Spring, 2014 | ELECTION WATCH
Letters - Spring election - 2014
Food for thought
With all the recent discussions on zoning with the Land and Water Department, I decided to do a bit of investigation into some of the Polk County history regarding this. (this is something most of the liberal press in our area does not seem to know how to do) I found that a few years ago, Tim Ritten’s predecessor, as department head of the Land and Water department (Jeff Timmons), proposed ordinance changes that set limits based on the square footage of topsoil that could be disturbed without buying a permit. It was pointed out that his proposal was so restrictive that it would be impossible in Polk County to unload-turn around, and reload a D 8 Caterpillar dozer without a permit. Fortunately that proposal was defeated after a combative series of public hearings.
Shortly after Mr. Ritten became the Department head of the Land and Water Department (after Timmons retirement) Mr. Ritten proposed changes to the land reclamation ordinance. The ordinance had become so bloated by the regulatory over-reach of his predecessor that Mr. Ritten’s proposal was to scrap the ordinance all together and adopt a new ordinance that he had patterned on the DNR template for a local land reclamation ordinance. His rationale at the time was that if it was good enough for the DNR then it was probably good enough for Polk county. That issue caused no blowback at all at the time. Clearly Land reclamation on mines—I.E. gravel pits etc.- is a water quality issue the same as the building setbacks from lakes is a water quality issue. The lake classification system that the global warming proponents refer to as justification for more restrictive set backs on certain lakes is not a federal or state classification. I believe it is solely a creation from certain Polk County residents. In fact I believe that it was a creation of Mr. Timmons. It effectively gave government In Polk county more authority and power than other counties had or that the DNR held as necessary. It also generated more fines, and created more non complying buildings on our lakes. As Mr. Ritten pointed out a few years ago—if it’s good enough for the DNR it is probably good enough for Polk county. This kind of regulatory over-reach is what the liberals are trying to protect with their idiotic scare tactics.
As a lake property owner I hasten to add that no lake property owner I know is against cleaner more pristine lakes. After all why would they be against something that enhances the value of their property and affords them the enjoyment of that clean water??
Please vote on April 1st for common sense and put an end to fear mongering.
R J Hartung