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Letter - Response to 'Rep. Holt ready to introduce zoning bill'

To the editor:

Please allow me to respond to your Jan. 10 front page headline article titled "Rep. Holt ready to introduce zoning bill."

Mr. Holt appears to be a "one issue" elected official. He is upset that local governments don't have a final say in how a private individual uses his privately owned property. Private citizens elected Rep. Holt, not government entities. If he wants to represent only governments, then he should resign his post and seek employment with them.

America was founded by immigrants seeking to own property in "fee simple." This right was non-existent in Europe due to the existing feudalistic system. The right to own property in America has been eroded to the point where citizens merely lease their property from government. Zoning laws and property taxes have denied a citizen "fee simple" ownership.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a state or local government cannot "deny a property owner economically viable use of his/her land." The Georgia Superior Courts are only following this directive. This decision is based on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the concept is referred to as "inverse condemnation." If Rep. Holt wants a change, he should seek a Constitutional amendment redefining the Second Amendment.

Rep. Holt's proposed legislation would be synonymous with introducing a bill that would mandate Georgia courts to decide what a newspaper can and cannot print. It seems to me that Mr. Holt should be more interested in improving the quality of life for his constituency by creating decent jobs and lowering the high school drop-out rate in Newton County. Newton County has far too many "temp" (labor pool) jobs and far too many tourism/hotel/motel/fast food jobs. All of these jobs' rates of pay are below the poverty level and result in more than 50 percent of Newton's school children receiving free or reduced school lunches. Perhaps it is time for the citizens of Newton County to send Rep. Holt packing.

Harry L. Long

Covington