Quest for Excellence – Best Done Through Mandates or Personal Choice?

by Rusdon Ray
Defenders of Liberty International

What does it mean to be an American? An American is a free citizen who has God given rights guaranteed & protected in the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  Some of these rights are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, or in other words, Property.  One other clear distinction of a U.S. Citizen is the American dream, which is the constitutionally protected right to own a home or business and the freedom to progress and achieve success as one sees fit without unnecessary and undue restrictions and burdensome regulations.

Citizens are not free if police officers are mandated by law to inspect homes or property and tell them how they can build their home or what types of materials to use.  Citizens are not free if they are mandated by law regarding the type and number of plumbing and electrical fixtures to install, such as types of toilets, shower heads, light fixtures, light bulbs, and even what type of appliances they can buy and install.  Citizens are not free when they are ordered to install certain types of insulation, windows, or type and size of A/C units.

Elected representatives and police officers of a free people should know that enforcement of such things is what happens in a police state or communistic, not a free, society.  However, that is exactly what code enforcement officers do today in Gilbert.  They can impose heavy fines for violators, and they can prevent you from moving into your new home. 

Code enforcement officers have been mandated by Gilbert Town Council, all within the last decade or so, to enforce those very things that would be considered completely illegal for local police to enforce.

The ICC (International Code Council) writes 1000’s of pages of such mandates and regulations as suggestions, yet previous Gilbert Town Councils have ignorantly and naively passed them on to their citizens as law. These 1,000’s of pages of unread and not understood codes have made it nearly impossible to build an affordable home in a timely manner, let alone the fact that in a free society, government officials should never seek to enforce such all encompassing building and life style codes and regulations.  Many citizens are being priced or regulated out of the ability to own a home with land.  The red tape, permit fees, government rules, regulations, and codes have made it more of a "nightmare home" rather than a "dream home."

Not all Town Council members are for adopting the new, and worst yet, 2012 ICC International Building Codes, and many of them support us fully in our efforts to repeal the previously passed unread International Codes. They should be thanked and encouraged in their efforts to declare our independence from these international mandates and any federal funding or ties that come with them. They should be encouraged to allow the free market and individuals to make their own decisions when it comes to the construction of their homes and businesses.  Builders, Architects, Designers, Engineers, and Business and Home Owners are still welcome to consult and apply and even advertise their adherence to international building standards, but under no circumstances should our elected officials pass these unread 1000’s of pages of codes as law on the citizens of their Town.

Proposed Solution:

As an alternative to the unread international codes, a comprehensible locally written and logical set of Public Health and Life/Safety issues should be considered for Gilbert. (FYI – Local Zoning and HOA rules are unaffected and unchanged by the repeal of the unread International codes as law.)  These Public Health and Life/Safety issues should be limited and well defined and easy to read and understood by all citizens, business owners, Town Council members, and even town inspectors and code enforcers.  This would limit local government to their proper role and would return liability and choices to the private sector where they belong. Those experienced in the individual trades and professions will assume full liability and responsibility to provide the product the owner needs or wants. These principles of freedom, with an adherence to God and his laws, is what made Gilbert great, not the recently adopted and newly found power our federal and local governments have assumed.  A return to free market principles is not only best for our prosperity but, more importantly, for our posterity and the American Dream.

Principles 15 & 19

"The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations."

"Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all other being retained in the people."