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The Valley Reporter
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Waitsfield, VT 05673
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"Let common sense heads prevail"

08/27/2009

By Kevin Eurich

I write today regarding The Valley Reporter's August 20 issue, front page article: "Carter engages attorney to counter town's claim on path."

This matter reminds me once again how fragile the notion of "property rights" has become.

We usually think of property as land and perhaps home, but scholars opine that the framers of the Constitution had a much broader definition that included personal property such as books, pillows, shoes and up to and including some rusty old rakes hanging in the tool shed. Also importantly, it includes our paychecks or other means of compensation for our labor or services rendered. No person's property can be seized without due process of law. One can argue just how just these seizures are. In the case of our hard-earned dollars, our state and federal government continue to take larger bites from our income and give it to absolutely anyone who can raise the most votes. This taxpayer wonders aloud how many more trips it's going to take to the well before we decide the well is dry!

In the case of Sue Carter and the so-called path, I have a few comments. Where Beverly Mobus lives today was once a farm. One can still see the foundation of the large barn that once stood there. The land that was farmed is now the site of the Brooks Rec. Field and Warren Elementary School. The path was a road built to provide access from the barn to the meadow. After the farming use was given up, a baseball diamond was built on that field. I remember watching town team baseball being played there with emphasis for the big game on the Fourth of July (usually Waitsfield versus Warren). The field continued to be used for baseball on some of the July 4th festivities. Then the Warren Elementary School was constructed and a new road was built to provide access to the area. Brooks Field continues to be highly used for many activities.

The road to Brooks Field is more than adequate for access be it by automobile or foot. There is no reason for anyone to be using the old farm road to get there. There is no public good to be contemplated. With a perfectly good paved road in place, what is the hardship? None to my mind! It is private property first and foremost. People have been trespassing when they walked that path. Adding insult is the garbage and dog feces that have been left there. To have a notion of taking this property is ludicrous at best. To pay lawyers to address a matter that should never have gotten beyond the "thought" stage is a joke. Moreover, it is of one more nail in what has become the coffin of property rights.

Unfortunately, we seem to be in an era of entitlement and instant gratification. Let common sense heads prevail and drop this matter post haste.

Kevin Eurich lives in Duxbury.

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