People often ask us why we created the Kennesaw Watch. It’s a simple answer. It had to be done. There was a dyer need for transparency and accountability in Kennesaw. Period. PERIOD. Not to put too fine a point on it, there are problems inside the Kennesaw administration. The recent pawn shop debacle is but one example of how things can go horribly downhill (fast) if others are NOT WATCHING and do not get involved.
Here are the facts, Dear Watchers.
1. There is too much unnecessary spending (we call that frivolous, where I come from). We have council members who believe it is their right to attend every training class offered on the city’s dime. Meanwhile, those who truly need it, i.e., the employees, go without. We have council members who buy large amounts of city clothing for themselves. We have council members who take trips for golf outings and quail hunts. Folks, we don’t live in Montana and we aren’t hosting the Masters.
2. There is too much un-budgeted spending on large items that we, the taxpayers, did NOT approve. If a large item, such as the teen center (cleverly disguised as the community house and pottery barn combination project, it appears from the records) can go on consent for $200,000 and we know nothing about it, there’s a major problem. Now, from our way of thinking, if we have the luxury of spending that kind of money on a non-necessity, why are there such discussions over the Stormwater system?
3. With all of the spending, we should have the ability to see any of the financial records without paying additional taxpayer money for them. Think about this carefully now. We are the taxpayers who pay the elected folks and their staff, correct? And if we want to see the details of how they are spending our money, we have to pay to do so? Does that make a bit of sense? Of course it doesn’t. It’s wrong and it’s a reflection of the type of leadership we have at the top.
So when people ask us: why are you doing this? It’s for the taxpayers. It’s for all of us. We elected these people and some of them went in with wonderful plans and great ideas. But along the way, something happened. Maybe they got big egos. Maybe the economy hit their businesses and households and they had to think differently. Maybe every day is a bad day for them. Maybe they think it won’t catch up to them. Who knows? But we are only asking for simple things: BE HONEST. We have a right to know what’s going on. BE TRANSPARENT. If you don’t act like you are hiding things, we won’t suspect you of hiding things. Finally, BE ACCOUNTABLE. If you mess up, admit it. Don’t create a lawsuit out of it by blaming others and letting them take the fall.
At the end of the day, is that really too much to ask?