Progress - the dictionary defines progress as moving forward towards an objective. Another definition is gradual betterment.
When citizens publicly spoke about traffic concerns, one councilman responded, “Traffic is good. You should be happy you’re stuck in traffic. Traffic means progress.”
When 94 percent of the citizens who chose to live in the country on large lots said no, the city council ignored everyone and approved the annexation and rezoning to add 1,115 homes into the city.
When a data center comes to town, the city annexes rural land and rezones it because having a data center will “bring Gallatin to a new level.” Forget that neighbors will now have street and flood lights blocking their view of the stars. The objective was tax revenue -.millions more tax dollars than farm land.
Gallatin doubles in size and proudly states they did it without a tax increase. Right. No city tax increase. However, the growth was a trigger for a 41 increase in county taxes. The county builds and staffs the schools needed caused by the city growth. Tell the retired couple in Westmoreland who now cannot afford their house any longer that this is progress.
Gallatin states that the city loses 10 football fields of tree canopy and seven football fields of farmland each year. But they gain nine football fields of asphalt and cement in its place. Tell the homeowner who floods with every rain that this is progress.
Gallatin holds open discussions and then surveys for citizen input on the future growth management. But does it really? Not quite. It’s a communication and marketing technique called the Delphi Technique which limits your choices narrow and narrower until the city gets the response they wanted from the start. You only think you had input.
The County Economic Development Group markets Sumner County as the “North Shore of Nashville.” Is being Nashville the objective? Is that what you want?
Every rural parcel of land that comes before planning and the city council requests to be rezoned from rural with minimum 1-acre lots to a high-density development where eight houses can be built on that acre. Again, tax revenue and a future tax increase.
If this is progress, then why doesn’t it pay for itself? Why have the current owner taxes increased 41 percent in the past five years?
Wake up people. Get active. Speak out. Write your council person and county commissioner and voice your feelings. Is this your idea of progress?