Friday, February 04, 2011

In This Instance It Ought To Be One Strike And You Are Out

Unbelievable:

David N. Cox says he was merely exercising his right to petition the government, but a state Department of Transportation official has raised allegations that Cox committed a misdemeanor: practicing engineering without a license.

Cox and his North Raleigh neighbors are lobbying city and state officials to add traffic signals at two intersections as part of a planned widening of Falls of Neuse Road.

After an engineering consultant hired by the city said that the signals were not needed, Cox and the North Raleigh Coalition of Homeowners' Associations responded with a sophisticated analysis of their own.

The eight-page document with maps, diagrams and traffic projections was offered to buttress their contention that signals will be needed at the Falls of Neuse at Coolmore Drive intersection and where the road meets Tabriz Point / Lake Villa Way.

It did not persuade Kevin Lacy, chief traffic engineer for the state DOT, to change his mind about the project. Instead, Lacy called on a state licensing agency, the N.C. Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors, to investigate Cox.

Cox says Lacy is trying to squelch dissent.

"All we ever tried to do was express our view about this," said Cox, a computer scientist. "We never expected something like this. We think it's wrong. We're just trying to make our neighborhood safe."

Lacy said his complaint "was not an accusation" against Cox.

"I'm not trying to hush him up," Lacy said.

The technical term for this claim by Lacy is "bullshit".

Lacy is a public servant and nothing more.

Lacy ought to be a former public servant starting today. He obviously is not interested in protecting the people of the state in their rights and liberties, but is interested in using the power of the state to silence dissent. As a result Lacy has forfeited his right to work for the people. Ever.

ADDING:

From Instapundit on this matter:

Stay in your place, proles, and don’t challenge your betters.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that Instapundit nailed it. This incident is about the belief and the establishment of rule of (credentialed) experts over the rest. It may well be that this Lacy guy simply wanted to check the credentials of Cox in order to assess the quality of the work, and to determine how much weight he should be given, instead of simply reading the report to get a sense of whether. In other words, Lacy might simply be an idiot rather than an authoritarian idiot.

The thing that gets me about this story is how the country seems to be changing for the worse. Shortly after my sister was born in the early sixties, my folks were concerned about the lack of lighting on the street where they resided. So, she went down to city hall, and they told her that she needed a petition signed by a number of her neighbors. And so, she spent a couple of weeks, passing the petition and collecting signatures to get the street lights approved. Once she collected the required number of signatures, the city granted the request, and installed the light. I know that this story may sound a bit quaint, but isn't this how self-rule is supposed to work??

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

"It may well be that this Lacy guy simply wanted to check the credentials of Cox in order to assess the quality of the work, and to determine how much weight he should be given, instead of simply reading the report to get a sense of whether. In other words, Lacy might simply be an idiot rather than an authoritarian idiot."

I don't buy it. You wouldn't need to launch an investigation led by the state licensing agency to asses the quality of the work. (Even if that was, Lacy could still be in trouble for a gross misappropriation of state resources, on par with having the police deliver your groceries or something like that.)

I agree with your larger point wholeheartedly. We need MORE involved citizens, not less. But more involved citizens means more opportunities for citizens to disagree with government officials. That is part of the game. State officials who show they cannot play by those rules ought not to be state officials.

Tully said...

Generally speaking one cannot "practice without a license" unless one holds oneself out as providing a professional service for hire while representing oneself as being a professional legally qualified to do so. No attempt to mislead (particularly with no pay for services involved) means no crime.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

I agree...which underscores how this was done merely as an act of intimidation.