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Guest Opinion

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Guest Opinion







By Art Robinson
November 1
, 2013

Josephine County, Oregon: - These new ordinances (17-53, 54, 55, and 56) would hurt us all. The only benefit would be to a small number of special interests and government bureaucrats who would profit.

Hidden in the many words in these four measures is the creation of a large, new, expensive, and unaccountable bureaucracy in Josephine County and numerous new rules for them to enforce. Bureaucrats will be empowered to search our homes without legal warrants, levy huge fines, and even seize our property for sale if fines are not paid.

They are authorized to levy fines of as much as twice the value of our real property. Our only recourse would be “hearings” before these same bureaucrats under arbitrary rules they set. The money collected in fines and property sales would be used to pay the expenses and salaries of these same bureaucrats.

Applying initially to rural Josephine County, the measures are designed to later be extended to our urban centers, too.

The “Hearings Officers” and other bureaucrats these measures create, whose true power would exceed our sheriff and our Courts, will first harass our poorer citizens, who are more vulnerable and less able to resist. “Examples” may also be found among the rest of us. It will become evident that all County residents must be very careful not do anything to irritate these un-elected administrative officers, publicly or privately, lest one find himself a target of their powers.

Moreover, none of this is needed! Josephine County already has a working system of regulations and procedures that corrects abuses. This system (which is formally ended by these measures) contains safeguards to protect us all, including our less affluent friends and neighbors.

It is claimed that numerous violations occur. For example, it was claimed that there were one hundred unresolved solid waste disposal complaints in Josephine County in 2012. A freedom of information investigation, however, revealed the truth. The truth is that there were only two.

Why should we pay additional high bureaucratic salaries, risk extensive litigation, and place ourselves under the rule of power-driven paper shufflers? Sure, it is claimed that they do not plan to really use these powers improperly. But, why should we hire them at all? Why extend extraordinary power to these people and certain special interests?

If these four measures are implemented, every citizen of Josephine County will soon come to know that a County bureaucrat can appear at his door, demand entrance without a warrant, search his home, levy fines that he cannot pay, and eventually cause his home or business to be confiscated and sold.

Expensive litigation will also surely result – expenses that our taxes will have to pay. The mental pain, suffering, and emotional distress of Josephine County citizens just in knowing that County bureaucrats have these powers to ruin their lives over minor or harmless violations may be litigated. Each actual search and each actual seizure may, of course, also trigger potential litigation at taxpayer expense.

It is not enough to “trust” our bureaucrats not to misuse these powers, as has been suggested. It is not wise to give dangerous powers to bureaucrats and then “trust” them not to use those powers.

Josephine County is a wonderful place to live. Each of us is at liberty to enjoy his own freedom, so long as he does not infringe upon the freedom of others. It should stay this way.

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This is not a partisan political issue. Republicans, Democrats, Constitutionalists, Libertarians, and Independents are joining together to reject these measures. Please vote NO! on measures 17.53, 17.54, 17.55, and 17.56.

Josephine County already has a working system of checks and balances. It is not perfect, but it is far better than the dangerous system proposed in these ordinances.

We would be very unwise to place our County under a “Hearings Officer” with extraordinary and arbitrary powers. It is claimed that he will protect us from occasional nuisance activities, but who is going to protect us from him?

© 2013 Art Robinson - All Rights Reserved

Related Articles:

1- Art Robinson and the Future of the Oregon GOP and Beyond
Commissioner Cherryl Walker, Kangaroo Court and Big Fines
3- Josephine County, Oregon: Sad Failure of Central Planning
4- Commissioners Cherryl Walker and Keith Heck Misinformed
5- Bureaucrat Cherry Walker - The Bully in Josephine County Government
6- What the Grants Pass Daily Courier Failed to Report
7- County Government vs. Citizens, Part 1
8- County Government vs. Citizens, Part 2
9- County Government vs. Citizens, Part 3
10- County Government vs. Citizens, Part 4
11- How Dennis Roler and The Daily Courier Politically Assassinates Fiscal Conservatives.

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Art Robinson was a former candidate for Congress.









They are authorized to levy fines of as much as twice the value of our real property.