Rights of citizens being taken for granted

Rights of citizens being taken for granted

November 9, 2013

In reading articles regarding Cecil Township, along with other news stories, it is increasingly obvious that municipalities are becoming one-sided in the use of code enforcement or the establishment of ordinances.

Most ordinances are good tools when used in a fair and balanced manner. But not when they are misused and deal with other agendas. Elected officials are only allowed to write ordinances, not influence their enforcement. As long as municipalities abide by that, things generally go smoothly. When they don’t, guess what? Nothing stops them.

So here lies the rub. Would you take the matter to court so that you and your fellow citizens can have a properly-run local government? Or would you simply do nothing, keep your head down, get out of their way and conform to harassing code enforcement, poorly written ordinances, and your rights being compromised?

If, like many, you choose the latter, then you too may be living in an oppressive community.

Here in our little community, we have a growing share of maligned ordinances, micromanaging officials and employees and the usual handful of people who love to gossip. Sounds like a small town, some might say. But when there are things like an ordinance banning any pollen-producing plant, that isn’t governing. That is sixth-grade, petty behavior.

While situations like Cecil’s will escalate until someone has the common sense to say they aren’t allowed to do that or landowners no longer feel harassed, would it be fair to say that the rights of citizens are being taken for granted? I believe so.

Ralph Jannini



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