THE TEA PARTYER
June 12, 2012
If college students are complaining about the high price of tuition, wait till they have to pay the cost of getting the education of experience.
On June 4, 2012 at a regularly scheduled council meeting, the Bandon City Council was reviewing a
request for the use of the city’s water service. It was a simple request from a resident living outside the city limits who wanted to extend the city’s water lines to their house.
The council denied the request for service in the past on the grounds the property was outside the city’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). The resident, Dave Schradieck, appealed the city councils denial for service arguing that he bought the property under the impression he could hook-up future dwellings to city water. He astutely argued that the end of his driveway was inside the UGB and that fact granted right to receive service. It would be a natural conclusion to believe if one part of the property is entitled to city utilities then the rest of the property is entitled as well, even though a portion of it is physically outside the UGB.
The refusal of access to one of life’s essentials---water---is reprehensible under the circumstances. However, what was really frightening and very revealing is the actual underlying reason for the denial.
Several years back the city was interested in annexing the area in which the aforementioned piece of property was located. The owner of the property, Mr. Schradieck, had the foresight and intelligence to fight against the city’s attempt to attain more territory and led the opposition to the annexation. Unfortunately, it is rare for the city to forgive, much less forget those who question their authority.
On several occasions during the debate at the council meeting the issue of Mr. Schradieck’s opposition to annexation came to the forefront of the conversation. The City Manager pointed out that every water customer living outside the city limits has to sign away the right to fight against annexation, which is very heavy handed on the side of the city. These forced waivers create an environment where city officials have the means and motive to seek retribution against anyone who chooses to invoke constitutional rights. The story proves the point that politics and politicians should never be allowed in the realm of business. Especially, if that business is providing a necessity.
Can you imagine the public outcry if this was a private corporation using the same type of tactics against their customers or competitors? At least people can choose not to patronize an individual corporation. It takes 2 to 4 years to vote bad politicians out of office. By that time who knows how many people have been abused by the system and without any public outcry this will become standard procedure for all future government programs.
The Bandon city councilors voted against the property owner instead of easily changing a few lines on a map allowing the availability of their services. A private company would not have hesitated a second and would have jumped at the advantage of getting another paying customer on the books. It is the main goal of business to generate more revenue, not to blackball clients. Also, private business does not use a customer’s political background or ideological beliefs as criteria for doing business and if they do, then go somewhere else.
The City of Bandon and government in general does not have to worry about getting, keeping or pleasing consumers to generate revenue to stay in business, because government can always rely on taking more money from the taxpayer to foot the bill. Giving bureaucrats leverage to wield like a hammer over the electorate is a dangerous proposition and one that should be thought out thoroughly before investing more public funding into other types of private-public partnerships that are increasingly occurring in the economy today.
“Rob Taylor was the original organizer of the TEA Parties in Coos County and is currently an independent activist working to promote the rights of the individual.”
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