July 24, 2001 - Clallam County Commissioner’s meeting
Item 7(b) Critical Areas Code Repeal Initiative 6.
John Bennett--- “My name is John Bennett, I’m a physician in Sequim, I’ve taken the morning off to discuss with the board, my feelings and thoughts concerning the Critical Areas Code Repeal. I would like to thank Commissioner Chapman for his comments in support of the county charter, and I’m here to make comments. I’ll discuss my comments concerning the board, I hope that commissioner Chapman excuses himself if I discuss the board in general. I would like to publicly charge this board with contempt of the people of Clallam County. We signed this Initiative in good faith and I believe that we have been insulted by your decision not to have a public meeting in this. Commissioner Doherty mentioned the Constitutions of the United States and of Washington State and there has been discussion of the Clallam County Charter. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution closes with the statement, “nor shall private property be taken for public use without compensation. The Critical Areas Code does just that, it takes private property for public use and it does not compensate the owner. The Constitution of Washington State, Article 1 Section 1. ‘All political power is inherent in the people and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed and are established to protect and maintain individual rights. The purpose of government in Washington State and in all states of the union is to protect the private individual rights of the people of the state.’ What greater right is there than property rights? The Growth Management Act calls upon the counties to take away the rights of the people of the counties. The Growth Management Act is illegitimate and the people of the county are asking to put the county out of compliance with the Growth Management Act. We don’t think that the Growth Management Act should be enforced and we are tying to tell you this. The Clallam County Charter, Section 8.20 ‘The first power reserved to the people is the Initiative.’ We have not abandoned the power of the Initiative. You are ignoring this illegitimately and I want to let you know that today I will file charges with the Attorney General’s office in Olympia against the board because of your violation of the Clallam County Charter and I will actively pursue a recall procedure for Mr. Tharinger and Mr. Doherty. Thank you very much.”
Mike Brown--- “My name is Mike Brown, Port Angeles. Thank you Commissioner Chapman. When you people sign on as commissioners, you take an oath of office that you will uphold the constitution. Two of you are not doing that, you are breaking your oath, we will take you out of office. Thank you.”
Don Roberts--- “Don Roberts, 151 Roberts Road, Port Angeles, Washington. I attended the work session yesterday and when the recommendation was made by the prosecutor’s office to go into a private session, I got the chill bumps on my arms and that does not happen very often. The reason for that
is the first thing that hit me, is here is something that is leading to something that is illegal. I am the chairman of the civil service board and I have been on that civil service board for ten years and I would have never considered a closed meeting to consider options. What are the options? The options are very simple. Number one, you repeal the code or you go to the people for a vote. Those are the two options you have. And when that motion was made it was very obvious that there was an effort to put a third option in there and the option is the one that you took today, and I am certain that it is illegal. You are not listening to what the people have had to say about this particular ordinance and I think that you are making a mistake by not going to a public meeting. Thank you.”
(Another filibuster by Tharinger) Directed the testimony away from the secret meeting and onto himself again. Again he refers to Initiative 6 as a referendum.
Steve Tharinger, Commissioner (D)--- “I guess I would, I would like to just comment unto your comments um, I think that certainly if the declarative judgment shows this referendum to be legal, we will follow through on that, if it meets the state law. I mean, I don’t think we’re saying, not to do that, at least in my mind, what I’m saying, is we need to have this declaration by the court first. So, it does it it because it seems to me that it is not appropriate to go this public hearing and go to this process to the vote unless we know that it actually is legal. And so that’s, and that’s, I think the court will determine that and if it de-determines in the affirmative that it is legal, we’ll move through and it’ll go to the voters as the charter views. But, as this point um obviously by the motion I made and the point I made, um I think there is quite a bit of question as to whether it is legal and once we get that question resolved and answered, then we’ll move forward.
Mike Doherty (D) Chair--- “O.K., the other thing I would add is that the choice yesterday was not to go to an executive session to discuss options, the choice was to follow the recommendations of the civil deputy prosecutor for an executive session to discuss potential litigation because either way we had a feeling that we would be sued and that’s a proper exemption under the Public Meetings Act, is to talk to your attorney of strategy involving litigation. So, technically that was the issue.
