P&Z balancing act
A vibrant and “desirable to live in” community similar to Macon-Bibb that a diverse populace would find attractive has innumerable community requirements to fulfill their needs and desires, although too many of complexity to list in a letter to the editor. Two of the major needs that often come into conflict are that of “residential neighborhoods” and “commerce” for the populace and employment opportunities. This conflict most often occurs when business development, including Industry and manufacturing seeks locations that are near/adjacent to existing established residential neighborhoods.
This has the very real potential for adversely impacting the “quality of life” for those citizens currently living in the nearby neighborhood. Commerce has been described as the “life blood” of a community. This description has or can be proven in a financial sense. Macon-Bibb has depended on multiple means of community planning through governmental provisions such as Planning & Zoning for decades to help encourage/facilitate harmonious development of all types and try to minimize conflicts in the pursuit of desirable quality development.
Where there is conflict between commerce and existing residential neighborhoods, commerce possesses, already in place, resources/expertise to validate the reasonableness of their proposal as compared to the objections by those in the neighborhood with their usual naivety on such matters.
Therefore, any conflict can be described as being between professionals and amateurs, especially relating to potential legal proceedings. With their amateur status, a neighborhood group often errs in not being able to quantify or identify the very real loss or reduced individual/group’s quality of life with the proposed increase of industrialization. There may be a change of activities even though similar but greater activities than have occurred nearby in the past.
If conflict persists it inevitability involves the court system wanting evidence to reach its decision. A serving P&Z commissioner during the ethanol hearing cited concerns for the neighborhood which to me was quality of life based, possibly leading to the P&Z denial. (My opinion is professionally based since I served as a P&Z commissioner decades ago, having made numerous statements and quality of life votes that have been validated as accurate through the years to be very correct, i.e. East Macon Landfill, were quality of life based. (See validating ADB letter to a subsequent P&Z chair in P&Z records years after the fact.)
The court could probably ask for validation/quantification of quality of life relating to residential neighborhoods, which I describe as that which makes life worth living in a residence of choice, neighbors, etc. I am unaware of a “legal definition’ of quality of life acceptable to the court.
However, I am reminded of the U.S. Supreme Court case referencing “pornography” when a justice admitted being unable to fully define it, but stated that he recognized it when he saw it. I believe that I have the P&Z, and decades long interest and experience relating to the welfare and viability of existing residential neighborhoods in Macon-Bibb including a short stint as president of MACON (Macon Area Council of Neighborhoods), plus 50-plus years of professional engineering experience that says had I been on the P&Z board I would have voted to deny the petition.
I applaud P&Z’s decision to appeal the court’s decision. A community that disregards the importance of home stability in its varied neighborhoods does so at its peril leading to the possibility of even more societal unrest than we are currently experiencing.
Arthur D. Brook,
Rich getting richer
Understanding basic economic principles will lead you to the conclusion that it is a good thing for the rich to get richer. Massive investments in capital which facilitates the production of consumer goods, can only be achieved through investments. A good example, let’s use a tractor as a model of our entire economic system.
When a businessman invest in a tractor, motivated by a myriad of tax credits and incentives — folks in the rubber, glass, gasoline; iron and metal industry, etc., will all enjoy full employment. Conversely, if you take away the tax credits and other investment incentives, you will likely experience a decline in investments and a corresponding increase in unemployment.
I have absolutely no problem with the rich getting richer, it is a necessary component of the economic mix. The same tax credits, coupled with tax incentives, available to the rich, are also available to anyone willing to invest in a business.
Many wealthy folks today weren’t born with a “silver spoon” in their mouth — they acquired their wealth through a combination of hard work, saving and strategic investments. I applaud them, and I encourage others to join their ranks.
Should I question God?
I asked one day should I question God. I looked about at the world that I was placed in. As a child there were many things I did not understand. I asked a thousand questions. Questions such as, why was the grass green? It came to my mind, why was the sky blue and where did the stars go during the day? There were a thousand things I wanted to know. Most of all I wanted to know about God.
Each time I learned a little more about the world where God has placed me. Another little boy asked, “Am I asking too many questions?” The answer came back from God, “How do you expect to learn unless you ask questions?” God may not answer so quickly but he will answer in his good time. We are better for those men who ask questions for us. Ask and you shall receive.
Brian T. Reid Sr.,
All men who have sexually abused anyone in thought, word, or action please step forward. All women who have sexually abused by anyone in thought, word, or action please step forward. And now a re-education class will be held for everyone on what not to do with definitions of what is offensive.