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Running over 'the little guy'

Courier editorial

POSTED: October 2, 2007 5:04 a.m.
Liberty County seemingly has a rather poor reputation among a portion of its population. On a routine basis, people contact the Courier to express their dismay about certain powerhouses in the community — private and elected — who appear to run over the “little guy” on their way to financial success.
Such suspicions are common in any city, county and state in the U.S., but left unanswered, they can be devastating to a community’s growth. After all, who wants to be a poor, little newcomer in the Land of the Good-Old Boys.
On today’s front page, there’s a story that poignantly illustrates the reason some people feel like they do.
According to an east-end couple, they are being bullied by developers who want their land that’s nestled close to a high-end housing development.
The couple says their lives have been negatively impacted since declining a bid by the developers.
First, a 10-foot fence was erected, blocking their view of the coastal scenery and officials acknowledged the fence fails to meet the county’s own requirements. To remedy the situation, the governing body will now consider a variance that would allow the fence to remain at its present height.
If it’s determined the fence was erected illegally by developers, who know better, we would hope our elected leaders would stand strong and uphold the county’s own ordinance.
In another ironic twist to the story, the developers have reportedly blocked off access to the couple’s home by placing curbs on a road that “may” be owned by the county. The word “may” is used because the Courier can’t get a definitive answer to the question of the road’s ownership. However, since the county is now reportedly trying to “abandon” the road at this rather convenient time, it would seem as though at least a portion of it is indeed a county road.
As a result of the curb, emergency responders’ access to the couple’s home is significantly restricted. So now, in addition to their view of the coastal scenery being hampered, the couple has to worry about their safety.
And when asked how the county could remedy that situation, the answer was the curbing has already been installed. Well, duh!
No wonder many people feel like they cannot trust some of their community leaders. When there is a question, there is inevitably few — if any — answers.
It is said “appearances can be deceiving.” We would hope that would be the case in this circumstance. It would be a shame to think the quality of life Liberty’s residents are based on the whims of a few people who want to make a buck.
It would be an ever sadder situation if the people who are elected to represent the wishes of their constituents as a whole succumbed to the desires of only the powerful.
 

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