Parker Stoops--- “Parker Stoops, PO Box 96, Joyce. “Let’s talk about that executive session a little bit, Mr. Doherty. RCW 42.30.110 Paragraph (I). One of the lawful purposes for holding an executive session of governing body of a public agency such as yourselves, ’to discuss with legal counsel representing the agency, matters relating to agency enforcement actions or to discuss with counsel representing the agency, litigation or potential litigation, which the agency, the governing body or member acting in an official capacity, is or is likely to become a party when public knowledge regarding a discussion is likely to result in an adverse legal or financial consequence to the agency. Okay? In order for your executive session yesterday, to be legal, three elements of this paragraph (I) had to be met. First of all, your legal counsel had to be there discussing the legal ramifications, but not the ordinance itself. Alright? If you had considered, or deliberated, or spoken one word about the ordinance itself, as separate from it’s legal ramifications, your executive session was unlawful. Second element---what constitutes potential litigation? The State Attorney General’s office has basically split opinion on that subject depending on whether you take a wide, a broad, or a narrow construction of the executive session exemption, shall we say. But, not only does the Open Public Meetings Act contain a strong legislative, statement of legislative attempt, in Section 0.10 but in section 9-10 at the end of the act, it says the purpose of this chapter are hereby declared remedial and shall be liberally construed. The argument that has been made that this executive session was to discuss potential litigation. I believe that the second element, what constitutes potential litigation. I believe that you can’t bring forward a speck of evidence to show that parties on either side considered potential litigation. Who do you have, that threatened to sue you? Did Bob Forde threaten to sue you? Did I threaten to sue you? Did people on the other side threaten to sue you? What we’ve got here, and if you are going to construe the provisions of the act liberally, you are going to have to construe the exemptions to the act narrowly. What we have here, a situation which Mr. Melly has discovered a new interpretation of the Open Public Meetings Act, whereby any subject that the commissioners discuss, that they decide is controversial and they have an inkling that oh, maybe somebody someday will want to sue us for this, well, let’s go into executive session, by golly. all we’ve gotta do is have our legal counsel here. Is that what we are going to see in the future out of this board? How many times while you have been the chair, Mr. Doherty, has this board convened a meeting in executive session? You have been the chair for what, a couple of years, three years? How many?
Doherty--- “I know, we would have to look it up.”
Stoops--- “Approximate it for me. Once a week, once a month, once a year, what?”
Doherty--- “It’s not once a week, it might, if I took a guess, once a month, but that’s not a guess for the record’s sake, I’m just guessing. Tentatively, we don’t do that routinely and it’s a serious matter when we do. We try to have enough justification to meet the statutory exemptions under the Open Public Meetings Act whenever we do that”
Stoops--- “So go ahead and present your justifications...”(Interrupted by Tharinger) “I guess, I guess I would like to comment, when we do have our conversations about going into executive session Commissioner Doherty is the one that is the least likely to favor this because he is probably the most knowledgeable of the law and is probably the most calcitrant to accept going into executive session, in the year and a half that I have been on the board. But, I also would like to comment that usually where we get that ruling is from our counsel, is from our prosecutor. So when our prosecutor mentions that he feels that the issues at hand do require executive session we differ to him and to that judgment. But, I think it, I just would restate, um in the year and a half that I have been on the board, Commissioner Doherty is the least likely to go into executive session.?
Note that the emphasis is again twisted away from the matter of the executive session and placed on Doherty, rather that the issue brought before them by Stoops.
Stoops--- “Regardless of what he has done in the last year and a half, he convened an executive session yesterday, did he not?”
Tharinger--- “That is true and all three of us, I think voted on it.”
Commissioner Chapman (R) “I was opposed to an executive session yesterday.”
Stoops--- “Okay, but Mr. Doherty convened the executive session.”
Chapman--- “He called for a vote, it was a two to one vote, to go into executive session, he can’t do it on his own.”
Chapman--- “It was a vote of the board.”
