Printed in the Herald-Times, December 29, 1999
To the Editor:
County government wants to take your property away!
No, they're not going to come and kick you out of your home, not yet anyway. They're just going to make sure you can't do anything with it.
The Minimum Lot Requirement ordinance will greatly restrict what you can do with your property. By doubling minimum lot sizes from 2.5 to 5 acres in rural residential and from 5 to 10 acres in forest reserve areas, county government will prevent many people from building homes. This is happening despite the fact that the residents of Monroe County have shown overwhelming opposition to the changes at meetings. Isn't democracy great?
But our generous county government will gladly make an exception to this rule if you set aside part of our property for public use. Of course, the county won't actually compensate you for making your land available to the public. There's just one small problem with that, and it is called the Fifth Amendment, which reads in part: "… nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
We know where County Commissioner Brian O'Neill and County Councilman Mark Stoops stand on this issue. What I want to know is where County Commissioner Iris Kiesling stands. O'Neill and Stoops aren't up for re-election until 2002, but the seat held by Kiesling is up for grabs next November.
I also want to know where all three stand on the shameless race-baiting of Plan Commission member Dan Combs, who compared people concerned about property rights to slave owners at a Plan Commission meeting. Not one peep was heard from O'Neill or Stoops when Combs made the remark. Even though Kiesling was not present, she should stand for civility and not allow such remarks to go unchallenged.