• Last modified 52 days ago (May 29, 2024)


Commissioner refuses to give up on fighting ‘land grab’

Staff writer

Commissioner Kent Becker, who has voiced his opposition to a federal program that detractors call a “land grab” for four commission meetings, wants yet another discussion about adopting a resolution opposing the program.

After hearing Angel Cushing speak at a Patriots for Liberty meeting this spring, Becker invited her to speak May 6 to commissioners about the so-called 30x30 environmental program that would encourage conservation easements, trails, and similar programs to be set aside from development.

The 30x30 program was discussed again at the May 13 commission meeting.

Hesston resident Steve Schmidt, spoke May 6 and May 13, expressing concern that passing a resolution like one Cushing proposed would infringe on land owners’s rights to decide whether to enter into conservation easement agreements.

Five additional people spoke May 13, urging commissioners not to take action that could take away their rights.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Becker said he wanted to discuss the 30x30 program again next week and decide whether to adopt a resolution opposing the program.

County administrator Tina Spencer reminded him that the last time commissioners discussed a possible resolution, they decided the public should have ample opportunity for input on the matter.

As insistent as Becker is, commission chairman Dave Mueller said, the 30x30 program likely will be on Monday’s agenda.

“At this point it’s still information gathering,” Mueller said. “Becker wants to keep it in play.”

Mueller said he thought commissioner Jonah Gehring had a good suggestion to put a discussion on a planning and zoning commission agenda instead.

Last modified May 29, 2024