Stoops--- “Before convening in an executive session, this is sub-section two of section ten of the Open Public Meetings Act. “Before convening in an executive session, the presiding officer of a government body shall public ally announce the purpose for excluding the public from the meeting place, and the time that the executive session shall be concluded. I belie that if you had
stated the purpose for excluding the public from the meeting honestly would have been because Commissioner Tharinger and I have things to say that we don’t want the public to hear. I believe that your executive session was in direct violation and I invite you to present your evidence that this matter is potentially litigious. I invite you to mention who threatened to sue you and where you got that idea, beside out of your own head.”
Doherty--- “Well, I don’t think we have to get into that today, we’re here to take public comment and when we went into executive session, we announced the reason why, and the time that it would be and the fact that there would be no decision made when we came out of executive session and that’s the proper way we announce things on the board.”
Stoops--- “Okay, so you are stating to me here on the public record that you discussed with your legal counsel, nothing but the legal ramifications and the potential litigation that might result.”
Doherty--- “Well, I, I,”
Stoops--- “Is that what you're telling me or did you discuss the ordinance or the petition itself? Did you discuss the petition itself?”
Doherty--- “Upon his advise, we stuck to the legal impacts that we were, the potential for litigation that we were, the potential for litigation that we were discussing, and that was it, but I’m not here to dialogue with you on this, I would be glad to talk to you afterwards. We have four or five other people, who want to make some comments.”
Stoops--- “I don’t have anything else to say, that can’t be said in a public meeting. Thank you.”
Doherty--- “Bob Forde.”---
Bob Forde--- “Bob Forde, that’s me. Good morning, thank you for the opportunity and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Englebertson on his award, It was a delightful little ceremony, I thoroughly enjoyed it. There has been a lot of discussion, of course know we’ve been working on this, you’ve had chapter and verse read to you this morning, and all very good, but I would like to bring to your attention, I think the pivotal point on this thing, for your information, you have already made a motion, you have already approved it, you’ve set your sail and course on how you are going to go. I would like to submit to you and refer to C.C.C. 37.01.110.”
(Interrupted by Doherty)
Doherty--- “Bob, could you state your name for the record, please.”
Forde--- “Bob Forde, Sequim Washington---Forde, and it’s Bob with one o.” (laughter from audience)
“Ok, so, ‘the auditor shall verify the sufficiency of the signatures on the filed petitions and transmit the petitions with a report thereon to the board of county commissioners at a regular meeting, not more than 20 days after the filing of signed petitions in accordance with C.C.C. 37.01.100, if the auditor has determined that sufficient signatures have been filed to validate the petitions, such transmission shall constitute the introduction of the proposed ordinance by the commissioners. The filed petition shall remain on file with the commissioners and shall be a public record. I submit to you gentlemen that yesterday’s clandestine meeting was in violation with the transmission that shall constitute an introduction. I believe that you were introduced to this petition, I believe that you, not knowing of course, with any degree of certainty what was discussed in your meeting, nor do I care frankly, what you discussed because we the suffering public must take our actions in a form of a reaction, to what this board chooses to do. And unless my hearing and English understanding is incorrect, I believe I heard Mr. Melly stand here earlier, and suggest by the way of his role as counselor, that you follow and have the next indicated step, which is a public hearing, rather than the reactionary choice that you have taken that there may be some litigation, there may be something in the future. That certainly wasn’t this board’s choice when they spent $75,000 to a Seattle attorney---apparently you don’t have one in Clallam County that is worthy of the defense of the suit brought to the Growth Management hearings board by Mrs. Kailin and her committee. You chose to go ahead and litigate that, as it were. Secondly, and I believe most importantly, what Mr. Tharinger is talking about which is missing, on the back of this petition, and if anyone would like to see it, I would be happy to generate as many copies as you would like to see, is a few words which say, repeal of code. Purpose---code repeal. Now that is the fact, not feeling of litigation. That is the fact of what you are g to do is discredit 3,176 voters in Clallam County. This is the issue, right here on the back of this piece of paper. Now the question might arise, why isn’t it on the back of all of those documents? ---you ask quizzically. Let me assure you, the reason it is not there, is because I was told by a county employee at the auditor’s office, it was not necessary, so if you choose to hang your hat on that particular piece of that trint, then you are on very shallow thin ice, because it was generated, that was instructed to me by a county employee, who