I would like to express my dismay with the actions of the city of Homer government regarding the gas line. These actions constitute a breech of the public trust, and such trust is the backbone of any democracy. The Homer City Council has voted in effect to tax owners of city lots to subsidize Enstar’s gas pipeline. Everyone seems to agree about this. And many astute citizens have pointed out that this is a typical move in corporate America — some are in favor of such a move; some are not. I am not. Here is my reasoning:
We the people vote (through the representation of the city council) to borrow $12.7 million and have some of the people pay it off. Then, we the people invite some of the people to object or to accept this decision. When less than 50 percent of some of the people refuse, we the people then give that money to one of the people (a private interest named Enstar). If some of the people refuse to cover that obligation, we the people will take away the property of some of the people. When the dust settles, one of the people will own a $12.7 million storefront absolutely free, some of the people will have lost their property, and we the people will be new landlords.
I am not in favor of this move because it amounts to the people screwing itself into the ground and pissing away its hard-earned democracy. For, if the city intends to take the property of anyone who refuses to pay, and if all refuse to pay, the city will own everything, and Homer will be a communist state.
But it is highly unlikely that all property owners will refuse to pay the tax, so most likely Enstar will end up with a free store and the city will end up with some new real estate. What do we want more, gas or democracy? It is clear that the city council prefers the former.
I sent a version of this letter (including a plea for the council to reconsider) to City Hall several weeks ago and have received not a single reply. This indicates to me that the social contract has been broken and that the council is made up of cynics.
So, a word of caution: Don’t trust these guys. Make your voice heard. It is never too late to try to salvage our government of, by and for the people.