From: Resident Kitsap County, Washington
To: 23rd District Representative
Date: June 10, 2014
I am very concerned that Kittsap County’s Department of Community Development (D.C.D) as well as the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners are overstepping the public’s mandate as servants of the people and stewards of our constitutionally formed society.
The brief posting of May 14, 2014 on the County’s website by the D.C.D of a draft proposal to entirely revise Kitsap County’s Building Code Enforcement authority, which would give certain new powers to its code compliance department, is outside of the bounds of what could reasonably be considered as a good perception of their mandate, demonstrates a disrespectful us (the county) versus them (the people) governmental attitude and is wholly contrary to the legally established and time-honored meaning of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America(1) as well as Article I Section 1 and Article I Section 2 of the Washington State Constitution(2) and is, if adopted, inimical to the relationship between the people’s government and the people.
Specifically, if adopted, Kitsap County’s proposed Code Enforcement changes (see Kitsap County’s Executive Summary of May 14, 2104 entitled New Code Enforcement Chapter) would provide for:
1) A citing of citizens for their refusal to allow entrance to a code enforcer into their home;
2) Criminalizing (a misdemeanor charge) of a citizen’s refusal to allow a code enforcer to enter their home,
3) Removal of the time-honored and present legal condition of the “Grandfathering” of older homes, forcing the purchaser of a preexisting home to upgrade the entire home to whatever County Building Codes exist at the time of purchase;
4) The establishment of a “Hearing Examiner” position that would likely give deference to any County held attitude or position, which, as a form of bias, is an ever-increasing annoyance and injustice as well as an unfair monetary burden for citizens;
5) Authority for the D.C.D. to arbitrarily craft and impose, at its sole discretion administrative rules based upon what it unilaterally determines is in the best interest of “the general welfare and public good;”
6) An escalation of penalties when a homeowner continues to refuse entrance to their home after any previous refusal to allow entrance to a code enforcer. an escalation whose sole purpose would be to force a citizen to acquiesce and eventually succumb to governmental force and agenda;
7) Liens against a citizen’s home in order to pay for fines, which could result in the forced sale of a home ‘targeted’ by government:
8) Increased collection of fines through the use of collection agencies;
9) Tax assessors, fire marshals, and other County agents to gain forced entrance to investigate your home, which, respectively, could result in random fire code and health code inspections;
10) The social seeding (engineering) of the idea that it is ‘good’ to turn in you neighbor for any perceived violation, and to distribute this turn-in-your neighbor idea via handouts and pamphlets (tax dollars at work).
Most egregious is that the new proposed enforcement code provides for the emergence of surreptitiously inserted policing powers beyond the scope of reasonable law. It would act as a means to indirectly assist all policing entities (city police, sheriff. State Patrol) in the identification of homeowners/residents who are contrary to the overreach of government into the privacy of their homes while also providing the County with information about any item or activity that any code enforcer might happen upon during their ‘forced’ entrance.
“Forced”, because when the code enforcer knocks on a home-owner’s door, one must choose between l) allowing entry by the code enforcer where such violates the 4th Amendment, or 2) denying entrance, but later, after the County initiates a court action to obtain a ‘legal’ warrant based upon what could be as little evidence as that of the homeowner’s first instance of resistance, suffer a search of their home by a code enforcer and at least one deputy sheriff present (all because the homeowner didn’t want a County code enforcer in their home).
If a homeowner was to refuse the initial request to enter, the County would begin to suspect that something must be amiss in the home. It would follow later that the County would begin to pursue action against the homeowner justifying its position by the arbitrary use of the phrase “the general welfare and public good,” which in this case would simply be an unsubstantiated suspicion that the homeowner is up to no good within the bounds of their home.
The proposed new enforcement code chapter provides no description as to how the County would go about protecting a homeowner from illegal disclosure of the contents of a home (if it is searched) or from possible governmental harassment, which could occur due to insufficient internal monitoring of its agents’ behavior.
