I've been discussing how we seem to have lost our collective minds here in Oregon. I've talked about our messed up tax situation, and about how this year's ballot measures represent the extent to which we've allowed an antitax manic and irresponsible fucknozzle named Bill Sizemore to capture our public discourse.
I didn't talk about the WORST of this years initiatives: Measure 63.
This...this...I honestly can come up with a term bad enough to describe it. This thing proposes to exempt $35,000-per-year worth of "home improvements" from permits and inspections, except for electric wiring.
Always wanted to build that cantilever deck over the ravine? Engineering? Who needs it? That's what Home Depot is for!! That new bathroom? Get your "Plumbing for Dummies" and your plumber's snake and drill, baby, drill! Roofing? FUCK!! MEXICANS DO IT!! SO CAN YOU!!!
I never write letters to the editor; waste of time, especially here given The Worst Newspaper in the World. But this dog? I had to. So:
To the Editor:
This year we Oregonians are presented with yet another in the series of ballot measures presented by Mr. Bill Sizemore; in particular Ballot Measure 63.
This proposal, exempting homeowners from getting building permits when house improvements made each year are less than a self-declared $35,000, sounds seductively commonsensical and moderate. I am here, as a professional engineering geologist and homeowner, to tell you that professionally and personally, these typically deceptive Sizemore claims are flat wrong.
Professionally, much of my business results from unanticipated problems which develop after poorly planned, poorly constructed, usually unpermitted and uninspected “home improvements” are performed by the homeowners or their contractors. Personally, my own house in North Portland was “rebuilt” and “remodeled” by former owners whose incompetence as electricians was matched only by their inability as carpenters.
Building planning and permitting rules are usually crafted by our elected governments as the result of past experience with fires, building damage and financial losses incurred by dangerous and unsafe construction. Measure 63 insists that we should ignore these lessons, instead depending on every individual homeowner to decide whether to spend the extra time and money doing the job safely…or whether to work cheap and just hope that nothing goes wrong.
The electrician who repaired the unpermitted, uninspected wiring “work” done by the former owners of our home summed this up pretty well: “You didn’t have a fire. You were very lucky.” The former owners’ “home improvements” – exactly the sort of thing that Measure 63 means to make legal – forced me and my wife to pay out of our own pocket to protect ourselves and our children. The former owners saved a couple of thousand in permits and inspections. Their “work” could have cost us our lives.
Measure 63 asks us all to roll the dice and hope we all get lucky. We’ve seen this before from Bill Sizemore; he gets lucky and we all pay the price. As a professional geologist I am bound to consider your safety, the public’s safety, first in doing my job. Mr. Sizemore seems to think this is a luxury we can’t afford.
Explain to him why he’s wrong. Please vote no on Measure 63.
F.D. Chief, R.G., C.E.G.
Oregon Certified Engineering Geologist
It never got printed.
We. Are . So. Fucked.