City Council: Do you really
By Charles Edwardson
December 10, 2007
The city council, like many other boards and councils, are under
appreciated and should be commended for their efforts "SOMETIMES"
But sometimes you get a group in there and you have to wonder
just what they are thinking, if anything. First a 10% minimum
grade for new roads in Ketchikan for all new construction, and
now a move to try to add sprinkler systems in new homes where
you cannot park a fire truck within 150 feet of the new home.
Both of these actions were pushed, in my opinion, by one or two
people that do not know what they are talking about. Both measures
are going to add additional costs to an already expensive proposition,
and add to the difficulty and reality of realizing the biggest
investment most of us will ever make, and that is buying a home.
Fires do not always happen in convenient places and if the guys
do not want to go through these inconvenient measures like dragging
the equipment up steep hills, then do not become a fireman.
There are so many arguments against both of these measures they
are to numerous to list. But both measures to me seem to be for
the convenience of the firefighters not wanting to drag their
hoses far or up to steep a hill.
I know this comment is not going to be well received and the
firefighters themselves would go through hell or high water to
do the job they 'volunteered" to do -- and in my opinion
are each and everyone a hero. But they have for decades fought
the hills and rugged terrain that is Ketchikan Alaska. And so
have many hundreds and even thousands of fireman through the
decades fought fires in inconvenient places -- in hillside communities,
San Francisco, Seattle, and many other coastal cities who suffer
this geographical fact, if you live on a mountainside there are
going to be inconvenient hills. You guys (city council) are in
your own small way putting the brakes on a portion of the economy
of Ketchikan by trying to make things safer through convenience.
The home owner should have the option of a sprinkler system,
as in small home fires the water damage outweighs the fire damage,
just think what a sprinkler system would do. Also a ten percent
grade will require switch backs for a road or a longer road and
there are not that many lots in Ketchikan with the length required
facilitating such a long road. In effect you are eliminating
the potential for many future developments and are again screwing
around with a tax base we rely on and that is property tax. With
less development due to unrealistic measures you are inadvertently
hurting our economy. I am not saying the economy should come
before personal safety but why go outside of the established
norms and add more regulations to an already over regulated industry?
Safety first is everyone's motto. That is common sense but let's
not get out of hand (to the city council).
As president of the Home Builders Association, an affiliate of
National Home Builders Association, my personal opposition to
both of these measures is shared by most if not all Home Builders
Associations that I have been in contact with.
And if we had any builders on the council or anyone who knew
any thing about business and economy of scale, this would have
had at least one opposing vote on both of these measures. And
for you on the council who disagree with something but vote for
it any way, you do not belong in public office, and are not doing
your job. My hope is that anyone who is on the fence on these
issues get of the fence on one side or the other and stand your
ground like a man or woman.
Received December 07, 2007
- Published December 10, 2007
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