Who actually establishes the specific criteria that attempts to describe concern about a potential harm to or offense against “the general welfare and public good?” Is it a few County administrators, a hearing examiner, a civil judge, ie., a handful of individuals, or should it be the people by the act of vote?
The concept of “the general welfare and public good” is somewhat defined by case Jaw, which has been decided from time-to time in a court of law for one position or another. However, it is an amorphous concept, which when left up to government to interpret and enforce: will often be utilized as a tool to restrict the people’s constitutional rights.
In this particular case, public inattentiveness to the behind-the-scenes political maneuvers within all levels of government, which latter has been enabled by scores of administrative-level might-makes-it-right Constitution as an unalienable right and part of the foundation of a truly free and truly progressive society.
A government that desires to enter any person’s home without probable cause, without a sworn oath or affirmation, and without a warrant issued by a court of law, is placing itself in defiance to the tradition of the peoples will, in defiance of the very constitutional laws that comprise the foundation of the United States of America It is, upon the illicit institutionalization of such ability, morally decrepit and breaches the public’s trust!
As a representative of the people you well know that government is established by the people and for the benefit of the people. The quality of the relationship between government and the people whom it serves is a result of the extent to which the stewards of the people’s government mentally apprehend their constitutional duty to act responsibly on behalf of the people. Lawmakers must maintain respect for and honor the public’s constitutional right to privacy.
When a government’s draft of any proposed change to previous laws uses the phrase “based on … the general welfare and public good,” who amongst the stewards and servants of the public’s government has determined such? Can any government administrator reasonably claim that they speak for the majority of the people? No, I think not!
In fact, only the people can enumerate that which constitutes “the general welfare and public good;” but this can only occur if a matter that concerns “the general welfare and public good” is put to the people for a vote. Government administrative decisions that concern “the general welfare and public good” are not really providing for “the general welfare and public good” when they trample upon the people’s constitutional rights; rather, they are authoritarian edicts.
No civil body of a supposed type of authority other than that originating in the informed awareness and consent of the people can claim legitimacy and honor our constitutional tradition if it causes, either accidentally or purposefully, an erosion or elimination of these rights. Kitsap County’s proposed changes to its building code enforcement rules will, if adopted, only result in an increase of public enmity.
Authoritarian control over the people, in this case a deliberate proposal to undermine certain constitutional rights by means of an authoritarian edict (by politicized governmental elements) that would block (prevent) the people’s ability to determine whether or not any government’s administrative rules should affect their constitutional rights, cannot be justified by any constitutional reasoning.
Such a “block; if it were to occur, would be unjustifiable when considered from a constitutional view-point, which is of course how the citizen patriot views it; but, it seems that there are those who would shape State and County government by acts of administrative edict for the purpose of interfering with the people’s constitutional rights. pitting the people’s government against the people.
The present form of Kitsap County’s Board of Commissioners. which consists of only three commissioners who are all of one political party with no counterbalancing political element whatsoever in its structure, poorly represents “the general welfare and public good;” in fact, it is only “representative” in name. This problem – the deficient structure of the Kitsap County Board of Commssiouers – has been brought to the attention of our Washington State legislature before, with no action taken decade after decade.
The County is willing to spend the people’s tax money on an egregious coercive decisions that would probably be judged illegal by any patriotic(3) court system, has resulted in another attempt by Kitsap County to usurp the people’s right to privacy and security within the boundary of their homes by its crafty proposal of new types of contols and penalties for the homeowner. i.e., its proposed new code enforcement chapter.
This proposal is wholly contrary to long established “Castle Doctrine” (4). I wonder how it is that a diminishment of citizens’ rights as given by our 4th Amendment is somehow good for “the general welfare and public good!”
The adoption of the County’s proposed new code enforcement chapter can only result in the criminalizing of good citizens who have never before been at odds with lawful and reasonable governing. These would only further isolate the people from their government by suppressing their rights afforded by our 4th Amendment.
