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Letter: Blindly promoting developmental growth is absurd
02012018 LETTER

A well-known local real estate executive and economic forecaster has spent decades trying to attract growth to Hall County. It therefore seems a bit odd that he would characterize the opinions of the very newcomers he has tried so hard to recruit as not as important as the opinions of so-called homegrown residents.

When I moved to Hall County in 1980, the county’s population was 75,649 according to that year’s census. I suppose I would be considered a newcomer, even though I have lived here nearly 40 years.

The county population is now about 200,000 — a 160 percent increase over 1980.

So it is clear that we newcomers far outnumber the homegrowns, and based on the principle of one person, one vote, our opinions should count more than said forecaster wishes to acknowledge.

Count me squarely among those in favor of “overturning the community’s historical DNA in favor of a new vision,” as the executive was quoted in a recent Times article.

That new vision needs to recognize the absurdity of the historical practice of promoting growth without any consideration of what an optimum population might look like.

Hall has become the Gwinnett County that residents said 30 years ago that we did not want to be.

If we continue spending public resources to attract more growth, we will soon be as congested as Fulton County was 30 years ago. Whether newcomers or homegrowns, why on earth would we want that?

It is high time that residents push back on the so-called leadership that seems to believe that perpetual growth is desirable or even sustainable. It is time for governments at all levels to begin planning for a sustainable future that works toward achieving a stable economy and a stable population that is within the long-term carrying capacity of supporting resources.

Let’s start by eliminating government-funded economic development efforts and stop giving our tax money to the chamber of commerce to be used to promote growth.

Read the book: “Gross Deceptive Product: An Ecological Perspective on the Economy.” More is not always better.

Russell England

Gainesville

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