I would like to give your readers some more information on SBA 115 (“Proposed subdivision law change affects land buyers and sellers,” May 13, 2004).
No one told your reporter that the bill today is quite different than the original bill. The reason it is different is that the people this bill affects were not informed or made aware of it until after it was drafted. We talked to our local commissioners, farmers and landowners and discovered they didn’t know anything about this bill either. It was at that time that we became involved.
I have attended every hearing and have been in countless meetings on this bill and it is amazing to me when asked how many landowners are present that no more than three hands go up. At one of those meetings there were 12 people in attendance and six were attorneys. When asked how may landowners were present, only three responded – two auctioneers and one attorney.
I know the Farm Bureau has been a proponent of this bill. Rocky Black is the Farm Bureau’s director for state legislative affairs (a registered lobbyist). His statement sounds as though the farmer is not smart enough to make decisions on how he should manage his land.
On one of my trips to Columbus, I had four other people riding with me and we discovered that we all had Farm Bureau membership cards. It is interesting how an organization can give testimony in favor of an issue when every member we talk to is against it.
There has been discussion on drainage and septic issues, which we feel are very important, but we don’t need this bill to address these issues. When this bill was first drafted, it had 445 lines and now it has 668 lines and more amendments are coming. It’s like a Christmas tree and everyone is hanging something on it because they feel it will pass.
There are still a large percentage of landowners who are not aware of this bill and how it takes away their rights. So I urge you to tell them to call or write to their state representative and to oppose this bill.
The Ohio Auctioneers Association legislative committee has attended every meeting and hearings on this bill and has voted to oppose it.
(The author is a landowner and past president of the Ohio Auctioneers Association.)
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