On this Independence Day it’s important to remember what led to this nation’s independence from oppressive government and the principles on which it’s founded.

As stated in our Declaration of Independence, “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

It appears that our Town and Sanitary District directors may have forgotten this principle.

Mayor Dickey is currently planning to burden families with an additional $4 million in fees ($185 per parcel, $2.9 million total) and sales taxes ($1.1 million-rent included) by a simple Council vote without the “consent of the governed.”

They can kill this gouging and respect voters by allowing voter approval through different means of revenue increases, but that’s unlikely unless Mayor Dickey gets overwhelming calls to do so at 480-816-5101. Please call to see if republican democracy still works in Fountain Hills.

We don’t want a repeat of what the Sanitary District did after increasing user fees by 17 percent since 2015. They took an additional $2 million in fees from families in that time, but spent about $3 million on park restrooms. There was no “consent of the governed” there; no need, just board greed for “pet projects” with their names on bronze plaques.

I’m also reminded of the importance of the press in republican democracy. I’ve been critical of The Times, but they do a great job keeping us informed of things happening in government. If not for The Times, our politicians would be far more brazen and unaccountable.

Another important message is that freedom isn’t free, and many died to allow Americans the opportunity to control government rather than the opposite case. That means an obligation to inform ourselves, vote and protest when necessary. There’s no better way to honor those who sacrificed this Fourth of July!