Just down the road a bit is a sleepy little town where the locals tell a story that is an excellent exemplification of the current debate surrounding the freedom of speech. In the mid 1990s—according to census records—the population of the village was 37 persons, this population grew in just a few short years to 408 scattered over a 5 square mile area.
It is told that during the years in which the town only had a population of a few dozen, the mayor, his adult son and daughter were the perennial city council, some go as far as to accredit their frequent reelection to the fact that the majority of residents (28 at the time) lived in a mobile home park owned by the Mayor.
Anyway, the town started to grow, during this time, the mayor and his kids put in place zoning and building ordinances that brought the little village up to building and planning codes comparable to its larger neighbors. This seemed like a good idea, a move that would encourage growth and ensure that future development, would bring people to a modern up to date planned city instead of a run down rural slum.
Time went on, the mayor was replaced, and the growth continued. Enough that the one time mayor became a real estate developer building sub divisions on what previously was his farmland. This gentlemen who is a colorful part of local lore, saw financial opportunity knocking and was in the process of platting out his subdivision when the city planners returned his plans unapproved as he had not included curbing and other infrastructure now required by city code. Required changes that were going to be expensive, reducing his net profit.
It is told that he asked his son “Just who put in place these stupid, costly, codes?” The son replied, “But we did Dad.” The old mans reply was, “What did we do that for, that’s a dumb idea, lets get these (rules) changed.”
This story exemplifies or gives an example of how that which seems like a good idea today when it benefits you, might be a bad idea tomorrow when the same principles are applied–not in your favor–but against your goals and agendas.
Case in point, the current debate surrounding Continue reading