David Schwartz and Joe Mogus disagreed with my last letter to the editor in The Morgan Messenger.
Mr. Schwartz should examine “Levels of Scrutiny” in Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies, by Erwin Chermerinsky. A law “will be upheld if it is rationally related to a legitimate government purpose.”
The offensive clause in the county’s storm water management legislation allows certain classes of people to violate the county’s storm water management policy. Unless a legitimate purpose of government is to swamp neighbors in storm water now and then, the offensive clause is obviously unconstitutional. Simply put, it is not logically connected to any rightful governmental purpose.
After the Planning Commission announced their $100-per-day fine of Bob Ford, I called him, a stranger at the time, to learn what could a 3,000-sq.-ft. barn do to 11 acres, a tiny part of the area, do to create a valid, continuing storm water issue. I certainly could not see any signs and complained in my letter to the editor on August 5, 2002.
Then, in my April 6, 2007 letter to the editor, I noted that the ruling and consequential inspection of Bob Ford’s property gained nothing for the county that had not been previously offered by Bob Ford. Thus, the case was an unmitigated waste of $35,000 of taxpayer money and $22,000 of Ford’s finances.
This was a total waste because the county, in complete knowledge of the case, did have the choice of settling this ridiculous case before the trial. But, without their personal money at stake, just ours, the county officials proceeded with their baseless case.
Ford sued the county because it violated him. I suspect that anyone being so violated would at least consider standing up for his rights under the law. Wouldn’t you?
The subject of the lawsuit, the barn, is still there as it was in 2007 and 2002. Ford paid only the $300 fine for building without a permit, which he had already offered to do. So why, as Mr. Mogus suggests, should Mr. Ford, or anyone so violated, pay the legal costs of those who violated him, particularly after being so effectively vindicated?
Eric K. Pritchard