by Becky Gerritson | Wetumpka

Dear Editor:

On Nov. 4, citizens in unincorporated areas of Elmore County will have the opportunity to vote for the “Limited Self-Governance Act” (sometimes referred to as ‘limited home rule”). The Limited Self-Governance Act would allow the county commission the power to address the following issues: (1) abatement of weeds as a public nuisance, (2) control of animals and animal nuisances, (3) control of litter or rubbish, (4) junkyard control of areas which create a public nuisance, (5) abatement of noise, unsanitary sewage or pollution creating a public nuisance.

Currently the county commission doesn’t have the constitutional authority to address these problems and must go to the state legislature and have laws passed. At first glance, it may seem like this act is a good thing, but there’s more to the story. Property rights activist Don Casey stated that if this act is passed, the county commission will be given the authority to do the following:

Searches of private property without a warrant.

Gives code enforcement officials the authority to declare personal property “junk.”

The declaration of personal property as “junk” and the issuance of an order requiring authorized disposal of personal property within 10 days. An appeal of the official’s ruling that can only be heard by the county commission – the same body that hired the code enforcement official. A ruling by the commission that is final – NO appeal to a higher authority is allowed.

Fines – $150 per day with a $5,000 cap. Associated costs can easily double that amount.

Failure to pay penalties – the county seizes your home/land and sells it at public auction Other personal property that was declared to be junk is disposed of by code enforcement officials (the county keeps the money) and a bill for the costs of disposal is sent to the property owner.

Do you want to give our county commission this powerful authority? The best way to address these issues is to pass individual laws through the state legislature that ensure adequate property rights protections and appeals processes. Permanently changing our constitution and surrendering our freedoms and property rights to the county commission is not the solution. Please vote NO on Amendment 6. See more on our website at www.WetumpkaTeaParty.com.