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Letter: Cooper not object of reprisal but asked to follow law

Now that we know Eileen Cooper's side of the story I'm sure everyone is very sympathetic to her situation ("Fine nothing but a reprisal," June 6). She stated that she has known there "as a problem with her septic system being over loaded since the winter of 2003." She finally decided to do something about it in 2005, two years after she knew her system was allowing raw sewage to run down the drainage ditches by her property and running into tributaries of Lake Earl. It appears she thinks since she has made other people and projects follow the letter of the law and follow all rules that pertain to their permits, that she should be exempt from the rules to which the rest of us adhere.

The Board of Supervisors (before I was a member) declared this property a nuisance and that the septic system needed to be pumped immediately, or the county would do it and pass on the costs to the property owner. So, the pumping of Cooper's Septic system and leach line was not completely a voluntary action, though she makes it sound like she did this all on her own.

Getting back to the timeline, she has known about this septic system failure since 2003, and it is now 2007. In 2006 she had both residences vacated (another year of sewage running into Lake Earl) at her expense. This is required by law, so still no voluntary action on her part. One of the structures she was allowing to be occupied was not permitted to be used as a residence. This was helping to overload her septic system allowing raw sewage to run down the drainage ditches, but I suppose because of all the good she has done for the county, this should also be excused.

Cooper fails to mention that the Board of Supervisors suspended more than $7,000 in fines that had already accumulated, leaving her with about 10 percent of the original fine to pay.

As far as the retaliation accusation, Cooper to my knowledge never has interfered with any project I have done or proposed to do. She fails to mention that the board vote was unanimous, 4-0 (Supervisor Dave Finigan being absent).

I think it was quite clear at the Board of Supervisors meeting that the concerns were that her septic system be repaired, that the plumbing fixtures in the out building be removed and that a culvert be removed, as soon as possible, and still nothing appears to be happening. If half the effort was put into resolving these problems rather than complaining about the process the rest of us have to follow, this project would been have completed long ago.

As far as misusing my power, the only power I used was to vote in favor of protecting the community from the possibility of raw sewage running down open ditches creating a health hazard as well as polluting Lake Earl.

Gerry Hemmingsen

Crescent City

 

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