Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whalertly Endorsements: Issues 3 and 4

Post 68

If you would like to see the full Secretary of State reports on the issues please follow THIS LINK.

Issue 3
To amend the constitution to protect private property rights in Groundwater, Lakes, and other watercourses.

“Make explicit that a private property owner has a right to make reasonable use of the ground water that lies beneath the owner’s land, although this right is subordinate to the public welfare.”
I have some doubts here, but still think this is a good idea. I think that if it is an aquifer then the owner has no reasonable expectation of ownership of it. However, if it is merely an underground stream or causeway, then the owner should have the same rights as the next underlines section. Provided the government does watch out for the public, this is a good proposal.

“Make explicit that a private property owner who owns land on the border
of a lake or other watercourse has a right to make reasonable use of the water in such lake or watercourse located on or flowing through the owner’s land, although this right is subordinate to the public welfare.”

This is a good proposal on this fact alone, though it also includes some iffy wording. The owner of a piece of property has the right to believe that water flowing through or under it can be used by him at his pleasure. Of course, there are limits to this as there should be. My only issue is that fact that the limits are not explained well within this proposal. If I own part of the Olentangy, it makes sense that I can not string a fence along it. But, if I own a small part of the river (say juts out 5 feet from the bank) should I be allowed to govern that area? Basically, I agree with this contention, just disagree with the lucidity of the wording.

“Not affect the public’s use of Lake Erie and other navigable waters of the state.”
Okay, so we can own and use the water as we wish, but not if it is a major river or lake… Hmmm, this seems to be an issue to me as most large houses are built on lakes. I agree that these should be free to the public (hence the welfare clause above) but think that these waters (Erie is an exception) should be covered the same as the above clauses. Lake Erie should be considered different due to the fact that several states, and one other country, have competing interests in it.

“Prevent the rights confirmed under this proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution from being impaired or limited by the operation of other sections of the Ohio Constitution”
Basically, you can not take these rights away by limiting it more within the Constitution (and, of course, by laws). Hmm, seems like a good idea.

Overall, I feel that Issue 3 has some work to be done on it. They need to better define public welfare and define how far down your property rights lie. That said, as long as the state does keep the public welfare in mind, Whalertly endorses Issue 3.

Issue 4
Initiated legislation that required paid sick leave for employees in Ohio.

This issue was dropped by the proposing committee at the request of several of our elected leaders. Had it gone through, I would have been opposed to this measure. I was opposed to minimum wage increase and will be opposed to laws like this regarding businesses. I feel that the free market will take care of this sort of situation, and that laws like these actually drive businesses out of the market. Due to the effect on small businesses, Whalertly WOULD HAVE opposed Issue 4.

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