The only issue that Frank Hawkins and I agree upon is that property rights are not unlimited. See “Threatening our water security should be Illegal” (March 7). Taking property rights by force of the ballot box is, in my opinion, immoral and should be resisted. Measure C is a classic example of “Tyranny of the Majority” that was so feared by the likes of John Locke, Alexis de Tocqueville, James Madison and John Stuart Mill. It strikes at the very heart of democracy.

There is no doubt that the reason Measure C was created was to take the property rights from the owners of the oak woodlands so that Measure C supporters can have more water for themselves. This creates a subservient category of property that exists expressly for the benefit of others. In essence this land is now a servant, a slave, if you will, to the larger community. I believe this is a dangerous concept and is a perversion of our understanding of zoning.

If a community-wide problem exists then all members of that community should equally bear the burden of fixing it. Sticking it to a smallish group of landowners is not the democratic way to solve our community’s problems. We should be better than this.

Stuart Smith

St. Helena

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