From: Glen Palecek
There is growing “bad blood” between city residents and rural landowners because of the Winona County ordinance. I own six rural properties, which include three trout streams. We landowners are very upset that commissioners Mena Kaehler, Greg Olson, and Jim Pomeroy pushed this ordinance through against the strong objection of the vast majority of farmers in the area. A minority of very vocal city residents have supported the ordinance on the grounds it protects the environment.
Talk to any farmer, and he or she will tell you that state regulations are already overbearing. The ordinance only frustrates farmers who resent the county commissioners taking away their rights. This frustration carries over to those who want to use our land for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. No one cares more about protecting the land than the farmers and landowners themselves.
The ordinance is in desperate need of change and clarification. One clause, for example, states it is the intent of the ordinance to make all existing properties conform. If enforced, this clause could force me, and many others, to tear down the very homes we live in! This clause is a clear violation of both the Minnesota and U.S. Constitutions as well as “ex post facto” and “equal rights” laws. The “New Heritage” district set up in the ordinance only makes these violations worse.
We were promised that the ordinance could be easily changed or fixed at any time. Yet the county commissioners mentioned above have denied all attempts to fix it including simple language clarification.
On behalf of farmers and landowners throughout the county, I am asking you to be our friend and help us out in the election November 6.