shall at this point remain nameless. So gentleman, I submit to you and I beg of you, I beg you on bended knee, as it were, do not prevent, do not prevent the natural course of this thing. Let it die at the polls, if it must die. Let it live at the polls, but for God’s sake, in the name of all that is right and just, let the people at least have a voice, and follow as Mr. Chapman so aptly suggested, and what was signed by Mr. Doherty in 1976 [Home Rule Charter]. I would like to close, close as if I was making a speech, I’m not. Just a real brief thing, it was signed and it is a wonderful piece, this is a wonderful document Mr. Doherty, really it is and you were instrumental in generating it and I commend you for that. ‘The major differences found in the charter is home rule itself, the charter is a county constitution, designed to give control of county affairs to the people of the county, rather than requiring legislation from Olympia. In addition to election of our public officials specific powers reserved to the people are Initiative, referendum, mini-initiative, and recall.’ The charter also calls for the hiring of an administrator to assist the commissioners in the administrative procedures of the county as the county commissioners may direct. Approval of the Clallam County Home Rule Charter provides for increased local control over our government and increased local involvement in the government by the citizens.’ That’s what we’re doing. For God’s sake, give us a chance. Thank you.”
Doherty--- “George Thompson.”
George Thompson--- “I would l say.”
Doherty--- “Could you come up to the rostrum please and identify yourself for the record please, our clerk will remind me...”
Thompson--- “Yeah, my name is George Thompson and I don’t uh, pretty well everything that needs to be said has pretty well been said here ,and as I see it, we have six ears in front of us up here and four of them are deaf.”
Doherty--- “Thank you--- Lois Krafsky-Perry.”
Lois Krafsky-Perry--- “My name is Lois Krafsky-Perry from Sequim. First of all, Mr. Chapman I would like to compliment you for your constitutional action. Mr. Doherty, I’ll save my comments to you for another, another time, maybe when you are running for election again. And Mr. Tharinger, you clutch the law as a life raft, and then you violate the law by your actions, and I disagree with that. I would like to also speak on behalf of the Home Rule Charter. I remember ten years ago, it was a real wrestling match and it looks like it is gonna be another real wrestling match to maintain the Home Rule Charter. I think you need to remember the voice of the people ten years ago and the voice of the people now---that this law is very important--- this Home Rule Charter is very important, and we need to obey what it has put out for us and also that is the initiative process. And, I would also like to speak to what happened yesterday. I think at least three of you, or at least four of you know what happened behind closed doors and I would like to speak to your conscience on that one. Thank you.”
Doherty--- “Thank You--- Ed Bolen.” Thanks Ed.
Bolen--- “Hello, my name is Ed Bolen, Lake Ozette from the west end. I thought I was the last commenter today, but it looks like we are going to have some more there. I’m here today in a smaller issue, since it seems like the biggest issue is the Critical Areas Ordinance---but a smaller issue the establishment of an assessment on my property for noxious weed, which I have diligently tried to have removed for the past year and a half. I’m here before you today with two purposes. One if for clarification on my last presentation to you as received y the prosecuting attorney’s office, and the other is to beg of you, guidance, on when is my patience stretched to the limit. Our representative from our prosecutor’s office today presented a letter to the noxious weed board, which I was graciously given a copy of and I understand that in the haste of probably listening to my statements, he took an understanding that it wasn’t the assessment I was concerned about so much, it was the affects on the, of the assessment on my relationship with the National Park Service. My clarification of that is---that is the farthest from the truth. This assessment is not a tax and under the agreement between the National Park Service and, The State of Washington, and the County of Clallam, the only jurisdiction the county has on my property is for taxes. And that is my reason for questioning this assessment against my property. It does have subsidiary affects on my relationship to the National Park Service and that was why I was here before, was to address the affects of delaying in rulings on this with my efforts to clarify to the Olympic National Park management, their responsibilities for maintaining noxious weed control in my areas of the state, or the US or whatever you want to call it. And that is what I am here today for, is to express to you, these efforts are on- going with Olympic National Park in development with their general management plan and it does continue to affect my ability to address my concerns to Olympic National Park, about their responsibilities. And you will see in my letter, one of the direct affects to that and I will allow you at your own leisure, to address that. But, my bottom line today is, this dollar sixty-three is not going to break my bank, but it is the principle of the assessment that is the issue at stake, and I thank you.”
