Copyright © 2004 by Ned Ferguson, R.L.S. This writing is the opinion of the author. Nothing herein constitutes legal advice. If you need legal advice, you are advised to seek out a competent attorney.
Let me say at the outset that I do not have an antagonistic relationship with any branch of or individual with the Knoxville / Knox County Government (henceforth collectively referred to as “Knox County”). In fact, I have a good, professional relationship with these people. As a land surveying professional, it is constantly necessary to guide developments, plans and plats through the approval process. We do everything we can and must do to meet the regulations and requirements of Knox County; however, as a citizen this issue has been sticking in my craw for quite some time. For me the issue at hand is both a philosophical and a moral one. It has to do with the taking of private property by a government entity without just compensation, in clear violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause. In Knox County, in addition to not being compensated for your property, you must pay for the “privilege” of giving it up.
Extortion defined –
1. Illegal use of one’s official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
2. That which is extorted or exacted by force.
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc