The Great Fairfield County Cleanup

Few things are more sacred in this country than individual property rights, and any time government endeavors to dictate what can and cannot be done with that property, they are walking a fine line. A man, after all, is still King of his Castle in America; which is a lovely ideal, until one man’s castle becomes such an embarrassing eyesore that the value of the castle next door takes a nosedive. And if you are a county trying to roll out the red carpet for prospective industry, you may as well not even bother if that carpet has to roll right by some of the dilapidated health hazards that dot this landscape.

The Great Fairfield County Cleanup has been a long time coming, and while it is not exactly being met with unfettered success, it is, at least, making headway. There is, of course, the philosophical issue of property rights to be considered: What’s mine is mine, and Big Government can’t tell me what to do with it.

Yes, the rights of the individual are sacrosanct, but only until and unless they counteract the rights of the whole.

In other words, Big Government can’t make you take a bath, but it can make you wash your hands before you start serving food to the public. Likewise, you home is your home, and if you want to paint it with polka dots or arrange ceramic gnomes in the front yard in a reenactment of the Battle of Hastings, so be it. But when the length of your grass has to be measured with a yardstick, or the front porch is held in place with a car jack, now you’re no longer just some eccentric house on the corner of the neighborhood – you’re the house that’s bringing the rest of the neighborhood down.

Make no mistake, the government should, baring the most extreme circumstances, refrain from divesting a citizen of their individual property rights. But the government should, whenever possible, protect the many – particularly those who cannot protect themselves – against the abuses of the few. Such is the very foundation of a society.

It won’t happen overnight, or even over the span of a few months, but what the Fairfield County government is doing, with their objective of making Fairfield County a more attractive place to live, one property at a time, should be commended as a noble effort. But the County can only police the county, and within this county there are tiny islands that have their own eyesores to address. Cleaning up and taking pride has been an ongoing battle cry for the Winnsboro Town Councilman from District 2, and we hope at last his efforts may gain some traction.

It won’t be easy. You cannot legislate pride into the hearts of your citizenry; but you can make them put forth the effort to at least look like they care.