual contact information via mailings, telephone or online; employing staffers that speak a language other than English; printing documents and pamphlets in multiple languages; and performing “outreach” efforts to various ethnic groups in the community.

So much for assimilation, which has long been the supposed ideal of our “melting pot” society.

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GAINING the “excellence” delegation would have increased the county’s odds of winning various federal grants, but there were no guarantees.

“The excellence standards would require a lot more money to be spent with very little return on investment,” Commissioner Tim Lee told the MDJ this week. So the commission has told the ARC that it does not plan to pursue the “excellence” designation.

In this case, “minimal” was “maximal.”

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THE FACT IS that most regional planning groups, like the ARC, subtly or not-so-subtly espouse a pro-urban, anti-suburban ethos heavy on promoting an anti-sprawl, anti-internal combustion engine agenda. Hence the constant emphasis on adding bike paths and walking paths; and the efforts to whittle away at the width of existing pavement in order to make room for them.

They want to transform American communities to make them look more European — far more compact, far denser, with many fewer cars and with heavily tax-subsidized mass transit available at every corner.

Sorry ARC, but most Cobb residents chose to live in Cobb in order to get away from that kind of sardine-style living. Those who wish Acworth looked like Amsterdam, or that the Roswell Road corridor looked like Rotterdam, or that Marietta was like Madrid, are welcome to pull up stakes. As Lewis Grizzard used to say, “Delta is Ready When You Are …”

As for the rest of us, Cobb is not perfect, but we’re working on it.

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