Don’t give up ‘essential Liberty’ for ‘temporary Safety’


I am voicing my opinion regarding the [issue of] the county enforcing rental property restrictions. I do not own any rental property in Page County, or elsewhere, nor do I belong to a political party.

The order issued by the Page County Board of Supervisors to restrict property rentals to a 30-day minimum rental period is an illegal order and in direct violation of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, wherein sole authority of interstate commerce is explicitly a delegated power and the sole responsibility of the federal government, not the states, and certainly not a local county under the domain of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Therefore, Page County government has no authorized or legal dominion over interstate commerce whatsoever. It is bad enough the Board of Supervisors issued this unconstitutional order. They have extended their threatening rhetoric and issued a follow-up illegal enforcement action directing the Sheriff’s Office to enforce an edict in direct violation of our Constitution. To add to the citizens’ misery, the Board of Supervisors now threatens to remove the business licenses of citizens they deem to be in violation of this unconstitutional edict.

Think about this: The Board of Supervisors have decided they have an explicit right to remove your source of income without replacing that lost income from Page County.

Even the Virginia Governor’s Executive Orders 53 and 55 on coronavirus do not imply any interference with the Commerce Clause. How does Page County plan to replace tax revenue lost from personal income loss, raising all our taxes once again?

I will say this to those who are being crushed from their “stolen” rental property income — do not stand for this autocratic grab of unconstitutional power, fight back.

Perhaps a good starting point would be to submit written objections directly to the Board of Supervisors by email and/or any other means. Beyond that, other measures such as a class action lawsuit could be considered.

The Page County Board of Supervisors have previously made extremely costly blunders like burdening us the taxpayers with a $34 million debt incurred from losing a lawsuit to Wilson Partners (founded by President Bush’s brother Marvin P Bush) and their affiliate WSM (Waste Service Management) concerning the Battle Creek Landfill.

Furthermore, consider the Board’s more recent approval of the production of a solar panel farm, even when the vast majority of our fellow citizens adamantly opposed this project and packed the Board meeting halls to protest. The unanimous opinions of the citizenry were flatly dismissed and the Board proceeded with their approval anyway even though Page County will in no way receive one single watt of energy produced.

Is it any wonder that we question their decisions and tend to always suspect corruption?

We citizens of Page County are not idiots. We know the risks, restrictions, federal guidelines, and other essential information concerning the coronavirus to make our own informed intelligent decisions.

We also know that an economic depression resulting from the actions of ill-informed and/or incompetent leadership would be far worse than any virus imaginable.

Even worse than both of those, would be the loss of individual liberty. It is the one thing that has successfully bonded us together since 1776. I close with this quote from Benjamin Franklin; “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”.

Kenneth Chumley

Luray, Va.

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1 Comment

  1. This is a great article and eye opening! The County issued order has made a tough situation much worse! I plan to reach out to the Board of Supervisors. I hope other County residents voice their concerns too and The Board of Supervisors are listening!

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