Glad to see HOA action

Editor: I was thrilled to see our City Council do something about out of control HOAs.

At least the city will be allowed to review the documents to make sure they comply with current city regulations. Now if only the homeowners were afforded the same courtesy at contract time instead of at closing. There should be a requirement that each page of the CCRs and any additional rules and regulations should be signed at contract time that they were agreeing to the terms.

If certain terms aren’t acceptable, they should be allowed to be negotiated at contract time. The contract is forced on the homeowners if they want to buy the house.

The city of Rockwall should also allow developers the option of not requiring them to create a HOA. Not everyone wants to live in a new home with a HOA. Some of us want the choice to have a new home without a HOA.

Living in a HOA is a constant legal liability. It never goes away. You never know when a runaway board will saddle you will thousands of dollars of special assessments. Or when a new board decides that the CCRs have been interpreted wrong and you will now be hounded and threatened and sued over something you got permission for from the previous board. Perfection is expected at all times. Don’t you dare allow that weed to pop up in your yard! Better hope you never get sick or lose your job. And keep those vacations short; appearances must be kept up at all times. And if you disagree about being in violation, the only recourse is a lawsuit that is designed to bankrupt you. The homeowner loses no matter what.

It takes a lot of courage, and in many cases a lot of money, to take on the corrupt HOA industry. There are no checks and balances in an HOA. It’s a form of dictatorship that has been allowed in our country and it is destroying our property rights.

I appreciate that Matt Scott is attempting to restore some of the rights that have been taken away from people just because they had the misfortune to purchase a home in a HOA. One shouldn’t have to dread going to the mailbox wondering what new fictitious violation they have now committed that they must waste a lot of time and energy to disprove. And you must respond to each and every nonsense charge or they can fine you, lien your home and foreclose.

Amy McCorkle


Clarifying debate between ID and evolution

Editor: I hope the following points will help clarify some apparent misunderstandings in the two columns in previous weeks discussing evolution and intelligent design:

1. Evolution and Intelligent Design (ID) remain controversial because both propose explanations of historical events that we did not observe and have been unable to repeat. Both utilize observations and inferences to reach conclusions about cause and effect relationships. Their primary difference is that evolution limits possible causes to those that are natural, while ID will allow intelligence causes where the evidence demands it.

2. Evolutionists observe limited changes in organisms (driven by random mutation and natural selection) and infer that all observed biological variety had a natural cause. IDers observe that all change caused by mutations and selection (natural or guided by humans) has limits beyond which no change has been observed and infer that biological organisms have a limited amount of variability.

3. Evolutionists observe the past accomplishments of science and infer that it is likely we will one day discover natural laws (describing specific, detailed, repeatable, naturalistic mechanisms at the molecular level) that explain (a) the origin of life (which is a separate question), and (b) the origin of complex molecular information (see, for example Stuart Kauffman’s “Origins of Order”). IDers observe the pervasive complexity of biological information and the fact that much less complex non-living information (e.g., books, sculptures) always has an intelligent cause and infer that biological information had an intelligent cause. This inference has led to (a) a concerted effort by evolutionists to discover specific, detailed, naturalistic, molecular paths that account for apparently irreducibly complex biological features and (b) an interesting debate about the definition and nature of information and complexity. On this point, ID would be falsified by the discovery of specific detailed naturalistic law-like mechanisms.

4. Evolutionists observe similarities in form, function and information across all biological organisms and infer a branching ancestral tree going back to the emergence of a single living organism from a non-living universe. IDers observe the same similarities and find them consistent with design.

5. Evolutionists observe a wide-ranging fossil record and infer a branching ancestral tree. IDers observe the sudden appearance of various kinds of organisms and the relative stasis of them in the fossil record and infer that the steady gradual increase in biological complexity posited by Darwin did not occur. IDers also observe that the fossilized structure of an organism tells us very little, if anything, about the molecular information that created that form.

