How to not increase local taxes, fees

Oregon local government officials take note of Sandy Springs, Georgia. “Indeed, the experiment in Sandy Springs, Ga., has proved that local governments don’t need hundreds of public employees to function. Sandy Springs, a fast-growing town of more than 80,000 residents, has only four public employees who are not involved with public safety. Except for police and fire, virtually every government function has been contracted out.”

Thus reports the Reason Foundation‘s former director of government reform Geoffrey F. Segal in a June 19, 2007 Tampa Tribune commentary. Segal continues, “In its two years under private management, Sandy Springs hasn’t needed a tax hike or a fee increase, the government has become more responsive, the service quality has improved, and so has customer satisfaction. The residents love it.

“In fact, this model has worked so well that two other Atlanta-area communities adopted it last year, and several others are considering a similar approach.”

Print out Segal’s article. Get a few others on the topic from the Reason website. Pass them along to your favorite city councilor, county commissioner or journalist. When appropriately applied, the principles guiding Sandy Springs government could produce similar results throughout Oregon.