Abuse of Authority

Local Tyranny: City Council Trying To Stop Homeowner From Beautifying Lawn

[dropcap size=small]A[/dropcap]s many of you know, the reach of the government’s tentacles are widespread. However, for the most part, your home is the last bastion against the ever growing encroachment of the Nanny State.

For the people of Montgomery County, their home might soon not be their castle.

Council President George L. Leventhal (D-At Large) is sponsoring a bill that would ban the use of cosmetic pesticides used to keep lawns looking their best. He’s being backed by a coalition of environmental activists, public health experts, and parents.

They claim that pesticide exposure to young people places them at higher risk for cancer and other diseases.

From the Washington Post:

Health and environmental issues have been a legislative touchstone for the council in recent years. It has banned trans fats andpolystyrene containers from county restaurants and has imposed a nickel tax on plastic shopping bags that can clog streams. Last week, Montgomery became the region’s first locality to outlaw e-cigaretteswherever traditional tobacco smoking is also prohibited.

Leventhal, serving his fourth term with an eye on the 2018 county executive’s race, has come to embody the council’s regulatory zeal. Also winning passage last week was his bill banning pet stores from selling kittens or puppies from “mills” — even though there are no such stores in the county’s jurisdiction.

The proposal has irked homeowners associations because the ban can potentially affect property values.

Paul Jarosinski, president of the Cherrywood Homeowners Association in Olney, “We don’t want any more bad-looking properties in the neighborhood.”

Dean Graves, one of the residents of Darnestown, told the council that if the bill passed as it was written, that there would essentially no longer be any private property in Montgomery County.

The story in the Washington Post goes on to say:

Similar laws are more broadly used in Canada, where the province of Ontario adopted a cosmetic pesticide ban several years ago. But a British Columbia government panel concluded in 2012 that the scientific evidence did not warrant such a change in regulations.

The bill, opponents argue, would add a superfluous layer of regulation to products already carefully tested by the Environmental Protection Agency and overseen by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Carol Holko, assistant secretary of agriculture, said the state’s program “is active and it is effective.”

“Clearly it’s an overreach,” said Jarosinski. “Are you trying to tell me these people [council members] have expertise that the state and federal government don’t have?”

Pesticide regulation is supposed to be State and Federal domain. Maryland however, allows localities to pass laws of their own.

Mr. Jarosinski however, is absolutely correct, this is clearly nothing more than government overreach. Another attempt by progressives and environmentalists to shape human behavior and opinion through government mandate. Another council member Nancy Floreen (D-At Large) said just as much. She said: “We can’t enforce a lot of these laws, but if they help change human behavior…”

These pesticides are heavily scrutinized by scientists and health officials, and they must pass rigorous testing before being allowed on the market. Cathy Milbourn, an EPA spokesperson, said that hundreds of different scientific studies must be presented before they approve a pesticide.

So if the vast majority of the scientific data shows there is no health or environmental concerns associated with cosmetic pesticides, why the push for the ban?

In my estimation the answer is simple, conformity.

This isn’t about health concerns, this is about a group of legislators and environmentalists that don’t approve of individuals having the option to make their own decisions.

The Nanny State tries to control what we eat, what and where we can smoke, whether we can feed the homeless, whether we can collect rain water, how we handle our trash, and now they want to get their hands on our lawns.

They would prefer everyone think as they do, but if you can’t convince people, well, then force them.

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