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Opinion: No Apologies
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03 October 2017   Jim Lamerson

Some in the public may parallel parasites feeding off a host.

I offer no apologies for supporting the private property rights of individuals deciding what, when, and how to develop their private property. The Deep Well Ranch and many of the ranches in Arizona are not public and the public does not have sole discretion over their future. The Constitution protects the unalienable God-given rights of the individual, not of the collective. It is when there is a potential public health and safety issue or negative effect on others that we the people reserve the right to negotiate an agreement. 

The dilemma of people attempting a blatant pilferage of the Deep Well Ranch is offensive. Trespassing for years doesn’t empower trespassers with adverse possession. Violation of someone’s private property is stealing. Regardless of the beauty and uniqueness of many Arizona ranches, private is private. Unfortunately, many in the public have an erroneous sense of a right to violate what others own. I don’t like thieves and that seems the case here – non-vested individuals want to embezzle a property owner’s right to develop for their self-serving purposes. 

The public has the right through its officials to solicit the family to negotiate on behalf of a special interest and that is exactly what is happening. The City is a special interest with zoning, building codes, and development standards. Prescott has a municipal airport, road infrastructure, a sewer system, and other assets that will be protected. A development agreement will better define rights of the individual property owner and the municipality. State and Federal Constitutions and statutes will provide governance. 

Some in the public may parallel parasites feeding off a host. A host can be said to parallel the slaves in this country’s early making. Has a great American property owner now become a slave to those who would take their property through legislative action and/or adverse possession with by trespassing? I prefer negotiating with the great American property owner on behalf of a special interest, that being the first Territorial Capital of Arizona designated by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864, the City of Prescott.  This country evolved through a Revolutionary War, a Civil War, two World Wars, and multiple incursions. This country triumphed through periods of Manifest Destiny, the Industrial Revolution, Women’s Suffrage, etc., etc., etc. What a heritage, but we as Americans own it. We as Americans are responsible for changes made in the name of Liberty and Justice for all. Hopefully we still mean it and are willing to defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic. 

Prescott remains a beacon of freedom and evolved over the past 153 years. Prescott is now like a super market of opportunity for the medical, recreational, and educational industries with its aged demographic. It affords opportunity with an endless supply of commodity, the elderly with medical issues, leisure time and disposable income and all in a nice place to work, play, and live. 

I respect an individual’s private property rights and embrace the opportunity for righteous development in Prescott respecting private property and community, the environment, or culture and heritage. Hopefully I’m not alone.