Trash Or Treasure

Remember the old saying, "ones man's trash is another man's treasurer" or "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"? I guess the question comes down to who gets to decide if it's trash or treasurer or who decides beauty. Apparently in Loudon County, it's Planning and Codes director, Russ Newman.

Not sure how many of you read the public notices in the local papers but I do. I've noticed over the last several months a lot of public notices of violations of certain county zoning regulations particularly, violations of the litter, refuse, garbage junk and debris regulations.

Apparently, Mr. Newman in the codes enforcement office has decided he is going to clean up Loudon County one yard at a time. Newman's office has issued a lot of violation notices to county property owners. Under Newman's laws, if a county property owner is found to be in violation, the owner has a set amount of time to clean up what ever to problem might be. If the property owner fails to clean the cited property then the county will clean the property and bill the property owner. If the property owner does not repay the county then the county would put a lien on the property owner's property. Are you kidding? And Russ Newman's in charge of this little police state?

At least one Loudon businessman isn't real pleased with Mr. Newman and his county beatification project. John James has taken out a full page ad in the News Herald to invite others who have been targeted by Newman's office over the last several months. Mr. James is planning to attend the Loudon County commission workshop Monday night, 6/17/2013-6:00 pm, to take his concerns directly to commissioners. Mr. James' ad invites others who have had a run in with Newman's office to attend the meeting. 

Since when is it the government's place to tell private property owners how they should maintain their property? If it's a public nuisance, then that's where the government could/should get involved. If it's a private nuisance, government shouldn't get involved. That's a civil mater between citizens.

The two types of nuisance are private nuisance and public nuisance. A private nuisance is a civil wrong; it is the unreasonable, unwarranted, or unlawful use of one's property in a manner that substantially interferes with the enjoyment or use of another individual's property, without an actual Trespass or physical invasion to the land. A public nuisance is a criminal wrong; it is an act or omission that obstructs, damages, or inconveniences the rights of the community.

Just a couple years ago, Russ Newman tried to get the county commission to establish his office as the grass police. He wanted commissioners to pass a law that he, Newman, would have the authority to make county residents keep their grass and trees trimmed to his specifications. Fortunately, commissioner's turned him down flat. Shortly there after, his office went on a rampage issuing violations all over the county.

Maybe something can be done Monday to end the Newman reign of trash terror on county property owners.