Nebraska’s leadership crisis |

Nebraska’s leadership crisis

Scott Japp
Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Director

How deep does the corruption in Nebraska run? Since the passing of LB1098, “Senator Carlson’s Water Task Force,” the NRDs’ zeal for power and redistribution of the wealth has only intensified. Why do the NRDs persist in threatening citizens with property forfeitures if they fail to comply with the government’s heavy hand? Since when does depriving landowners of the fruits of their labor so that private developers can make a buck constitute good public stewardship? Various NRD staff and board members argue that they are just doing the people’s business, but this is nothing more than rhetoric. It has to be. Otherwise, why would the Upper Elkhorn NRD overtly halt the implementation of new irrigation wells in the face of rising groundwater levels?

Why can’t our state and local government agencies understand that this is unnecessarily hindering economic growth and exacerbating the local tax burden? Today, the property taxes for a house purchased 60 years ago in Kennard, Neb., exceed its original value. And, as we all know, agricultural property taxes are through the roof. Where are our state legislators with viable relief? Reading from special-interest cue cards, partying with lobbyists, hiding out in the broom closet, sleeping at the wheel, driving drunk? All of these are apt metaphors.

An election is coming up in November. Do we really want to vote for the same old recalcitrant nonsense? Right now, the lathered-up political machine is out touting its effusively flawed cadre of oblivious sleepwalkers for re-election, but what have we gained from this so-called “leadership?” The answer is ever-higher spending, burgeoning welfare programs, no property tax relief, an exodus of recent college graduates and senior citizens, and a legislature that codifies into law a system that grants NRDs with the callous power to usurp individual property rights. Suffice it to say, we need legislative representation that believes in the notion that “Rising Water Raises All Ships,” not mindless lackeys who prodigiously cater to special interest groups looking to suckle on the government teat. Nebraska’s motto is “Equality Before The Law.” It’s time we operationalized the phrase and started demanding it from our government.

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