With federal government expanding at an astronomical rate, it is refreshing to learn that some of our local elected officials are working to apply the American principles of smaller government. Members of the Cedar Park City Council have launched an ambitious plan to review every single city ordinance, with the goal of repealing, simplifying, and/or modifying laws over the course of several years.
With 18 chapters in the Cedar Park code of ordinances, this project will take quite some time to complete, but council members have already begun, and on July 22 held their first hearing to repeal ordinances that should have been adopted as resolutions.
"The goal is to make local government simpler, more accessible, and state things in language that is as plain as possible," said Councilman Tony Dale. "We also want to ensure that we do not have ordinances that are obstacles to economic development and prevent us from being competitive with other local communities when it comes to job creation."
The Cedar Park actions are a stark contrast to the federal government; in 2010 the U.S. tax code alone rose to 71,684 pages, and in correlation, the national debt has risen to 94% of GDP in 2010, and is projected to rise to over 100% by 2012. (Coincidence?) While Americans expressed shock last summer that the proposed government health care bill consisted of 1,017 pages, the final bill ended up with a whopping 2,801 pages that everyone, including those who voted for it, are still trying to figure out. Now, of course, we've become accustomed to monstrous-sized bills and have hardly raised eyebrows at the 2,300 page Financial Reform bill .
Hopefully the 'small government syndrome' the Cedar Park City Council has contracted is a highly contagious condition and soon our other government entities will catch on and start seriously applying Constitutional principles of limited government everywhere.
That's what I call hope and change.