When a government advances its narrow and largely self-serving definition of what comprises “the general welfare and public good; making use of this phrase as an effective but surreptitious tool to convince the public of its supposed ‘beneficent’ intent, but all the while using such to wedge, cudgel, or inveigle into law a monetary (taxing) and or socio-political agenda, there arises a severe degradation of the social contract between the people and their government. Instead, it becomes a relationship where ~ “might” (of the people’s government) suppresses the “Right (rights of the people), thus supplanting the ideal virtue that” might” must be subordinate to what is true “Right” (e.g., the 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America).
The disturbing portent of the most recent draft of the County’s proposed new code enforcement chapter is crafted with a feel of authoritarianism. It creates a new policing force whose unstated purpose is to ‘expose’ the character and disposition of citizens as supposedly anti-government with the intent to brand them as contrarians who are against “the general welfare and public good”, all the while harassing them with significant monetary fines and jail time. Holding such a view of the people is entirely wrongminded!
The role of any government. which in United States of America is established by the people, must be to serve the people as provided for by its guiding, approved-by-the people, legal documents. First and foremost amongst these are the Constitution of the United States of America and the Washington State Constitution, especially “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses. papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Kitsap County’s proposed code enforcement modifications are not only an egregious insult to the historical spirit of those documents, but they are also illegal, and, if adopted by its Board of Commissioners, will abrogate the mandate of government as given by the people and their constitutional history.
When considering the problem with Kitsap County’s proposal to administratively and arbitrarily levy upon its citizens (without public vote) an invasion of their privacy, i.e., their right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” “time-honored” refers to all the previously existing Federal and State documents and legal decisions that have continuously sustained the validity and importance of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America as well as Article I Section 1 and Article I Section 2 of the Washington State diminishment of its 4th Amendment rights, and the State is unwilling to provide for a reasonable and proper Board of Commissioners structure. Why?
The ongoing social dynamic or struggle between the people and their government unavoidably includes occasional problems with some citizens who are of a personality type that is difficult to satisfy, no matter what looser or stricter social configuration exists. However, by and large, most people abide by reasonable rules that are founded in our Federal and State constitutions; the vast majority of people, who are responsible citizens, should not be subjected to authoritarian edicts that serve only to alienate them from their government and their time-honored constitutional rights.
A valid government causes the people, who have established it, to be comfortable with and proud of the type of government that they have established; but if a people’s government instills anxiety, fear, and enmity in its citizenry, government is certainly failing.
The above sentiments have arisen from my own concern about Kitsap County’s Department of Community Development and those who unreasonably, unthinkingly, or for their own special gain support the County’s proposed changes to its code enforcement chapter and policy, but I know, from interaction with other citizens, that my concerns are shared by thousands of others in Kitsap County.
I approach you as a citizen in good standing ofKitsap County, State of Washington and ask you. as the representative of the 23 District of the State of Washington. to review Kitsap County’s proposed New Code Enforcement Chapter in order to ensure that the people’s constitutional rights are neither infringed upon nor suppressed, thereby affirming “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses. papers, and effects. against unreasonable searches and seizures. shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Anonymous (Name and address on file)
A citizen, Kitsap County 98370
” … et domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium. 950
CC – Washington State Governor. K.itsap County Commissioners, Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners, Kiitsap Sun, Tacoma News Tribune, Seattle Times, Peninsula News, KVI AM 570, KOMO AM 1000, etc.
Sources and Notes:
1 See, Constitution of the United States of America.
2 See, Washington State Constitution.
3 Patriotic refers to a strict adherence to constitutional law as contrasted to the U.S. Code or the Revised Code of Washington State. The latter two exist as interpretations, sometimes improperly derived, and which, when any of these is brought before a legally proper (devoted to constitutional law, i.e .• patriotic) court, are not always or under all circumstances found to be constitutionally legal.
4 Castle Doctrine. See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_doctrine (June 9, 2014).
5 “and every man’s house is his refuge.” From the Latin.