Letter to the Editor: Let’s not make a bad investment

Dear Editor:
To Jack, from Mr. Selfish: do you buy a used car without looking it over? Or for the ag. people out there, a tractor or baler and just pay whatever the seller is asking and trust it has been honestly represented? I don’t think so but, for the sake of argument let’s say you do.
Well, in order to protect you from possible misfortune or a bad investment I think the county should adopt and enforce codes on used cars and tractors. You have to pay for the service, of course but, after all, they are looking out for you, just doing their job. Now, every bolt on the tractor must be torqued to the proper spec but you can’t check it. You have to get an engineer to do it because you’re too stupid to read a torque wrench. Of course, that costs money but we are just looking out for you.
After that let’s drain the oil and check for metal, which could be a indicator of wear. You can’t visually inspect it, though. It must be sent to a lab to do it properly. That takes 4-6 weeks, but let’s make sure you’re getting a good deal. After all, we’re here to protect you. Oh yeah, that costs a little money also.
Now the oil is drained, let’s call Safety Clean to dispose of it. I know your neighbor has a waste oil burner but it’s illegal for him to burn yours, he can only burn his own. I know it doesn’t make sense but it’s a mandate from the EPA so our hands are tied. Now, speaking of the EPA, we need to replace the injectors and filters to meet the new codes. These parts are three times the money and your old ones look good, but we still have to do it because that’s what the rule says. Yes the rule was lobbied for by the injector and filter companies but they really are just trying to protect the environment by lowering emissions. I know they only last half as long and will result in more trash at the landfill but the air quality might get better because the trash trucks and dozers at the dump run on magic!
I know this was a ridiculous example, you see the tractors would be ag exempt.
Now, to my point, Jack. I just wanted to build a new body shop that used water-based paint and was geothermally heated. It would be one of the greenest shops anywhere, not because it was mandated, but because I care about RBC. I’ve built four previous buildings at both ends of the county without much of a problem until this one. I won’t go into all the details because it makes my blood pressure rise.
Let’s just say it cost thousands of dollars in fees, permits, penalties and engineers and took nearly three years to complete. I will be the first to admit most of the delays were my choice. I could only take so many roadblocks and regulations at a time. Then I would take a break for a while and mellow out. I didn’t want to turn into an armor-plated bulldozer driver. I blame myself for being a lazy taxpayer, not really caring about the fees and rules our buddies at the county were adopting. I will also agree there need to be some guidelines but to watch two grown men on ladders measuring every nail in my siding and circling the ones that were in too deep because they didn’t have enough material under the head or making me waterproof four feet up the wall behind my toilets like my bathroom is in a mall is silly. When questioned about this and many other things I was met with smugness and talked down to like an idiot. My tax dollars, which by the way are many times what residential taxes are, pay these people’s salaries, benefit packages and the trucks they drive yet I sure didn’t feel they were there to protect or serve me. More like we need more money and we have the power. They even admitted that some of the regulations didn’t make sense but they had to enforce them or they could be held personally liable. Well, my answer is that the commissioners who adopted this mess need to repeal about 90 percent of it or just let me pay an engineer, who I had to hire anyway, to inspect my project. He then could sign off on it and take the risk away from the inspectors before the county would issue the mystical certificate of occupancy. Right now there are between five and eight people, depending on how you look at it, working on all building projects. They all want to do a good job, I’m sure, but they also want to earn their wages so they study all of the thousands of codes and rules then whack us over the head with them. That’s backwards, they should help us work through them, even eliminate some to help speed up and simplify the process so we can build our community, hire more people, buy materials and improve the health of our economy.
My dear friend Jack, you can not legislate against every possible problem or accident. We humans sometimes do stupid stuff or build crappy houses. That’s why people should inspect or hire an inspector prior to buying. If you’re being a drunk idiot do you think it matters if the rail is exactly 36 inches or the steps are a perfect 6 inch rise, you’re still going to take a spill. How many sets of eyes and at what cost was our new school built with and it still has lots of problems.
More government is not the answer, it just feeds on taxpayers with no way to fight it except for our vote. Speaking of voting do you think the commissioners would have voted for these new codes or impact fees if they would have applied to ag.? I guess the laws of physics don’t apply to barns or arenas.
Why not pass a code that bans smoking in RBC? If you really cared about people and wanted to save lives there are a thousand times more deaths from cigarettes than buildings falling down. By the way, all my buildings are still standing, just dumb luck I guess? What do I know, I’m just a greedy, short-sighted jerk who is trying to provide jobs for several people, bring in insurance money from all over the U.S. into RBC while trying to protect my employees and the environment. I’m sure next week I’ll be told how stupid and misguided I am with volumes of material to back up your positions. Just please, do me a favor, do it on your own time using your own computer. I feel I’ve been bent over enough already.
Wade Bradfield