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Archive for September 11th, 2014|Daily archive page

Commissioner Caywood starts new session with request for tougher grass height regulations on homeowners

In environment on September 11, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Commissioner Caywood starts new session with request for tougher grass height regulations on homeowners

1030 am

As soon as the Bradley County Commission is sworn in they are quickly off to a tyrannical start.

Right out of the gates the conversation races to talk of property rights and regulation of grass height on your property.

First District County Commissioner Terry Caywood begins the new work session by ripping into foreclosed  property owners and tightening the hand of government, restricting your property rights.

He raised the issue to discuss the height of grass and the power of environmental officers to enforce stronger regulations to force folks to cut their grass to a certain height, especially on foreclosed property.

Many unfortunate stories across the nation have been told of tyrannical government yielding too much power and now it has come to Bradley County via a suggestion of our locally elected representative.

Many have warned of environmental  officers yielding more power than they were warranted and now we are beginning to see  potential enhanced regulations  being put in place by those less inclined to respect the Constitution and an individuals rights to his own property. 

This news source warned and provided many examples of government overreach via environmental police and warned of giving environmental officers unlimited power. Those suggestions were dismissed as whimsical and conspiratorial. Well, today, with Gestapo like adventure we see an overreach applied to environmental issues by our locally elected leaders, particularly, Commissioner Terry Caywood. The mere expression of environmental law leaves open the ability of one person to convince others that someone elses private property is their own business. This leaves many in power the lee way to use their position to regulate those within their sweep of power, while annihilating an individuals property rights. 

According to the Cleveland Daily Banner (link attached to this article), Commissioner Terry Caywood expressed his concerns about enforcing environmental codes during Mondays Commission work session.

Caywood expressed his excitement to the new environmental officer for  “hitting the ground running,” but expressed frustration there are not enough teeth in the county’s regulations to allow adequate enforcement. 

His enthusiasm for the  new enforcement officers could leave the impression that he is gung ho on seeing this power extended. Please stay aware of his actions as we do not want to see this arm of government grow in Bradley County! 

Mr Caywood was concerned a property on Georgetown Pike was not up to code and had received a
at least four calls of concern over the property. 

Caywood who reportedly visited the site said “The property [of the site] had been foreclosed on sometime ago by the bank and the home that is there … the yard is literally, literally taller than my head,” Caywood said.

He went on to say  “we don’t have anything on the books that gives our environmental officer any teeth to do anything about it.”

Please allow me to interpret and speak freely at this juncture. I do believe you have heard the phrase “not enough teeth” spew from Commissioner Caywoods mouth on more than one occasion during this work session. “Not enough teeth” and will speculate Mr Caywoods comments to mean there are not enough laws or regulations on the books to enforce environmental regulations against the property owner against his will. In other words, this shot across the bow will result in more laws being generated by local government. It’s just a guess, but I see it coming.

Caywood has astutely observed that the city has some laws on the books “where they can do something.” 

Caywood said he could not give his constituent any encouragement “and this has gone on all summer, but [the officer] couldn’t get anything done because he doesn’t have the means to do so.” Lest me remind you that the other property owner is also a constituent, albeit less fortunate than on the other side of the fence, but nonetheless a constituent with the same property rights.

Caywood went on to defend “his constituent” citing examples of him growing his own grass to new heights, ” if farm owners want to grow their property in such a way, “that’s fine, because that’s why we own farms.” 


“If you’re in a subdivision, that’s not the same ball of wax,” Caywood said.

He said it was a subject that needed to be looked at and officials need to “see what we have available for these guys we employ to do this, and if they have any recourse.”

Again, Mr Caywood, once you tread this slippery slope of tougher regulations and environmental codes  , sooner or later they will affect your  farm also. Environmental codes do not get to pick and choose their suitors, they apply acoss the board and show no favor to position or power. Once you unleash the tiger of  environmental regulation on your district, you are one complaint from having your property and your grass regulated also.

Luckily, Commissioner Howard Thompson saw the satire in Caywoods reach for more regulatory power and said, “the officer could leave a letter which would give a period of time before the owner is summoned to court.” Wow, what a fresh idea! Let’s ask the property owner to mow his grass and even provide someone to do it, providing that’s what the property owner desires. Doesn’t that sound alot less tyrannical and more “Christ like?”

Commissioner Charlotte Peak also sees the overreach in this and cautions of to many regulations on the books,  “But, I would caution the Commission not to put any new laws on the books that take away any of the rights of the individual homeowner. Property rights are property rights, and if you start mandating more … it’s a real fine line.” Meaning it starts the regulatory ball rolling till we are strangling on governmental regulation, Mr Caywood!

Commissioner Dan Rawls also chimed in, “You can send them all the notices you want, but they’re not going to reply to that,” Rawls said. “It’s an unfortunate situation. I don’t know what you would do to force them. If it was in-state or local, you might have some recourse.” 

Rawls , in the article from the Banner “said he agreed with Peak on limiting mandatory requirements “on people’s lawn heights or things like that.”

“Let’s teach responsibility and not legislate it,” he said.

“Commissioner Mike Hughes said the county has already passed a resolution that covers overgrown vegetation.”

“It’s actually already covered, we just never set a height for grass and I don’t know if it’s wise to do it,” Hughes said, “But, if a house is abandoned … I have personally sent letters to banks and you just have to get the right person.”

Hughes said once the right person is reached “they will clean the property.”

“Persistence,” said Chairman Louie Alford.

“Basically, that’s what it is,” Hughes said.

And basically what was concluded at this work session was how about being neighborly and talk to each other. Send over a nicely dressed letter and perhaps a dozen or so home baked chocolate chip cookies and talk with our neighbor. 

Let’s look over that fence and try to see the other person who may be struggling personally. He or she may be down on their luck, behind the eight ball and looking for a helping hand. Government extending their reach is not the answer. 

Let’s try nice. 

Let’s stop relying on the government for more rules and regulations to rule our lives and lets live by the “golden rule” and extend a hand of assistance. 

After all, wouldn’t Jesus do it?

Thanks to the Cleveland Daily Banner for it’s most excellent coverage of our County Commission meetings and their quotes used in this article. Please support and continue reading their paper for the latest news.

Mr Terry Caywoods email address is jesusgoodtome@hotmail.com. Please tell him how you feel about his suggestions.

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