To the Editor: Charter amendment should have just stuck with fracking
Written by Charles A. Clinard   
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 10:39
The proposed Charter Amendment scares me. The proponents say that its purpose is to "prohibit all fracking-related processes that will affect the city." If it was confined to that purpose, it would not be so objectionable, but it includes a "City of Bowling Green Community Bill of Rights" and procedures for "Securing and Protecting (these) Rights". Therein lies the danger. " Any City resident shall have the authority to enforce this Charter section through an action in equity." This might encourage a disgruntled individual to sue a neighbor, the city, the county, or any other entity, for violating these idealistic, undefined, sometimes impossible to attain, and possibly wrong, "rights".
A few examples, (not all):
• Right to Pure Water. The only completely pure water I know of is distilled water, which would be expensive. Besides, it wouldn't taste good. The City of Bowling Green does a good job of treating raw water to ensure it meets established standards of purity, etc., and reports to the citizens annually.
• Right to Clean Air. Our air is contaminated by many things - exhaust from home heating units that burn gas, oil, wood; smoke from an outdoor grill, fumes from a decomposing compost pile, blowing dust, falling leaves or other blowing debris. A person could be sued because the smoke from his outdoor grill bothered his neighbor.
• Rights of Natural Communities. Natural communities and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, wetlands, streams, rivers, aquifers, and other water systems possess inalienable rights to exist and flourish within the City of Bowling Green. People of the City shall possess legal standing to enforce these rights on behalf of those natural communities and ecosystems."
Does a mosquito-breeding puddle have a "right" to exist? It would, if this Charter Amendment were adopted. If this principle had been in existence in the past, Bowling Green would be in the middle of the Black Swamp, and the home of many mosquitoes. This "right" could also prevent the cleaning of ditches and streams to prevent flooding, as is being planned in the area.
These things may not happen, but they could!
This is not a single-issue charter amendment. It has many facets which can cause future problems. It should NOT be adopted.
(Note: "quotes" are from the Charter Amendment as it is written on the ballot.)
Charles A. Clinard
Bowling Green
 

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