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By Investigative Reporter
John Taft

November 9, 2005

GRANTS PASS, Oregon � Private property rights are again under siege in Josephine County. Black hearted buccaneers have sailed up the rivers and streams of this county and are firing broadsides of cannon into private property rights. Piratical public employees from Oregon�s LCDC, DEQ, Fish and Wildlife, the Agriculture Department, the state legislature and many more agencies are sharpening their cutlasses in order to slit the throats of stupid private property owners.

The pudden-heads who own private property can�t be trusted to manage their riparian lands; it must be done by the state�s well- paid, elite public employees with volumes of rules and a Thousand Friends of Oregon. Any dolt who dares to pick a flower or move a rock along a riparian setback on streams and rivers will be subject to the state�s wrath. The State of Oregon has been hijacked by the cutthroat socialist environmentalist crowd. These same people continue to steal and loot private property rights to carry out their 19 goals in Senate Bill 100.[1]

Regional Problem Solving Authority a Hoax

Mandated river and stream setbacks are on the docket. The riparian setbacks are designed to enhance and protect wildlife habitat. The state of Oregon gives the county two choices, the state�s so-called �Safe Harbors� plan or the county�s own plan. In the case of Josephine County, the Regional Problem Solving Authority recommends greater setbacks than the state mandates for the county. (It appears to be a socialist type of organization ready to loot property control rights from the owners.) Under either option the property owner will be unable to improve or protect his property within the setbacks.

Dead trees are untouchable along with blackberries, debris that clogs streams and can cause land erosion, etc. The property owner still gets to pay the land taxes. The state does not have the funds for maintaining the thousands of miles of stream and river properties in Oregon. Most individuals take care of their stream and river properties, and the county and state have not documented in their arguments for riparian setbacks any instances where there has been a problem.

The piratical state and its hoard of buccaneers make laws and attempt to compel counties to endorse these rules or laws. The JoCo Planning Office under the banner of the Jolly Roger has been complicit in this scam on private property rights. Josephine County Planning Dept. Director Michael Snider has been the ramrod pushing this measure before the commissioners. He did not publicly inform the county commissioners on Nov. 2nd that goal 5 (riparian setbacks) of Senate Bill 100 is in conflict with the Oregon Constitution. No provisions by the state or county have been made for compensation to land owners when the riparian setbacks are enacted.

David Lommel Explains Fifth Amendment to Commissioners

The second reading of the riparian setbacks occurred on Wednesday morning, Nov. 2nd, and is to be continued later this month and into December. During the portion of the meeting allowing public input, those in favor completely ignored the issue of taking of private property that Measure 37 addresses in Oregon. The pros were all quite willing for the state to take control of land surrounding streams and rivers in the county. As one speaker expressed it, �Some people confuse ownership of their property with control. Ownership is not taken away; they are just told what to do that is right because the neighbors are affected �� There are already laws on the books that prevent logging in streams or any activity that increases the turbidity of the water.

It�s illegal to dump pollutants in a waterway. Laws are already on the books that hold people responsible who cause problems for others. Even many of those speaking against riparian setbacks were more concerned with the technicalities of the setbacks. Few mentioned the Fifth Amendment. The first speaker, David Lommel, a concerned property owner, did and read the portion of the Fifth Amendment into the public record �� nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.� Kenneth Florer, a senior citizen, made a couple of comments worth repeating regarding the taking of private property. �It seems that somebody turned their thinkin� off.� And he�s absolutely right; the state, local officials, and the Regional Problem Solving Authority have not only turned off their thinkin�, they have also turned off their hearing aids regarding the Fifth Amendment.

Florer described the creation of additional laws as, �A constant crawl, every day, every year, one more regulation, we got enough of them.� What he said struck a responsive cord with the audience which gave him an enthusiastic round of applause.

Oregon Constitution Requires Compensation

To give the reader documentation of why the taking of private property is wrong we cite the summary given for the explanation for Measure 37 which also applies to the riparian setbacks for streams and rivers. �SUMMARY: Currently, Oregon Constitution requires government(s) to pay owner "just compensation" when condemning private property or taking it by other action, including laws precluding all substantial beneficial or economically viable use. Measure enacts statute requiring that when state, city, county, metropolitan service district enacts or enforces land use regulation that restricts use of private real property or interest thereon, government must pay owner reduction in fair market value of affected property interest, or forgo enforcement. Governments may repeal, change, or not apply restrictions in lieu of payment; if compensation not timely paid, owner not subject to restrictions.� State employees who wish to steal private property without paying under the guise of governmental action also have to circumvent the following constitutional restraints:

1. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[2]
2. Section 18, Article I and Section 4, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution.

