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Elderly Man Evicted from His Land for Living off the Grid

December 3rd, 2010

By Rady Ananda

CLASS WAR FILES: On Nov. 30, the Madison County (Indiana) Planning Commission evicted a 72-year-old man from his 38 acres, reported Wish TV. County Prosecutor Thomas Broderick says the Alexandria resident, Richard L. Thompson, broke all kinds of laws -- no electricity, no septic system, no running water, and (lions and tigers and bears!) he lived in a camper on land he bought from his parents.

In what is clearly a land grab, since not much tax can be assessed on unimproved land, the authorities promised to come on November 30th, but did not show. However, that day Mr. Thompson agreed to sell his land and move. "I want to get the hell out of here now. There's too much hate here."

According to its website, the Madison County Planning Commission advises the Board of Commissioners on development regulations and implements those regulations which govern land use and building construction in the unincorporated areas in Madison County.

The Planning Commission also has the power to waive the public sewer and/or water requirement, which it refused to do in this case. Instead, it filed suit against Thompson in July of this year in Superior Court 2.

Global Political Awareness posted this contact info:

If you would like to contact the Madison County officials to express your outrage please click here.

To contact Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels office, please click here.

Phone Contact:
Madison County Community "Justice" Center at 765-649-7341
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels 1-317-232-4567

People have been calling the various government offices and several plan to attend the Madison County Commissioner's meeting next Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 10 AM in the Commissioners Courtroom in the Madison County Government Center, 16 E. 9th Street, Anderson, IN 46016.

One person who called the Planning Commission (765-641-9480) said that it issued the following statement, prepared by the county attorney:

"A zoning violation was filed against Mr Thompson by the planning dept after an investigation commenced. After two hearings in superior court, the court entered an order that Mr Thompson vacate the recreational vehicle as his permanent residence. Mr Thompson has the right to appeal through the courts. As of Nov 30 Mr Thompson said he was moving out of the RV. That doesn’t mean Mr Thompson can’t go back on the property to feed and water his horses. Also Mr Thompson can park his RV on the parcel; he just cannot reside there as his permanent residence.”

Just over 130,000 people live in Madison County, which covers 453 square miles in central Indiana, per Wikipedia. Alexandria has 5,600 residents with an average household income of just over $40,000 a year, per City Data.

Madison County Board of Commissioners are elected in staggered terms, each serving a four-year term. The current seats are held by:

Jeffrey L. Hardin (D, 2009-2012). Hardin was arrested last year for allegedly beating up his daughter. In 2008, LaSalle Bank began mortgage foreclosure proceedings against him.

Paul F. Wilson (D, 1999-2010). Wilson lost his re-election bid to Republican Stephanie Owens in last month's election. Owens will take office in January.

John M. Richwine (R, 2009-2012). Richwine also serves as a director of the Chamber of Commerce for Anderson and Madison Counties, and is a board member of Workone Central, covering eight counties.

The Planning Commission comprises nine members, five of whom are local residents appointed by the Board of Commissioners. The other four are drawn from local government: a County Council member, a County Commissioner, the County Surveyor and the County Extension Agent.

Current Planning Commissioners include Wesley Lickens, Paul Wilson, Phil Isom, Larry Crenshaw, John Simmermon, Mark Gary, John Orick and Patrick Manship.

Evictee Dick Thompson owns a bird, a dog, and a couple horses. "I'm a country boy," he says.

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