You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that Grainger County needs zoning regulations. Are there not already some regulations in Bean Station or Blaine? Does the county have an industrial property area? So you might say that things are slowly being nibbled away, however not in a uniform fashion. Do Knox, Jefferson and Hamblen counties have some control over their development? It’s the 21st century, so why not Grainger County?
It appears the county has a blank slate. If so, it does not necessarily have to reinvent the wheel. What are the regulations in the counties that surround us? Consult with the local cities. Take what you think are the best concepts, with local public comment, and come up with a set of regulations. While most believe the county will be rural in nature for a long time, no one can predict what a large influx of money and/or persons would do to the county infrastructure, or exacerbate its lack of facilities.
If there is unimpeded growth decided by those who are not from this area, you run the risk of many local citizens becoming irritated and their property values affected (read: less taxable revenue). Also, this could result in possible legal court actions that waste not only private resources but also county public funds to pursue issues it finds egregious.
If we have a set of zoning regulations, many legal cases could be avoided in the future. What do you want the county to look like in 10 or twenty years?
Who’s to Blame
I have wondered what Trump’s legacy would be when he left office, but it has become crystal clear in the last couple of days. When he encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol building, he cemented himself into the history books. This is the sort of behavior that would be expected of a banana republic, third-world, dictator wannabe, not the President of these United States. However, he alone does not bear sole responsibility.
Those people who enabled his outrageous claims of voter fraud over the past months, such as both our Senators, our Governor, our representatives in the House as well as some contributors to this paper bear responsibility along with him. Judges of all political persuasions threw every bogus lawsuit out of court, even those judges that were appointed by Trump himself.
His own Department of Justice said that there was no evidence of wide-spread voter fraud. His head of cyber-security said that this was the most secure election in our history. However, he persisted in making false claims and was never called to task by his enablers. For a man who has read the Constitution as many times as he has read the Bible, it was to be expected.
As a businessman, which was attractive to his base, he never had to learn how to govern or seek compromise with anyone. He could rant and rave, scream and yell, complain about how he was being mistreated, and sometimes, get what he wanted, and these are the traits that he carried over to the White House. And now some of his supporters are trying to blame, without any evidence, Antifa for the storming of the Capitol. As I stated, without any evidence, as this is also a trait Trump brought to the White House and has been utilizing ever since he lost the election to the man who, according to Trump, is “the worst candidate ever to run in the history of a presidential election.” Trump has now set the bar so low that if Biden can bring civility and decorum and the rule of law back to the office, he will have succeeded.
Now Donald J. Trump can add the lives of four more dead Americans to the hundreds of thousands of Americans that have died on his watch. Whether he gets any or all of the blame for the COVID-19 deaths or not is best left to the historians. However, these four people who died in the storming of the Capitol building are solely on Trump and his supporters. I believe that Jim Mattis said it best when he said “Our Constitution and our Republic will overcome this stain and our people will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country.”