This one was written in the midst of the building of the third West Chester Area High School, Bayard Rustin.
The other day, while perusing a storm water management plan, standing in the resulting mess as the plan was not followed, it dawned on me that Government entities have become rather arrogant in their treatment of us common citizens. Think about this for a minute with me, will ya?
Imagine, hypothetically of course, that a school district wants to build a new high school. The first step is to find the land for that school. It doesn’t really matter who owns the land, they can just take it if they want it bad enough. Sure, there is the matter of just compensation, but that never truly amounts to the true property value that was taken. (And in the case of Coatesville, attempting to take land for a golf course; that compensation isn’t even close to the funds that would be realized by the property owners if they decided to sell to a builder.) Once the land is decided upon, the engineers step in, along with a myriad of environmental groups, ensuring that everything is done as friendly to the bog turtles as possible, neglecting the wants and even needs of surrounding home owners.
Then the construction companies arrive, inconveniencing all that happen to pass the site. (Yes, it is a necessary evil, and can’t be avoided, but it sounds bad so I added it to this rant.) Noise, dust, mud, and workers that don’t usually live in the community they are working in, so they aren’t too terribly concerned where their Tasty-kake wrappers end up. They do their jobs, hopefully according to the plans, dutifully ignoring the locals who express any concerns, directing them instead to the supervisors trailers that always pop up on these huge construction sites.
Now the buck passing starts. None of the concerns of the locals are the problem of the site supervisor, they are the problem of the township. The township directs you to the school board, the school board directs you to the engineers who send you back to the site. It can be inferred that all of this passing around of responsibility is designed to fatigue the injured party to the point where they give up and if this doesn’t happen…well…
“You can always sue us, but you are going to lose.”
What kills me, figuratively of course, is that we pay for all of this nonsense. When mistakes are made, no matter who’s fault, the tax paying citizens are held accountable for the bill; that is, if the situation is ever fixed. The bureaucrats are not responsible for anything, and they let you know that in no uncertain terms.
We were tenacious, we fought, and we won. It helped that I could read site plans and noted that the 'emergency' fix that was being sold had been created with the original plan, omitted from the plans distributed to my Aunt, but part of the package at the Westtown Township Building!