Letters to the Editor week of 4-15-10

286

After Prom

To The Editor:

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you and to congratulate everyone who was associated with the Switzerland County High School After Prom event.

The After Prom was held in the high school gym beginning at Midnight on Saturday and ran until 4 a.m. Sunday morning. It provided our students with plenty of fun, music, and games, as well as the chance to win some really nice prizes and cash.

But it also provided our students with a safe environment for prom night, which is much more important.

All of this was made possible through the work of many dedicated people, and they deserved to be thanked for their efforts.

The staff of the high school did an outstanding job of volunteering their time to help both at the prom and the after prom; and many parents and adults in this community volunteered their time to stay up all night and run games, cook and serve food, and do whatever was necessary to keep the event moving.

A dedicated group of volunteers coordinated and planned the event, and they have spent countless hours of preparing what turned out to be an outstanding event.

I thank them for their dedication and service to our school.

Finally, I especially want to thank our students, because they saw the value in the After Prom and wanted to be a part of it. I was very proud that Saturday night’s crowd was one of the biggest that the event has ever had, and I look forward to seeing it grow even larger and more successful in the future.

Again, thanks to everyone who was a part of this event.

Sincerely,

Daniel Noel, Principal

Switzerland County High School

Property lines

To the Editor:

This past week a beautiful 50-year-old tree was marred because a neighbor doesn’t understand the adage of “good fences make good neighbors.” Time will tell if our beautiful ash will recover. The desire to get to know our new neighbors might not.

Many people are unaware of the way the property lines are drawn on Highway 156 between Vevay and Markland. The lines themselves run north and south. The road does not. Thus our 10 or so acres run at an angle to the road. Many years ago Herman Ricketts, a previous owner, planted trees as a fence to mark the property boundaries. Most likely this was in the early 1950’s, well before the state road and power lines that now exist. As society progressed and utilities kept pace, easements were created for protection and upkeep of the lines. The land still belongs to us, but the electric company, REMC in this case, has the right to trim back limbs for maintenance and remove potentially harmful growth. The road sits on its own land as there are no recorded easements found. So back to the tree. . . .

An REMC representative who was familiar with our situation explained that what happened to our tree was not a regular trim back. Had we not stopped by the house before taking care of business in town on Tuesday, we would have come home to a stump. Why? Our neighbor does not understand boundaries, the tree lines and the way the properties run along the river. Rights of ways and easements may be different in the city than here. The fact remains that our property belongs to us. No easement gives that property away to another individual.

John and Denise Crawford

Near Vevay

Officials should resign

To the Editor:

After a year of abuse by our Federal government shoving unwanted legislation down the throats of the American people it was disheartening to say the least to find out from my neighbors that the same thing was going on under our noses here at the local level under the name of “Comprehensive Planning” and its evil twin HYPERLINK “http://www.switzerlandcounty.us/images/Binder_Final_for_Titles_4_5_UDPS_Code-1.pdf” t “_blank” Unified Development & Property Standards Code. Fortunately, a Tea Party of sorts arose in Switzerland County and the result is the repeal, the revoking, the rescinding of both initiatives.

It gave me a sense of pride to see my fellow neighbors come forward and let their voices be heard at the recent meeting. And unlike “health care”, the commissioners had the decency to listen to their constituents and respond appropriately. Yet there are still concerns regarding this affair which I would like to address in this letter. Those questions can be summarized generally by how did this happen and what do we need to do now?

We were told by Professor Frankel, the author of this plan, that “The initiatives being publicly considered now are the product of the citizens of the County”. But how can this be true when the citizens of this county were only recently aware of the provisions of this plan and the commissioners themselves seemed to admit to not having read the plan?

How can this be true when the plan itself is written in the language and terminology of the Urban Planning profession and even our county attorney admitted to having difficulty understanding it? Clearly this was not an initiative of the citizens of this county nor was it initiated by the commissioners. The impetus came from somewhere else.

As I looked around to see what other counties were doing across the state and across the country I began to see a common thread. Local initiatives going under various names (comprehensive planning, smart growth, LA21, Agenda 21, sustainable development etc.) have been passed or are in process of being passed across the country. And many of them contain similar provisions including private property erosion measures, excessive fines, housing subsidies, wealth redistribution, radical green initiatives, onerous zoning laws etc. I encourage folks to do some research into these initiatives as they are very complex and far reaching and should be of concern to all freedom loving Americans.

While I was encouraged by the actions taken at the recent meeting in rescinding, repealing and revoking this plan and code, I still feel, in the light of the fact that all three commissioners voted for this plan, appropriated (or misappropriated) over $200,000 of taxpayer funds, that they should all resign at the end of their term and not seek reelection to their office. This, I feel, is the right thing to do. I also request that no comprehensive plan, old or new, be enacted during their term of office. I think the time of the “good ole boy” network running the county needs to come to an end and it is time for “new blood”, commissioners elected to serve the citizens of this county, who will be vigilant to watch over and prevent any attempt from within or without, to erode their rights and freedoms.

Dan Christopher

Moorefield

Presence needed

To the Editor:

People I have spoken with during the past week are under the impression that the proposed Comprehensive Plan and the code and ordinance changes have been voted out and are gone.

This is not true.

The county commissioners passed a motion to recommend the repeal of the zoning plan. This means it has to go back before the Planning Board-again-to be voted down. If you read last week’s newspaper, you would have seen the finally submitted public notice to CONSIDER repeal Titles IV-Property Standards Sub-Code and V-Civil Enforcement Sub-Code of the Switzerland County of Unified Development and Property Standards Code.

 Interestingly, Title IV and Title V refer only to the second part of the Comprehensive Plan, the enforcement portions. There is no mention of repeal of the Comprehensive Plan itself. At the commissioners’ meeting, (I quote the newspaper article on this) county attorney Wil Goering read: “…And that the Planning Commission engage the public in a process to develop a new Area Comprehensive Plan that will replace the 1996 Area Comprehensive Plan Resolution.”

 Maybe it is not necessary to go to an official vote to get rid of the Comprehensive Plan itself. Is it? No less than three of us spoke up at the April 5th commissioners meeting to request that it be quite clear that both parts of the plan, the enforcement, and the scheme-I mean dream-of how Switzerland County should develop be completely repealed.

 The upshot of all this is that if you care about your property rights and values, it is important to attend the next Planning Commission meeting to ensure that the Planning Board is left in no doubt of your wishes regarding this issue, and that they finally respect them and vote to repeal. Even if you don’t speak up, your presence will help impress upon the Board Switzerland County residents’ interest in their decision.

That meeting is scheduled for April 21st, at 6 p.m. at the courthouse. “Oral comments regarding the proposal will be heard.”

 I hope.

Traci Weber

Switzerland County Resident