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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Putting bicycles ahead of people

    Putting bicycles ahead of people

    Posted by Paul Driessen on Aug 15, 2013

    Pressure groups and government officials are seizing property – with no accountability

    by Tom DeWeese

    This is a story of raw power, collusion and government corruption. A story that is taking place in countless towns all over America. A story of “reinvented” government, where self-proclaimed private “stakeholders” and pressure groups set the rules, local elected officials rubber stamp them, and non-elected regional governments enforce them, sometimes with an iron fist – all with no input from citizens, and apparently no rights for private citizens and property owners to stop them or even have a say.
    It’s the story of the destruction of private property rights in America. Of injustice and tyranny. Of unaccountable government run amok. We need to take action! (See below, in blue, for what you can do.)
    The “construction limits” stake in this photo is less than 5 ft from the front wall of the Granato home. The “essential” bike path is just a foot from the sign, where the front yard used to be.

    Jennie Granato is a tax-paying citizen of Montgomery County, Ohio. She and her family own a 165-year-old historic house and farm just outside of Dayton. They’ve lived there forty years. On July 31, Jennie’s front yard was demolished – thanks to local, county and planning commission bureaucrats!
    The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) has begun seizing people’s private property for its latest “essential” project – a $5-million bike path extension! It has seized almost all of Jennie’s front lawn. The bike path will come within just a few feet of her front door!
    Jennie and her family tried for over a year to negotiate and reason with this unelected planning commission. Unfortunately, their neighbors were advised by lawyers not to say anything publicly about the pending land grab, so the media viewed it as a non-story. The county and its appraisers kept stalling, saying they wanted a meeting with Jennie, even as they ignored her pleas and offered a pittance for taking her front yard, and likely driving the value of her home down by tens of thousands of dollars.
    The meeting never came – and officials didn’t even allow Jennie’s uncle to speak at a hearing. But the bulldozers certainly came! Last week, with no warning, they just started demolishing trees. Jennie and her family still own the property – BUT the county has barged in, torn out their trees and destroyed their front yard! They will never be able to walk out their front door again, without worrying that they will be run over by bicyclists roaring by at 10 or 20 miles per hour, just inches from their bottom step.
    The government trucks and bulldozers also precipitated an even worse tragedy. Jennie’s 85 year old mother became so upset over seeing the government’s heavy machinery destroying her yard and favorite trees that she suffered a heart attack and died.
    Of course the government refuses to accept any responsibility for this tragedy. It was just promoting the “public welfare” of the private “stakeholders” and pressure groups it works with.
    That too has become far too common. The government and these groups want more and more control over our lives, more power to tell us what we can and cannot do with our property and lives. But they accept no transparency and no accountability, responsibility or liability when their actions hurt … or even kill … someone – or when they destroy the property values, peace and integrity of a home.
    The MVRPC is an unelected regional government force driven by federal Sustainable Development grant money. It never faces voters over its actions or positions of seemingly unbridled power. It simply deals with other government agencies – local, state and federal – and with private groups like the American Planning Association, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, and a hoard of other organizations that represent faux “conservation and environmental” interests whose real motivation is money, and the power to control our lives.
    Heavy equipment tearing out the trees in front of the Granato home.

    They are “stakeholders” only in the sense that they want something – and are holding the stakes that their government friends are driving through the heart of our constitutional rights.
    With the assistance of Federal and State grant programs and willing politicians, who see another way to build their own power and get elected over and over, they rule over us like unaccountable dictators. It’s the same story in nearly every community in our nation.
    Neither Jennie nor any of her neighbors voted to institute the agency or its policies.
    * There was no vote for this bike path.
    * There was no referendum on the ballot to approve this project or the spending of their tax dollars.
    Yet the MVRPC imposed itself on privately owned property, giving the owner no say in the matter and giving her a pittance in exchange for the land it is taking away. Soon, strangers on bikes will be crossing her land, passing within seven feet of her front door. And she fears there is nothing she can do about it.
    How does she secure her home? How can she ever hope to sell it? Who will compensate her for the loss of value, now that her once lovely and private front lawn is gone? Certainly not the MVRPC.
    My American Policy Center has warned Americans over and over about the dangers of this fraud called “Sustainable Development” – and the enforcement of top-down control through non-elected boards and regional governments. Here is that reality, in all of its outrageous raw power.
    Jennie’s neighbors, property rights activists and Tea Party leaders are joining forces to support her fight to stop this outrage. They have gathered at the property, to protest and take the issue to the news media – and will do so again. To its credit, the media are finally starting to notice what is happening. But if that is the extent of it, you know full well that these government officials will simply laugh, ignore the protests and news stories, wait for the attention to go away, and then grab someone else’s property.
    The plastic shows where the bike path will go – right up to the bottom step of the Granato home.

