Column: The sign ordinance is an affront to our freedom

In a letter to H.L. Pierce on April 6, 1859 Abraham Lincoln wrote: “This is a world of compensation; and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and under a just God, cannot long retain it.”

I realize times change and, unfortunately, freedom’s definition has evolved in the United States into something different than the Founding Fathers intended. I resent my freedom of speech and private property rights being diminished at every authoritarian moment in Everybody’s Hometown. The sign ordinance is an affront to freedom and private property rights. If what someone chooses to say and do on their own property doesn’t threaten public health and safety, a righteous government would stand aside and would do best by allowing the free market to function in its highest and best form. In Prescott, two council members or the mayor who have voted in the affirmative can bring an issue back for reconsideration. If, however, a council member votes and loses the vote he or she cannot. Any vote is subject to re-consideration by the affirmative if two or more choose to continue the discussion or re-consider.

I’ve been appalled for some time with animal feeding ordinances, sign ordinances, above and beyond public safety and health codes for private property, alarm ordinances, etc, etc, etc. It appears Prescott’s claim to be Everybody’s Hometown is a fallacy. Some people in Prescott want to stick their noses into every fabric of someone else’s life in order to control another’s private property, freedom of speech and pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Some of these folks have even taken an oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution affirming our God-given liberty. It most recently seems Prescott is only Everybody’s Hometown as long as the individual performs to the collective’s acceptance and uniformity and says what’s acceptable.

I hope this latest insult to freedom in Prescott ignites the public’s outcry to consider elimination of a lot of codes, ordinances and affronts to personal freedom, including acquiescence of private property rights. In an 1863 message to the citizens of Memphis, Tennessee, Ulysses S. Grant said, “Human liberty, the only true foundation of human government.” Public property is subject to being controlled in a democratically orchestrated process in which duly elected bodies make policy governing its management. Elected officials are accountable to the voters. In Prescott, management is accountable to the elected body serving the public. A little civil disobedience is a good thing to manage the bureaucracy.