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Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors Update

Written By: Travis Buhler  |  Posted: Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

            As the Editor of the Eau Claire Journal, I think that it is good to occasionally update the readers on what is going on during the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors meetings and comment on some things that happen regularly there.

            First, it must be noted that the mentality of the county board members does not include a sense of sovereignty apart from the State government of Wisconsin.  This is how it was set up by the Wisconsin Constitution.  As the word "supervisors" implies, the elected board merely supervises the implementation of the various state mandates for each county.  Within those mandates is a certain amount of freedom, but the county government is an arm of the State government.

            My opinion in this regard is that the more power and freedom is given to the local governments, the better and more just the ruling of the people will be.  Government would be on a more personal level (it is easier to get a hold of your mayor, wards man, sheriff, or supervisor rather than a congressman, senator, or governor).  There is also the risk that if a local official abuses his power, that the residents can leave for another locality.  This is seen in regards to property tax rates.  Many areas of the county are known for higher taxes and people oftentimes vote with their feet and move to a tax-friendlier area.  It is harder to move out of Wisconsin or even America when oppression happens on those scales.

            In fact, in can be argued that the office of the Sheriff pre-dates the U.S. Constitution and therefore within this county he has a lot of power above the state and federal offices.  This paper has printed articles arguing this.  Nevertheless, our State's constitution allows the Governor the power to fire the sheriff, whether or not this power is correctly given.

            Last month's Board of Supervisors meeting included a resolution on internet sales tax that is to be sent to the legislators of Wisconsin.  Many of these resolutions are offered and passed by the Board as statements of requests, agreements or protests over the activities or the lack thereof that affect this county.  This month the Board looked at a resolution that would let the State government know that Eau Claire County wants them to start taxing internet retailers the same amount as our State sales tax.  The purpose behind this is that local merchants suffer in part because the price of the same product is automatically 5% higher when purchased at a local store.

            I have always appreciated local businesses and whenever possible, I shop locally verses over the internet.  But I am not sure about taxing people merely for the purpose of hindering their profit.  Taxing for the purpose of envy is unjust.  The ability for online retailers to "get around" a tax reveals the ageless hardships that taxing imposes on those that have to pay it.  I am not advocating getting rid of the sales tax, I am just stating that people will always find ways around them and that the government should respect the people's desire to try to "exempt" or "shelter" themselves from them. 

            The County board also updated what is called its "Comprehensive Plan".  I will not get into too much of the details but the changes concern the growth of urban areas around the city limits of Eau Claire.  The concern is that no one will control who buys and who does what with the properties outside of Eau Claire and if there is no oversight, then things will look disorganized - out of order.

            Many of our readers know of the anti-property rights agenda behind the United Nations' Agenda 21.  That almost every municipality has a "Comprehensive Plan" reflects the infiltration of this worldwide movement.  The idea behind it is that the various resources and natural areas of the world's rural areas are to be preserved and that people should eventually move to multi-use apartment buildings in progressive urban areas.  But in order to implement this idea, the government must force property owners gradually into compliance, through the use of zoning laws and comprehensive plans. 

            In other words, the property which God has granted you to enjoy has been determined by the county to eventually become what they want it to become.  Most of the time their plan is the same as yours.  But if you were to change your plans and build a farm, house, or business on your own property, you must first seek approval from the County Board.  Their approval depends on whether your ideas fit within their comprehensive plans for your property.

            Most of the time exemptions are made.  Again, this is the beauty of local sovereignty.  As much as the State, Federal, and even world governments try to force certain programs and mandates on the county, those representing you on the local level have to live near you as well.  So they often make exemptions.

            But unfortunately there are many cases where they do not.  This newspaper strives to cover cases where this injustice occurs. 

            Last, I would like to cover the Eau Claire County Mission Statement, which was revised last month.  The current statement reads, "To provide quality, innovative and cost-effective services that safeguard and enhance the well-being of residents and resources."

            Here is how I would revise it if I were the Count of Eau Claire County.  I would remove "innovative".  The term reminds me of progressivism.  It is good to have quality and be cost-effective, but when you start to "innovate" you start getting into trouble.  It's best to stick to our traditions unless the traditions violate other's rights.

            Next I would remove "enhance".  The word essentially means nothing except as an excuse to redistribute our wealth by force to "help" the poor.  This is like how liberals use the general welfare clause of the Constitution to excuse their unconstitutional ploys.

            Last, I would remove "and resources".  God ordained government to protect our rights and to punish evildoers.  He gave property owners the authority over resources.  Many injustices have occurred because the State has taken itself power over our resources.

            If anyone important has read through this entire article, my revised mission statement would read, "To provide quality and cost-effective services that safeguard the rights of residents and their resources."

            Travis Buhler is the Editor of the US Journal and the Eau Claire Journal.  Email: travis@eauclairejournal.com.

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