    That’s why concerned citizens across the nation need to join this fight and put power behind this effort to stop these bureaucrats from taking Jennie’s property. Freedom fighters need to build a huge protest fire and turn this into a national property rights issue.
    Corrupt government officials use taxpayers as doormats, pawns, bank accounts and land holders for their agendas and power plays. If we continue doing nothing to stem the rising tide of government tyranny and corruption, we will watch our rights and property disappear, one by one.
    Here’s what you can do to help
    As the local Dayton area residents do all they can with sign waving, demonstrations and protests to call attention to this blatant property theft, outraged Americans from across the country can bring an avalanche of phone calls and emails on the perpetrators – the scoundrels who think they can prey on any citizen without consequences. Make them feel heat for their actions!!
    Click here for the names, phone numbers and emails of the Montgomery County, Ohio Commissioners, the Washington Township Board, and the members of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission. Then call them and let them know what you think!
    Americans concerned for their own liberties need to bury these officials in calls and emails of protest. We need to make these dictators and thieves aware that what they are doing is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We need to inform them that We the People have rights, and will fight for them.
    The magnolia and other trees largely gone. This is where the crew stopped briefly after Jennie Granato’s mother died of a heart attack.

    Let them know they have overstepped their bounds. Destroying a family’s home, property, civil rights, peace of mind, and a woman’s life – for something as unnecessary as a bike path – is an outrage.
    But, as you make these calls – BE RESPECTFUL. There is still a hope that some official or judge will listen and take the proper action to stop this theft and destruction of Jennie’s land.
    If we can win this fight for Jennie in Ohio, we will have the strength and momentum to help the next victims of government overreach. And make no mistake, there will be one. So don’t wait. Call them now.
    Tom DeWeese is president of the American Policy Center and author of the book “Now Tell Me I Was Wrong.”

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Hello ,

    A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about the tragic situation going on in Dayton, Ohio, (my original letter enclosed below) in which one family has had its property literally destroyed for a bike path that comes within seven feet of their front door.

    Together, you and I managed to force strong pressure on the outrageous acts of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Board and County Commissioners. We have actually managed to attract national attention on this unfolding tragedy.

    But it’s not enough. They buckled – but have not moved to fix this outrage. We need to pour on the pressure!

    Tragically, Jennie is being pressured to accept a pittance as the County has ripped her yard to pieces. In fact, as of today, they have made her home unlivable-- without paying a dime. That is theft!

    The heartless Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) says it will only compensate her $23,000 for a property that is now unlivable. Only a year or so ago that property was appraised at about one million dollars.

    Now it is worthless, She can’t sell it, It has no market value. Who would buy it with the yard destroyed, and bikes whizzing by her front door at 30 miles an hour? Where is she to go with $23,000? How does she rebuild her life?

    I promised Jennie that I would not abandon her. I promised her the American Policy Center will continue to fight, to bring pressure to these heartless non-elected bureaucrats who think they have the power to simply discard people’s lives like so much garbage. .

    Please reread my letter below, take the action I request and join me in standing with this family in this time of such tragedy. And please help me finance APC’s fight to save Jennie and other Americans across the nation.

    We must take a stand in Jennie’s front yard! Otherwise none of our homes will be secure from this outrage called Agenda 21! Please stand with me - for Jennie -- and American property rights!

    Take Action Now


    Tom DeWeese

    Putting bicycles ahead of people

    Pressure groups and government officials are seizing property -
    with no accountability

    Petition to MVRPC

    Urgent Update!

    Jennie’s Property Destroyed…And the government shrugs!!! It’s outrageous.

    To Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission:

    Do you represent people – or special interests?

    Your actions in the case of the Granato Family prove that special interest, self-proclaimed stakeholder groups with private agendas, tied to federal money with strings attached, are the way the MVRPC has decided to do business.

    As a result:

    • The MVRPC has jammed a bike path down the throats of property owners – spending taxpayer dollars - without every asking whether they wanted it or not.

    • The MVRPC has seized private property, uprooted trees, destroyed an entire yard, running a completely unnecessary bike path within 7 feet of the front door of the Granato family’s 170 year old historic farm house.

    Because of the MVRPC’s actions:

    • The Granato’s property value has been destroyed.

    • Their right to enjoy peace in their own home has been destroyed.

    • The family has suffered great tragedy as the outrage and stress caused by the MVRPC resulted in the death of their mother.

    Your actions and lack of caring are outrageous and unforgivable from a government body that is supposed to represent citizens.

    However, you have the power to return justice to the Granato family.

    Therefore, I the undersigned demand that the MVRPC take immediate action to halt construction of the bike path in question, and at least re-route it in such a way that it does not destroy the family’s property value or home security.

    Or – give the family just compensation for the property you have taken so they can begin their lives again!


    Last edited by kathyet2; 10-17-2013 at 09:14 AM.

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