Thieves Steal Private Property Rights

The only conclusion I can come to is that the state of Oregon and its minions are pirates and thieves, by mandating without paying for what is wanted. It uses the same technique that all tyrants use to avoid payment and to gain compliance from its victims; they use force. Once the county signs and adopts these riparian rules they will be enforced by police with loaded guns, arrest warrants, the courts, fines, and possible jail time for the violators. So far the promoters of the riparian setbacks have been mute on the penalties for violating the setbacks. This is done for strategic purposes in order not to frighten the prey and gain support for an illegal act. We do know the penalties will be severe to set an example for those hesitant to be obedient to the mandates of the state. These are the actions of a totalitarian state, it uses theft and force to gain its objectives.

This riparian setback is another step into the confiscation of private property. Measure 37 [4], now placed in limbo by a judge�s ruling, corrected some of the earlier thefts of private property under Senate Bill 100 started in 1973. This latest attack by public officials on private land is a slap in the face to the voters who supported Measure 37, which intended that persons could develop property that was held in their family prior to land use restrictions put into effect by Senate Bill 100.

Not all Thieves are in Jail

The taking or diminished use of private property without �just compensation� is brazen theft. A criminal looting a store after a hurricane is no different that the state looting property rights without payment. The US Constitution calls for �just compensation,� as does the Oregon Constitution. Thus, the proposals before the county commissioners on riparian setbacks presented by the Director of the Planning Department Michael Snider are illegal and unethical, without �just compensation�, and are a part of a political plan designed to seize control of private property to be incorporated into an environmental agenda on land control. Many county residents regard state and county employees who have worked on the riparian setback rules for streams and rivers and have failed to speak out against this ordinance as being in conflict with the Oregon Constitution.

They will certainly be held accountable for their actions. Those actions are aiding and abetting the theft of private property without �just compensation.�

Harelson and Rich Show Antiproperty Rights Side

In addition to the taking of private property issue two elected Josephine county elected officials recently took a shot at property rights. They pushed for an accelerated foreclosure of property in tax default rather than letting the property go through the standard legal time limits. County Treasurer/ Tax Collector John Harelson brought this antiproperty ordinance to the county Legal Counsel Steve Rich and together they made a sneaky plan attempting to run this ordinance by the commissioners. Commissioner Jim Raffenburg tackled this antiproperty ordinance, and the other two commissioners agreed with him after they heard from an outraged public. This exposed both Harelson and Rich to a humiliating public defeat. Michael Snider, John Renz,( former planning dept. and now with DEQ) John Harelson, and Steve Rich all carry the label of antiproperty rights and certainly should be removed from public employment and replaced with constitutionally friendly public employees.

Prediction and What the Commissioners Should Do

The future looks dark and bleak for private property rights in Oregon. This writer predicts that the environmentalists, along with state agencies, are now plotting how to steal and control all private rural land outside of contained urban growth boundaries. This means they intend that all rural areas are to fall under state mandates every bit as repressive as the riparian setbacks, and the rules are already in effect on most of the state�s 19 goals contained in Senate Bill 100. The state rural areas will be tightly controlled under county ordinances, Oregon Revised Statutes, and Oregon Administrative Rules created by environmentalists and many of whom are on the public payroll.

They will control all water, air, vegetation and land which will be tightly regulated. Private property ownership in Oregon will be a farce as you will be allowed to live on the land at the pleasure of the state and have no personal control over the land. Some will say this is very good as people are too stupid to manage their own land. This is the contempt environmentalists hold for the Oregon and US Constitutions and the property owner.

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Josephine County commissioners should refuse to approve this ordinance unless the riparian setbacks comply with the Oregon Constitution. Without compensation for loss of land use, the proposed riparian ordinance can�t legally be enforced according to the Oregon Constitution. If the commissioners willingly comply with the state�s riparian setbacks for Josephine County, the commissioners become co-conspirators in the taking (theft) of private property rights.

Michael Snider can be contacted at: 541-474-5421

Related Article:
Recall Judge James


1, History of Senate Bill 100
2, US Constitution, Bill of Rights
3, Oregon Constitution
4, Measure 37 Ballot Title

� 2005 John Taft - All Rights Reserved

E-Mails are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale

John Taft former president of Josephine County, OR. Taxpayers Association is presently an investigative reporter for the US-Observer and He has had many years of broadcasting, news writing and reporting experience. He also has written a popular conservative newsletter for a taxpayers organization to inform the public on taxing issues.


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The JoCo Planning Office under the banner of the Jolly Roger has been complicit in this scam on private property rights. Josephine County Planning Dept. Director Michael Snider has been the ramrod pushing this measure before the commissioners.