Legislator Will Oppose Resolutions

To The Reader’ Forum:

Two resolutions coming before our county legislature need to be told to the residents of the county. One resolution asks for a change in the law so that when the county sells property, instead of having to inform the public of the sale, the sale can happen privately. That change will take away equal access to information, equal opportunity to purchase county property, and allows people, whom the county legislators choose to tell about the sale, an advantage over all others. This can create favoritism. The law also takes away transparency of county actions. To protect our equality of access, I will vote against that resolution.

The second resolution also proposes to change a local law. This law requires the county legislature to have a two-thirds majority vote for any sale of county property. The proposed change is to make the sale of county property need only a majority. The reason we have a two-thirds majority requirement is so that the sale of county property, an action that cannot be undone, have support from a greater part of the community, the community that owns the property and benefits from the property. With only a majority needed to sell property, county parks could be sold, the landfill could be sold, county trails could be sold, just because a bare half of us want to change what the other half of us enjoy. Such a significant change needs greater community agreement than a majority. A majority vote is more for actions that can be undone. A two-thirds vote is for actions that change the basic rules of society, such as constitutions. The sale of county property cannot be undone. The sale of beneficial things we use – parks, trails, county homes – is best protected by a two-thirds majority vote. So I will also, to protect us and what we have, vote against this proposed change. I will vote against it also because the change says the county legislature can declare any county property as no longer needed by public use. However, the change does not say by what standards the legislature can say a property is no longer needed for public use. Without that standard, a property being used by the public every day can be declared by a majority as no longer needed. It allows for abuse and should not be made into law.

Timothy Hoyer,

County Legislator,

District 14