Doherty--- “Thank you, Ed. Kathy Lucero has tried to work on this a lot of hours and I...”
Bolen--- “And I add that she is probably one of the best employees ev...”(Interrupted by Doherty)
Doherty--- “She understands it’s a matter of principle and she is still pursuing it. Al Nearhoff.”
Nearhoff--- “Okay, my name is Al Nearhoff, I’m also known as Al Monroe, the owner and operator of two radio stations on the west end of Clallam and Jefferson Counties. I’m here to talk about something that is a whole lot more delicate than your Critical Areas Ordinance, which does involve this picture here this morning, of course. I’m more worried about something else that is much more precious to me and should be precious to everybody in this room. Mr. Tharinger, he stated to everybody here awhile ago that it has been a decade of working on this Critical Areas Code. It has taken a lot of time, effort, money, and I can understand and appreciate Mr. Tharinger, not wanting to get this thing on the ballot, to lose all that work, and effort and time. The same thing with you Mr. Doherty, the same thing. But, generally even in the broadcast industry, and of course I was accused by this gentleman here of not doing this and he made an enemy there. Generally I stay pretty neutral to most issues. I have to be because I broadcast and present to my broadcast area and I expect the same of my county commissioners. I expect my county commissioners, who I assume, when elected to their respective office will represent their entire community. Now it saddens me to have to stand before you the people and you the county commissioners, knowing you guys don’t want this put on the ballot. You would rather not, you will stall and do anything you can to keep it off the ballot. And it really saddens me to stand here and argue for my constitutional right to vote. All my life, I’ve been told that it is a privilege to have the great franchise of right vote on issues that concern myself and my community. Well now here we are faced with a threat of losing that right or privilege. Over the last several years, my growth period, a 56 year old man and I still have a lot of growth to go. But, I have found that my representatives not only here in Clallam County, but also on the state and federal level, the people which we send to represent us, the entire community, don’t represent what’s right or wrong, they represent their respective political parties. I understand we have to work for a living, so do you, and we do it for the people who pay us. When you are an elected official, you are supposed to work for the entire community, the tax-payers pay your salary. The tax-payers expect you to follow the legal county charter. Well, now here we are talking about an ordinance that will take some of our property rights away and at least, I am assuming, I’m not sure, at least 3800 people signed that petition to repeal the ordinance. Now keep this in mind, there is another 3800 people out there that didn’t even hear about it, and would have signed it if they knew about it. There is another 3800 people out there who don’t own property and don’t care and there is another 3800 people out there, who don’t understand what is going on and don’t care. There is another 3800 people out there who don’t understand what is going on and they expect their elected officials to make sure their rights are protected and I don’t see that happening here this morning. Now you are talking about taking all these peoples’ constitutional right or franchise privilege to vote. Believe me commissioners, everybody understands that. Gentleman, two of you have committed political suicide here this morning and I am going to work very hard, as hard as I can for the people to have you removed or voted out of office. Remember I represent all of the people of my broadcast area and not some da-- political party. Thank you.”
Doherty--- “Mr. Don Alexander.” (interrupted by Tharinger)
Tharinger--- “Mr. Chairman I would just like to comment if, certainly if this referendum is proved to be legal as a method to legislate critical areas codes, I would be more than willing, and in fact encourage and will do what I can to support it so that it goes to the vote of the people.” (uprise in audience)
Doherty--- “Thank you. Don Alexander.”
