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posted: 11/29/2012 4:40 AM

Community's rights over individuals'?

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Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain's quote about protecting individual rights by way of "the rights of the entire community" when questioned on the tree cutting moratorium in Elgin smacks of hypocrisy and contradiction at its very core.

A community, last time I checked, was composed of individual residents who so happen to live in a common location and share a common government. So by protecting the individual rights of your residents, Mr. Kaptain, you are naturally protecting the rights of the community in its entirety, but not the other way around.

How can you preserve individual rights in Elgin by way of passing ordinances that prevent lawful landowners from cutting down their own trees? That to me seems more like prohibiting the rights of residents in Elgin more than you claim you are protecting them. A government that attacks the rights of its residents in the name of some idealized community is what Kaptain must have been referring to, because a "community" in and of itself has no right over the very residents who comprise it and by principle alone shouldn't.

Mayor Kaptain and the entire Elgin City Council are violating the rights of every single resident of Elgin by forbidding them to act in their own interest when it comes to their trees.

And as a baffled resident in reading Mr. Kaptain's most recent statements I would like to ask a follow-up question of my own to further clarify things. Mr. Kaptain what kind of community is that?

Shane Nowak


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