In this week’s mailbag, we hear responses to State Sen. Konni Burton’s commentary: Local Control: A Tool, Not The Rule

Editor’s note: We publish commentary from our subscribers on a weekly basis. Commentary may be edited according to community standards. 

Actually the county Sheriff is the person with local control. If no response to people in county, then he should be voted out or recalled. The Sheriff should not be influenced to a large degree by state and federal authorities by executive order but only laws on the books passed by state and federal government. The general public is very uneducated on law and due process which should be taught in public schools but is not. The same goes for money education in public schools.

Ron Boehm
Yoakum, TX

We have seen our water district use the fear tactic strategy of saying “if we don’t control your water Austin will.” Groundwater belongs to the landowner and a local board cannot vote it away from Landowner control without paying for that privilege. We have individual rights in the USA and a board or a group of your peers or the entire community cannot deprive you of those rights. In fact it is illegal (USC title 18) to conspire to deprive an individual of his rights under the color of law. This conspiring goes on when boards and government agencies get together and plan to restrict you from your private property without proving a need and paying you. In regional planning groups and water districts they know certain individuals will be harmed and others will not be harmed by their rules. They always pass the buck to legislation they say forces them to do it. It is also forbidden in both The US Constitution and The Texas Constitution to pass legislation which deprives you of property without compensation. Local control of private property is illegal.

Kelly Young
Lubbock, TX

Senator Burton is correct as far as she goes. But the greater issue is “separation of powers.” This slogan is usually meant to describe the differing powers of the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. But it means more than that.

Actually, the concept also relates to the separation of powers between the various levels of government as well: federal, state, and municipal. The states are the first among those entities, and they created and granted the federal government very limited, national powers such as foreign relations, coinage of money, and establishing an army for national defense. These were delegated to the Feds because they are issues of nation-wide concern and reach. Likewise, the state creates municipalities and gives them certain powers that the state has not reserved to itself.

Problems begin when the federal government starts enacting laws that encroach on those powers the states reserved to themselves. Likewise, municipalities get into a quandary when they try to control those issues the state has reserved to itself, evidenced by statutory law.

Jim Pikl
McKinney, TX

‘Leadership’ has been on my mind of late and in response to Sen. Burton’s statement, I offer a challenge to conservative activists in Texas:

When you find yourselves sitting across from professionals or local office holders, keep your activism on tap! Insurance salesmen, school principals, loan officers, city employees, etc. are now constantly and exhaustively pushed and pulled by all levels of government. Their responses to your public and/or private solicitations reflect their views on government control. Sometimes, their acceptance of government control may shock you! I say, CHALLENGE THEM, in a compassionate and gentle manner, especially when you come into contact with younger individuals. Remember that they may have been educated in a more liberal indoctrination than yourselves. When they offer you the typical one-government-solution, challenge them to broaden their solution, to think outside their bureaucratic knee-jerk reaction (to realize that gov’t bureaucracy is of their OWN making and not a pyramid hierarchy!). If you have imagined a more efficient or less costly solution, declare it. If you have determined not to accept their governmentally intrusive response, state it outright with specific reasons why. Your end result will likely NOT be victorious, but you will have opened a mind up to other possible solutions. Is it not the ‘American Way’ to stop and determine all the possibilities and all the outcomes and choose (individualism) the best way forward?

This activism rarely reaps immediate gratification. In fact, you may never see the sprout that results from the seed you sow. But I say, sow the seed! And, in time, we will reap a great harvest!

Melanie Kriewaldt-Roth
Liberty Hill, TX

To all elected Republicans: Why hasn’t Chapter 43 of the Local Government Code (ETJ) been repealed? It is one of the worst pieces of law ever enacted.

George Pangborn
Burnet, TX

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