Letter: How much control for local governments?

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Lately, many questions have been going through my head about whether our local governments have gone out of control. Are they taking too much control over our personal lives and property? Why is the town of Meeker threatening to put someone in jail for creating an inventive advertisement? Mr. Watt’s truck is a good use of otherwise blank space. It’s his truck and if he wants to make it into a moving ad, good for him. Why do we have a hospital district that used hand-numbered ballots to track who voted in the recent election? You can’t tell me there wasn’t any coercion involved with that. Why do we have departments within the county offices that seem driven to keep businesses out of our county? Why have they created all these fees, inspections and red tape if not to limit the growth of our county and tell us what we can and cannot do with our property? Now they want to take it one step further with the new master plan. It introduces the concept of “Smart Growth.” Smart Growth is an idea that started in Wisconsin and has failed miserably there. With the thought that they were protecting agricultural lands, the state of Wisconsin instead guaranteed they would fail. Smart Growth creates large tracts of agriculture-zoned land that cannot be changed, thus devaluing the property and making it impossible for farms and ranches to get the loans they needed to survive. Thousands of people lost their jobs. The proposed master plan also calls for the creation of several “man-camps.” Rio Blanco County does not need more temporary housing and workers, instead we need new industry to attract more families to fill our schools and add to our communities. Perhaps, instead of spending the money to create this unnecessary and harmful new master plan, the county should have purchased new road maintainers or hired new deputies to keep the citizens safe. Perhaps our unelected county bureaucrats need to be reminded that they need to be accountable to their bosses, the taxpayers of this county. All these questions come back to a citizen’s right to do with their property as they wish. Mr. Watt is right, it is a nice-looking sign.
Logan Hill