Don Alexander--- “My name is Don Alexander, I live at 32 Farm Place in Sequim and I thank you for allowing us to speak this morning. I have been a member of the county planning commission for three and a half years. I am not here to speak as a member of the planning commission, I have never came before the board of commissioners as a planning commissioner, since I have been on that committee to speak particularly about anything we have deliberated on at the planning commission and any process that we have gone through there, but I am concerned and wonder why in all the time the county commissioners have never seen fit to submit the Critical Areas Ordinance to the planning commission---ever for consideration of public hearings by a nine person body before it comes to here. We had a perfectly good Critical Areas Ordinance, that may have not been thrown out, that was put in place in 1997 and was immediately repealed in January of 98 and they didn’t seem to have any trouble repealing that one. Today before you is our initiative process. The only way we can do anything about any of the legislation that goes on between the four year election period of county commissioners---it seems that across the state, there is a very large consideration by elected officials to just go ahead and take every single one of these initiatives to court on small technicality and I think it is absolutely ridiculous. I would hope that this one also wouldn’t go there, and when you do get this one repealed, I would hope that you would send it to the county planning commission for first review and approval and have a public hearing by the planning commission and have this thing heard by the nine people there before you three have to make the decision. Thank you very much.”
Doherty--- “Corby Sumerville. “
Corby Sumerville--- “I’m Corby Sumerville from Sequim Washington. I don’t really have any prepared remarks and I really did not come here thinking I would have to speak before you. I would like to first concur with all of the remarks I have heard from public speakers in this second public opportunity here today---particularly the passionate remarks coming from Dr. Bennett, and from the gentleman who spoke about the open government, the Open Public Meetings Act. The last time I came to talk to you folks was earlier, no it was in the month of June, and I reminded you then that when you three commissioners took the oath of office, you swore that you would uphold the constitution of the united states and I reminded you, of course you have been reminded several times already, and I reminded you that there is an article in the Constitution, Article 5 of the Bill of Rights, which says in pertinent part, “private property shall not be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Since I made those remarks to you in June, earlier this month, before the fourth of July, the Supreme Court of the united states issued a decision reaffirming and withhold the takings clause, the fifth amendment of the united states. In a case that is virtually identical, I believe in the state of Rhode Island, virtually identical to what you are doing here in Clallam County, with respect to the takings, with respect to the regulatory restrictions you are putting on the use and development of private property. The Supreme Court of the united states remanded back to, I believe it was the state of Rhode Island, if I am correct, to reconsider and to determine just what compensation would be offered to those citizens who had their property taken for public use. What you are doing is creating, by continuing to stay this course and upholding this Critical Area Ordinance, you are creating a huge public tax-payer liability because the tax-payers, who have had their property taken from them will ultimately seek to be compensated for that. The Supreme Court has so ruled earlier this month and the Supreme Court of the united states is not likely to reverse it’s ruling at any time in the near future. So if you are going to refer this matter back to some local tribunal for a declaratory judgment on the validity of a petition I would suggest, I would recommend that you refer this matter back to a tribunal for a declaratory judgment on the validity of the entire Critical Areas Ordinance and whether you can in fact take private property for public use without just compensation.”
Doherty--- “Thank you. Mike Brown.”
Mike Brown--- “My name is Mike Brown, I live in Port Angeles, I, as you gentleman know I have applied to the county for reimbursement for my properties on Morse Creek. Two properties which I bought at the tax sale from the count ,which I have been denied the use of. I have spent considerable amounts of money, which has so far not been returned to me which of course i wouldn’t accept anyway as this is probably gonna have to go to litigation. I have spent considerable amounts of money trying to develop this property, I have applied for the original permits. I had the county health department down there while we dug our septic holes for site registration, in accordance with county law and while we were down there digging, with the health officer there, Mel Thom, we were confronted with the other end of the desk, and told we couldn’t be digging there. And so, we have a problem, first of all, that one hand of the county doesn’t even know what the other hand of the county is doing at any point in time. Now, we had to stop work that cost me a bunch of money for equipment, time, permits, etc., and start over. I have put in for a variance, paid for it, and was again denied the use of my property. I was told in no uncertain terms by Dave LaSorsa - my wife was there as a witness - quote, “you’re not doing doing nothing with this property.” So I would like to commend him on his grammar, if he was here. So I applied to the - I had a witness with me - I had a meeting with Mr. Bob Martin, and was again told there wasn’t any point in putting in for a reasonable use exception because it would be denied - that I would not be using that property for anything.
