In the Register Viewpoint of Dec. 6, the editorial board wrote:
"In the end, it was about private property rights, and the park system should have taken that into account before it took the land."
To state the park system did not take into account private property rights turns a blind eye to the many courts that have ruled, without exception, in favor of the Erie Metroparks over the years. Such a blanket assumption demonstrates a very narrow bias on behalf of the editorial board.
That said, what I found even more disturbing was the statement, "In the end, it was about private property rights...." Here again the board demonstrated a very narrow bias.
We have become a people so concerned with "private property rights" that we have abandoned another principle at the foundation of our nation: namely, the common good.
As an avid user of the trail I can attest to the many, many area residents who made use of the Greenway. As a place for exercise, enjoying nature and spending time as a family, the trail certainly served the common good.
The role of government is to find a balance between private property rights and the common good. Upgrading an abandoned railway over the protests of neighbors who claimed dubious ownership (if their deeds were so clear, why didn't the lower courts rule in their favor?) is a far cry from what the board called "increased attempts to encroach on property rights."
When we as a people rediscover the balance between personal rights and the common good, perhaps we can return to the civil discourse you hope will settle this dispute. In the meantime, "private property rights" will simply be a disguise for narrow self-interest.