Monday, September 12, 2011

More Carter County Insanity

In Carter County, TN, the local government owns its property and it apparently thinks it owns your property, too. Here, the City of Elizabethton's water department has put a 12 inch waterline across a citizen's property on a supposedly temporary basis, apparently without paying him any compensation for it (Look for link to disappear, as money hungry local paper sometimes disables free links. Backup link here.) Rather than remove the line or pay him what could be an unlawful taking of his property in violation of the U.S. Constitution, they are apparently threatening to arrest him if he messes with the line. Meanwhile, the property owner claims that the line is leaking and regardless of whether that is true, it is most certainly an inconvenient eyesore.

This is a county that, within the last ten years or so, adopted an ill-conceived zoning ordinance that borders on ridiculous in its application and enforcement. This is a county where the new county mayor, Leon "Boss Hogg" Humphrey wants to cut the size of the county commission so he can more easily railroad his own proposals through the local government. One letter to the editor in the local newspaper actually said that they should cut the size of the commission by just eliminating any commissioner that did not agree with the mayor. Why not just make him king? This is a county where untold millions have been sunk into not one, but TWO, ill-fated jail projects over the years. Clearly, this is a county with a dysfunctional government. And they wonder why businesses don't want to locate in Carter County.

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