Thursday, January 18, 2018

Burn permit system encroaches on property owner rights

Remember in school having to ask for permission to use a restroom? Well here we are years later and all grown up. We have jobs, businesses, families, and property.
If a few people get their way, we are going to have to start asking for permission to do some cleaning on our property that we paid for and pay taxes on.
It sounds ridiculous, I know, but that is exactly what Fire Warden Carol Arkell and Columbus Fire Chief Rich Cowger is proposing. They are asking the county commissioners to implement a burn permit program that requires property owners to ask for permission to perform a task on their own property.
This is a program where the desire, (fantasy) of a few will be paid for by the public and it will achieve two things.
Most importantly, it is a step that encroaches on property owner rights.
This program is nothing more than a “slight of hand” silent tax effort to get the entire county’s residents to funnel money directly into the Columbus Fire’s bank account.
Time and time again, someone has a idea, “hey we need to make a law about that” they work tirelessly and they get it. It starts out small, usually no one notices, then it grows and grows, and by the time people realize what is going on, it is to late to do anything about it because the program “to big to fail.”
Too many people will lose a job or it would create such a negative impact on the area, it is left alone and it grows.
I understand the concern of fire, being a seasoned fighter myself, but we live in a rural area, and there are more responsibilities here than in a metro area. We are not mindless, we are hard working people that choose not to have the lifestyle of permits for every movement.
To add insult to injury, these two are trying to rally support to their cause, (squeaky wheel gets the grease), I urge everyone to call the commissioner’s office and ask them not to implement this burn permit program.
The commissioners have done a great job with the current process of fire restrictions and this program is not needed.

Mike Borseth
Absarokee