6. Religious evolutionists conclude that God used evolution to “create” living organisms and that God’s “fingerprints” are not empirically observable.

7. Evolutionists and IDers agree that scientists should continue to investigate the details of life at the molecular level to better understand exactly how it works throughout an organism’s life cycle.

Unfortunately, many of the discussions of evolution and ID are characterized on both sides by deliberate or inadvertent misrepresentations, ad hominem attacks and confusion about the nature of science when it investigates historical events. I hope this short summary helps both groups better understand one another.

Walter Smith


A point to remember

Editor: As our legislators start to talk about and work on reforming the actions of lobbyist, we need to remember that no lobbyist has any power unless it is given to him by some elected or appointed government official.

Gus Delaloye


Seeing Raulston in action

Editor: I have worked with Terry Raulston for over 10 years as a manager at SBC.

I have seen Terry manage from 13 to 28 employees during this time. Terry has done an excellent job of managing employees, managing a million-dollar -plus annual budget and managing a fleet of vehicles.

Terry was also an excellent councilmember for six years. During these six years, he worked hard to represent the citizens of Rockwall. Terry made sure our taxes were not raised and our quality of life improved. I saw Terry also fight issues that would have had a negative impact on the citizens of Rockwall County.

Terry’s compassion to serve his fellow citizens is obvious by his track record. Terry’s master plan does great justice to improve the office of justice of the peace, Precincts 2 and 3.

I ask you to join me in supporting Terry Raulston for justice of the peace, Precincts 2 and 3, because he will represent all of Rockwall County as he did so well representing us, the citizens of the city of Rockwall.

Early voting begins Feb. 21 at the historic Courthouse.

Michael John


Beaty well qualified

Editor: We feel it is a privilege to write this letter in high recommendation for Nancy Beaty to serve as our justice of the peace in Precincts 2 and 3 in Rockwall County.

She is a family person, community leader, volunteer in numerous organizations and just a wonderful individual. She is educated in all aspects concerning her jobs throughout life, and she is dedicated to every endeavor she undertakes and makes them better.

She is of strong character and discipline; she will put forth hard and rewarding work to make the justice of the peace office in Precincts 2 and 3 a proud, organized and improved office.

She will work in conjunction will all organizations that the justice of the peace is connected with. Rockwall County needs to keep going forward to be even a better and greater city than it is now and under her leadership this can be done.

Please join us in voting for Nancy Beaty for justice of the peace.

Barbara and Bill Stewart


Can’t believe it

Editor: I can’t get over some of the material coming out about a few of our candidates for office.

Scott Self filed his “Appointment of a Campaign Treasurer by a Candidate” form on Dec. 28 with “office sought” left blank on the form. He then filed again the same form on Jan 2. He wrote on this form, “left blank on advice /purpose of district attorney.” After he drew a line through this statement on the form, he wrote Rockwall County judge.

It is my understanding that a candidate can keep his previous office if a filing is received in 2006. This means, folks, while watching out for Rockwall, he watched out for “Self” and now can draw his salary throughout his campaign.

On Jan. 18, he filed an “Candidate/Officeholder Report: Support and Totals.” He reported absolutely no expenses or contributions in his campaign. Were his signs free? Is no one supporting him financially? I want the name of the sign company that made those free signs so the other candidates will have a chance at that same advantage.

Last week, the three newspapers in Rockwall were flooded with articles with endorsements for Nancy Beaty. I think this looks suspicious and timely. The newspaper article in “The Dallas Morning News” on Jan. 28 states a commissioner’s relative was involved in three arson fires in early December. By not stepping up to the plate and confessing this person was her own son, she left all the commissioners relatives being cast in doubt. As reported by the Dallas Morning News, Nancy Beaty benefitted, with her husband, Bruce, from “free?” lodging at a Mexican resort city provided by a contractor/friend seeking business on a proposed county government center. I think that does not give credit to her character.

As time goes on, we will hear more on all the candidates. Pity this is labeled “just politics.”

Susie Harrison


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