content top
Will You Sign Away Your Property Rights?

Will You Sign Away Your Property Rights?

Tonight I was shopping with my family.  A young couple, Emily and John, introduced themselves to me and let me know they did not agree with my position on the wetlands.  They told me they were approached by a member of the Wakulla Wetlands Alliance who asked them to sign a petition.  They decided to think about it first, but planned to sign after they finished their shopping.  They asked me how I could be opposed to signing the petition.  Initially, they were uncertain about the whole wetlands issue, but after talking to the person gathering signatures, the choice seemed so obvious.  I was surprised to hear this so I asked them if they would help me understand what made them come to this conclusion.  They replied, the petition questions. 

The gentleman asked us…

Do you think wetlands should be protected?

Do you think you should have the right to vote?

Did you know our Commissioners are eliminating wetlands protection and they don’t want you to have the right to vote?

Will you sign a petition to protect your right to vote?

I asked them to please tell me more.  They said, there is nothing else to tell.  That’s all the gentleman asked us.  We should have the right to vote.

I responded, I’m surprised he didn’t ask you the rest of the questions to make sure you understand the entire issue.  Do you mind if I ask you a few more questions?  They agreed. 

I asked…

Do you own your own property?

Do you think you have the right to decide how you use your property?

Do you think a group of citizens should have control over your property?

Did you know the wetlands petition is not about government against the people, but is about a group of citizens against the people? 

Did you know, the people pushing this petition live in or near wetlands?

Did you know they don’t want you to have what they have?

Did you know they don’t think you are responsible enough to make decisions for yourself?

Did you know our Commissioners are trying to return property rights to the property owners?

If the Wakulla Wetlands Alliance can take away private property rights on this issue, do you think they will stop there?

Will you stand up against the Wakulla Wetlands Alliance and let them know they cannot take away your property rights?

They looked at each other, and said, Wow!  This issue is not as simple as we thought it was.  We never thought about that.  They thanked me for taking the time to talk to them.  As they walked away, they handed me a piece of paper, folded in half.  I opened it, and recognized it as an unsigned petition.  I turned to my wife, and told her, they get it!  They are not willing to sign away their rights. 

I have been replaying that conversation through my mind all night.  I’ve given a lot of thought to the questions they heard, when they were asked to sign the petition.  I’ve come to this conclusion…

It’s a simple message. 

It defines a problem.

It establishes politicians as the cause of the problem.

It empowers people to have the final decision.

Who wouldn’t sign a petition that is presented in this manner? 


This encounter made me realize something.  Good people are signing this petition because it seems like the right thing to do.  Good people should be given the entire picture.  Of course they want to protect the wetlands, but what good will that be, if they lose their freedom in the process?


6 Responses to “Will You Sign Away Your Property Rights?”

  1. Robert Roddenberry says:

    WWA is targeting uninformed people who will probably sign a petition without a second thought, and who don’t really care about wetlands one way or another. Many may not own real property at all, or if they do it is a small lot in an upland subdivision. Apathy on the part of our citizens allows special interest groups like WWA to force their agenda on hard working, taxpaying landowners. We must do a better job of informing the public. Thanks Ralph for you hard work in this area.

  2. Boris says:

    Thanks Ralph for your Public service.

  3. Pat says:

    It really makes me sick that people work on half truths and outright lies. I hope people read this and are woken up to the selfish agenda that these people are dishing. Thanks Ralph as always for being on top of this. I am so thankful that you are in a position to work for us. We need more like you, people who are there to serve without a selfish agenda. God Bless.

  4. Doug says:

    who makes up this group? is it contractors? is it folks living on the wetlands hopeing to stop others from building on wetlands too? Who exactly is trying to push this… I don't want the name of the group, I want to know the people in this group and thier agenda.. I really am confused. both sides make good arguments, but I don't see either side showing the entire story. I am a property owner, and not some little tenth of an acre type. (read – concerned).

    • ralph says:

      Doug, many of the people who are pushing a yes vote do live in or near the wetlands.  Their homes could not be built under the ordinance they are pushing.  I believe they sincerely desire to protect the wetlands at all costs.  I also desire to protect the wetlands, but I realize that our private property rights need to be protected also.  For me, this is what it boils down to… Who should control your property, you or the government?  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *