The Coastal Post - January, 1997

The Bo. Tea Party

What if we the people say, enough! And throw it at 'em, overboard

BY SILVER

The rampantly escalating, already excessive (and multiple) PERMITS, LICENSES, TAXES/FEES, PENALTIES, RESTRICTIONS, and the often improper, immoral, and unlawful searches, surveillance and inspection practices of the Marin County Planning/Community Development Agency (CDA) bog down free enterprise, business, livelihood and infringe upon peoples' dignity, liberty and democracy.

The CDA's hit squad, with a self-appointed importance, under the cover of the day (when you are at work earning your living and money to pay their salaries), and under the escort of coerced, misled or ignorant cops, perform their repeated, calculated, unlawful drive-bys, shooting at your home with cameras and shooting at you with dreamed up, rapidly multiplying paragraphs, ordinances and excessive regulations, compelling you to bow, bend over, dance, pay them off-or flee!

In some situations, it is like Al Capone days, or feudal times of citizenry discrimination and repression, when the King's man's whip kept the subjugated, often disadvantaged folk in line, fearful, busy, broke and broken-hearted.

The early, new American folk got enlightened with two thoughts which changed their philosophy, their life and the ways of governing. First thought was that every man's God-given Universal Rights precede all the lesser, man-created rights. Second thought, however, not brilliant, was that a whip actually has not one, but two ends, and they made as good use of the latter, so the one at that end felt and knew the discomfort of its application. They celebrated their enlightenment by having the Boston Tea Party. Since, the entire world would never be the same again.

Over two centuries have passed, and it seems that greed, immorality, disrespect or plain ignorance of some ill-hired, contracted and/or elected civil servants cause them to foolishly and naively feel that they have regained the long-buried King's whip.

The CDA's infamous actions of unreasonable search and surveillance cast a dark shadow onto the profound principles of the Constitution of Democracy our forefathers have wrestled out and forged for all the people to live and govern by in this great land and beyond. The CDA's infamous raids, insidious harassment and money extortion tactics, have dealt immeasurable human misery, stress, grief, loss of property and of business. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Marin County constituents and taxpayers, often the disadvantaged, have suffered loss of home/shelter and livelihood, or just plain frustration and inconvenience.

We have witnesses: Single mothers with children in their arms being harassed and threatened by the CDA and the county supervisor beyond bearing and belief. "Get out of there, or we'll level your home with bulldozers." The families fled their private, native land and home and ran for cover into the inner city, where the children now learn the dangerous city street life, rather than how to grow food. Many homeowners, businesses, professionals, builders, farmers, and craftsmen have their hands tied for years before they manage to pull through the bureaucracy and petty permit policies. Then, if and when they manage to endure through all the tests of permits, licenses, fees, inspections, the costs are higher than the project or house.

I have spoken with a couple of newlyweds who put their savings together. They wanted to open a retail/service shop. They had the space, the equipment, and the desire and need to succeed, to be independent. They couldn't afford to pay off all the restrictions, codes, permits, licenses, inspections, etc. They closed down before they opened. Now both are applying for unemployment.

A retired couple was remodeling their house. They were forced to spend $45,000 on "fixing" their septic system which was functioning perfectly.

A man at home makes some wine by hand. He is forced to pay off about 40 agencies' permits, licenses.

A friend, an invalid, has a little kitchen-table business to supplement his disability. He (of course!) had to buy a license. A couple of years ago he needed only one. Today he is forced to pay off five.

An $8 fence garden deer-wire fence, four to five feet tall, was stretched on a private property to protect fruit trees, vegetable/herb gardens. The County Planning/Community Development agency is demanding $4,000 to "make it legal." That's 500 times the actual cost!

I spoke with a carpenter-roof man. He says he is tired of ducking when he puts nails in. He thinks of using a rubber hammer so he won't get caught performing his "crimes," making a living, fixing people's leaky roofs.

I stopped by to see friends who have a couple of milking goats-I wanted to get a quart of milk. They were terrified to sell it to me, as they could go to jail for that "crime."

People fence themselves in, board and lock up, blind the windows and hush, so they won't get busted by our local "civil servants" for respectfully living their lives in our grand land of the free.

Forget China, Bosnia, Haiti, Cuba-fear, repression and persecution are happening right here, in our back yards in Marin today! How can we allow this to happen?

Maybe we have witnessed and suffered enough. Maybe we have matured in our understanding that we do, indeed, have to speak up, better yet act, to be effective together. Maybe we the people have to advise our local government to respect the law of the land and man's human/civil rights, staying out of respectful peoples' back yards, businesses, and private lives. Maybe it's time for another Tea Party!

Yes, I do recognize the need for government in this crazy, wonderful world. We are not sharing life together fully and respectfully yet. Our government, to be effective and to be for the people, must work with the people.

The Community Development Agency may have a place, yet if it is really about development-providing positive service for the people-why do they have to perform their drive-bys under the cops' cover? Isn't that a clear indication that their "service" is in fact a negative nuisance, despised by the people, one that has to be corrected and abated, or the dreaded, negative CDA must be dissolved. The undue burdens on those whose work and business has been disrupted must be alleviated, simultaneously saving hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money, ill-spent on paying salaries of people who, under the disguise of "developing," roam the streets and dirt roads of our neighborhoods, disrupting respectful citizens' lives, causing stress, misery and distrust of our local government and the police, and causing dissent from our peaceful, respectful democratic process.

Did you know that you are paying the one who disrupts your life the most, the big titled, senior code enforcement specialist, Debbi Poiani, a salary of over $50,000 ?!

Did you know that apart from that "specialist," there are 20 more people on those fat salaries in the Planning/CDA "serving" you, making your, your neighborhood's and community's life easy, sweet, special and complete. (Frankly speaking, some of the people up there are doing needed work and are worth the money.)

The men of the East Coast Bostin Tea Party, 1773, never thought 223 years later there would be the West Coast Bostin Tea Party, 1996.

So come together ye men and women, seniors, students and children...

Come respectful citizens, property owners, farmers, professional craftsmen, business people...

Come if you have experienced or witnessed undue burdens, restrictions or mistreatment...

Come if you agree that liberty is like stamina-to keep it, you have to exercise it!

Come if you agree that Democracy works best on foot.

Please know that the Tea Party is not yet another ineffective, dreary political meeting. It is a social celebration! A friendly forum to share happy moments and effectively resolve individual and common problems.

The second official Bostin Tea Party is to be held when 73 persons call to share and party, having a blast, making justice just! Be one of the 73 first persons. Call/fax: The Bo. Tea Party-868-2402.

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The historical record shows that this nation's legal T^*-