Well, I didn’t apply to use that property for anything. I applied for the permits to develop the property and put a couple of homes on it. There are homes all up and down Morse Creek, and nobody’s taking away their homes. They’re not making them dig them up. There are septic systems that are right at the edge of the creek. Nobody’s enforcing that, because there were there. The fact that they were there 30 years ago does not negate the fact that raw sewage is leaking into Morse Creek. So nothing's been done about that. So I submit to you, and I have already petitioned those names to you, of some of the septic systems that are out of compliance. I would submit to you that if you really care about the Critical Areas Code and fisheries habitat, and everything else, you could do something about those septic systems that are out of compliance.
Now, I was turned down by Mr. Bob Martin in front of a witness when I appealed to him in a private meeting for a reasonable use exception. He said, quote “here is a claim form. Take it down to risk management. Get it filled out and submit a claim for your property, to be compensated.” We did so. I submitted a letter with the claims. I have back from the prosecuting attorney Chris Shea a letter that says, among other things quote, “When property is purchased as a tax sale, property is purchased ‘as is’ and no representations are made with regard to the uses for the which the property can be put. The sale is advertised, and it is the responsibility of respective purchasers to inform themselves of any restrictions on property on which they wish to bid.”
So in other words, the county is saying here that it is my responsibility to know what restrictions may or may not be on the property. Interestingly, state law and constitutional law for the United States is repeatedly over and over stated and found that is not the case. It is the responsibility of the seller to have a signature and an agreement both stating that I not only know about the fact that there are restrictions, but that I agree to those restrictions. I signed nothing, you have no signatures from me stating that I knew that this property was gonna be under restrictions, but for some reason it seems to me that the county doesn’t have to follow the same rules that the public does. If my real estate agent or a private party sells me a piece of property and does not disclose to me problems or deficiencies with that property, they’re gonna end up in court and they’re gonna lose. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. So I would like to address that issue, I don’t expect an answer because I’ve never gotten an answer from this board yet. I’ve asked direct questions to you, and all you tell me, Mr. Tharinger, is that you’re gonna concentrate on the large pieces of property when it comes to ...(change of tapes) What are you going to do about it, and you repeatedly told me that you’re going to concentrate on the larger pieces of property. So my question was never answered - I’m gonna ask it again, but of course I don’t expect an answer. Now, the US Supreme Court has also repeatedly refused the watering down of private property rights. I was told here in the letter from Mr. Shea that what I should do is reapply for a watered-down use of my property. Well, that conflicts with what the Supreme Court has repeatedly found. We’re not gonna water down people’s property rights. You either let them use their property in the manner for which it was intended, or you buy it at fair market value. Mr. Martin hinted that possibly I would get my money back if I was to just ask for my money back, that I’d paid for the property. Well, I don’t think any of you would sell me your house for what you originally paid for it. Now, the Mr. Shea says that while permanent residences constructed in the floodway may be prohibited, it may also be the placement of other structures not intended to be used on a permanent basis may be placed in a floodway. Well, what I have to say to that is the property in 1969 was surveyed and recorded - that’s the legal mumbo-jumbo that we use - surveyed and recorded which means the intent was private residences. Private residences - homes. Not a watered-down version, not a shed, or a place to put your RV or go camp every 6 months that waters down my property values. 1969, it was surveyed and recorded as homesites. That is not something that calls for a reasonable use exception. So, I do agree with Mr. Martin that there’s no point in putting in a reasonable use exception when the original intent of the property is for a residence. Why do I need a reasonable use exception? You all, you all have a couple of thousand dollars of my money, I’m not giving you $1,800 more to apply for something that was already promised to be turned down. I’m going to use that $1,800 to sue the county. You all better wake up and smell the coffee, and don’t quit your day jobs because we’re gonna take you out of office if you don’t do what the people have asked. We have declared that we want an election and you are telling us that we can’t have it.
Thank you very much for your time, and your attention.