Was it a failure to communicate?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 11, 2005

This week has been a busy one for me since I’ve had to field so many telephone calls in response to the controversy that took place during the January 3rd Gates County Commissioner’s meeting.

Everyone who called asked the same question: How did it happen that a family was able to put up a home without permits from the inspections office.

I couldn’t answer that question, of course. We may never know how such a thing happened, especially when Gates County has such stringent ordinances in place for those who would build a home.

Every person who called echoed one statement; if it had been me, they would have me under the jail. I don’t believe that the family in question was intentionally breaking the law. However, I find that I do agree with the callers. Not even a fine was imposed upon the family.

In the time since the meeting, I’ve spoken with members of the Board of Commissioners and they assure me that measures have been initiated to prevent another such failure in communication.

I realize that such failures can occur, as they do frequently in the media, but I still fail to understand how this family was able to install a septic tank, have water lines run and paid for a $750 meter, and have their electric lines run and paid that large sum, all without a single inspector asking to see a permit.

I also don’t understand how Brown’s Mobile Home Sales set up the home without, allegedly, asking to see the actual permit.

Where were the inspectors as all this work was going on? How did they get a septic tank installed without Ron McDougal inspecting the site? Who put that $750 water meter in without benefit of seeing the permit? And one burning question; how the heck did the power company install lines to the house without seeing that permit?

The regulations, ones that apparently were disregarded in this case, are in place for the good of all the people who live here.

Now, let me tell you something else that has me concerned this week. I have heard of several scams that are being run at the expense of the Indonesian tsunami victims.

I am a person who believes in helping people in trouble and I sent a donation to my personal choice of an agency, the Red Cross, a truly legitimate and world-renowned organization.

Before anyone sends a dime, or a credit card donation, to any organization, I hope they will check out the agency accepting the contributions. It is a simple enough thing to do; just go to the major television networks or news web sites and there are numerous agencies listed, most of them well-known to us.

If all else fails, send your donation to the American Red Cross. They have already sent an initial $30 million in aid to the affected areas, including $25 million for relief food supplies and $5 million non-food relief items, such as hygiene kits and tents for displaced families.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation), along with national societies like the American Red Cross, are partnering with numerous international humanitarian and non-government organizations to coordinate relief efforts. American Red Cross personnel will assist in conducting disaster and needs assessments, in addition to providing direct relief assistance to those affected by the disaster.

To me, that seems to be the most direct and honest way of getting help for those who so desperately need it. Thank God it doesn’t have to go through a commission!