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Elected Officials – Civil Servants or Dictators?

by pete on September 30, 2009

What is the role of elected officials? Is it different at county or federal levels? I was taught that elected officials were supposed to be representatives of “We the People”. They were elected to serve as the collective voice of “We the People”. Their job was to guard our God given rights as outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They are expected to discharge these duties with the integrity that is both the spirit and content of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. All men are created equal and all men should be treated fairly and equally under the law.

What is integrity?

According to Webster’s dictionary, 1). Adherence to a code of values: 2). Incorruptibility.

As many of you know I have been fighting the county for 4 ½ years in an attempt to be treated fairly and equally under the law. I have found that with county officials it is not that the idea of integrity is misunderstood but rather it is viewed with scorn, as the naïve expectation of a few disloyal subjects. Someone once said “A person with his rights intact is a citizen; without them he is a subject.”

Gallatin County Commissioner Joe Skinner

Joe Skinner ran on a platform of protecting our “property rights”. I voted for him for that reason. Now he tells myself and others, that not everyone is entitled to the same property rights. Is this integrity? Deputy County Attorney Chris Gray has argued, repeatedly, that “what has been done in the past is irrelevant” and “each case is treated individually”. This is his basis for justifying permitting others to have the rights I am being denied. Is this integrity?

Gallatin County Attorney Bill Murdock

Bill Murdock’s first remarks at the “kangaroo court” hearing were, “We get a third party to tell us what’s right… We do this all the time.” Yet even with sworn affidavits and a preponderance of both historical data and proven field conditions, as allowed by law, I was again denied the same rights still being given to “approved citizens” all around my property. Is this integrity? Once again, is this what we should expect from these county officials – these public servants?

Should it be the goal of the county government to force people off their land? Should it be their goal to constantly seek ways to deprive residents of property rights through their oppressive “regulatory takings” schemes cleverly disguised as “growth planning”? Should it be the policy of county officials to fight their personal grudge matches with citizens at the taxpayer’s expense? Did anyone else think it strange that, after receiving a small fortune in open space money, Joe Skinner would try so hard to force the rest of the people of this county to lose “their” property rights to his, ill-advised, zoning scheme?

I submit to you, once again, it is time for “We the People” to clean house in this county government!


Pete Rothing

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