The Cassandra Problem

There's a local prophet(ess)—that's a portrait of her tearing her hair out over there on the right—who wrote the following regarding zoning in Dryden in 2010.  It was based on the (then) Amended Zoning Law, revised draft, of September, 2009:

The scope and control the Town would assume over private property owners goes far beyond health and safety and well into social engineering...

...Part of the "character of Dryden" has been that its town government was "minimalist," and apart from providing basic town services, left its residents alone. That is part of the "character" that has made Dryden attractive.  That part of character would be lost as the Town moves into comprehensive socially driven zoning, recreation, and other activities that enlarge Town government...

...this level of planning is unnecessary, adds to New York's passion to overregulate, and will be costly to administer, hence demanding even higher taxes...

...It appears government would like to shape and control how Dryden develops to make its tasks easier and to fit the social mode some residents prefer.  But government is supposed to serve public needs, not direct them...

So, while a lot of time in the last year has been spent arguing back and forth over nitty-gritty details of the new zoning law, the real problem was that the Town's entire approach was—dare we say it so baldly?—just plain wrong.

And, as it's turned out, none of the recent suggested changes that might have made the new law at least somewhat less of an overreach were adopted in the final version that was passed by the town board last week.

Not really surprising.  At this point, we'll don our preferred chapeau

and remind you of where the kind of thinking demonstrated by the Town originates. Watch the PowerPoint presentation—it's still news to many people in Central New York, but will sound distressingly familiar to many others.

Beware, other towns and municipalities...don't say Cassandra didn't warn you:


The erosion of liberties and freedoms occurs bit by bit, gradually and sometimes hardly noticed until it is too late. As was observed of Nazi Germany, when they came for the Jews, I did not care, I was not a Jew. When they came for the gypsies, I did not care, I was not a gypsy. When they came for me, there was no one left to care. The all powerful state does not arise all at once, it slips in unnoticed, counting on the fact that the Cassandras of the world will speak out and be ignored.