By [post_author] –
Posted on Freedom Advocates on February 6th 2004
Congratulations to the citizens of Richland County, South Carolina, who understand that the position of Environmental Program Manager has more to do with ushering in a police state than the protection of the environment. Richland County citizens showed up, spoke out, and just said “NO” to the position. Doug Kendall describes the dictatorial powers and consequences to the people of Richland County had it been approved.
Richland County Council (South Carolina) hopes to give 3rd reading to a new position in Richland County Government. After telling us all that no public input would be allowed, they slipped the notice of the Public Hearing for this position into the obituaries section of The State newspaper, a couple of days before Christmas. Very sneaky.
The position is for an “Environmental Program Manager.” This person will have the authority to make up rules as he goes along for anything that relates to “land use, water quality, watersheds, wetlands, and urban sprawl.” He’ll have control over what every property owner in the county will be able to do with his own yard — and whether or not the property owner will even be able to have a home on his land.
The Environmental Program Manager will have decision-making authority on every “future [development] site, conservation standard, and ordinance in the county.” According to his job description, he’ll run the Conservation Commission, which has already picked out the properties it wants and designated them as “Conservation Opportunities” on a map. It will be the Manager’s task to persuade the owner to donate coveted land to the county. That should be easy once he advises the county on the down zoning of it.
The Environmental Program Manager will get all the grants, handle all the money, and control all the land that the county acquires or places conservation easements on. His job will allow him to come on to any property to conduct natural resources “inventories,” or “evaluate properties” for “conservation and economic” opportunities. The new land development code also allows the “manager” to enter our property anytime he wants to, just to see if we?re complying with the Code.
This person will be able to enforce rules that the Smart Growth crowd can’t get the Planning Commission or County Council to embrace, just by saying it will somehow affect the environment. That could be just about anything, and no proof will be required. Also, there is no provision for an appeal of any decision he makes. Through him, Richland County Council, the county Planning Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals and even the county budget can be easily circumvented. In conjunction with the new zoning, the takeover of Richland County will be complete.
Have the members of Richland County Council lost their minds? How any freedom-loving, patriotic American citizen can support this is beyond me. Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Joe Neal have recently come out in support of property rights, and I hope that County Council will wake up and follow suit, in time to save us all.
I firmly believe that we all share a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment, but destroying property rights — and instituting communism — is not the way to handle it. In a country that claims to be the “Land of the Free,” citizens and government should be doing everything possible to protect property rights and individual liberty, before it’s too late.
The proposed “Environmental Program Manager” position did not pass at the February 6th Richland County Council (SC) meeting. Every single citizen that signed up to speak was in opposition to creating the position.
During a discussion period, two council members questioned the description of the job and one member made mention of the fact that we already had a position that dealt with many of the responsibilities of the proposed EPM. After limited discussion, one council member made a motion to defer the vote until a later date, and the motion passed 8 – 2.
Environmental Dictatorship by Doug Kendall
Co-Host & Producer of the Unauthorized Access radio show on WCEO 840 AM
SC Libertarian Party Executive Committee Member & State Membership Chairman
Lexington County Libertarian Party Chairman