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Barrier was illegal innovation to city infrastructure

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
April 28, 2011 at 7:04 p.m.
Updated April 27, 2011 at 11:28 p.m.


We think that a five-ton wall constructed in retaliation to the city's drainage was a sign of frustration. All of us can get frustrated with our local government at times, but the wall was the wrong way to address the problem.

Now, the judge hearing the matter this week ruled that Keith Redburn erred in constructing the barrier, which would prevent trash, debris and water from eroding his property there. After all, the drainage culvert/pipe belongs to the city.

The argument is if the drainage infrastructure belongs to the city, why doesn't the city clean it up or fix the problem? Good question, but doing the wrong thing is not the right way to go about a solution. And the city has easements all over the city and many fall under the responsibility of the property owner. If the city were to address all its easements, we think that would lead to a tax increase to pay for that maintenance.

Redburn said he had to do it to bring light to the issue. Perhaps he is right in that assessment since he has complained about the storm sewer culvert since 2006.

And Judge Stephen Williams, too, did more than make a ruling. He's ordered mediation in the matter -- something that might resolve the issue.

We think the $1,300 Redburn spent to build the barrier could have been used for some constructive solution. Perhaps an engineering study to correct the problem would have been productive. Now, he is offering to spend another $400 to take the barrier down, saving the city some expense in having to remove it.

We agree that sitting down to talk about a solution is a positive step for solving this issue. We adhere to the old adage: There's always a solution to a problem.

And the solution will more than likely be beneficial to both sides in this matter.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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