Letters: Help the Barners
On Sept. 26, I watched in outrage as Silt Mayor Rick Aluise made one of the worst political punts I have ever seen in a local government. He pointed out that he would answer no questions regarding the Barner home and what the town will do to resolve the issue, and even suggested that the Barners pushed harder on their insurance company and file a complaint with the insurance commissioner. He said that this was not the town’s issue but an insurance battle. But this is not an insurance battle, it is a matter of liability.
If I have a dying tree in my yard and the wind knocks it onto my neighbor’s house, I am liable for the damages. I will hope my insurance will cover it, but if not, I am still liable.
If I run a red light and crash into another vehicle, I am liable for the damages. Again, I will look to my insurance company, but I am still liable.
In the case of the Barner residence, the water main broke. This system is the town of Silt’s responsibility and the town of Silt is responsible for the damages this system causes. Just like the rest of us, Silt will look to its insurance company and hope that it will cover the cost, but the town of Silt is still liable.
Mr. Mayor, you told the town that your ability to act is limited because lawyers are involved. This is not true. A lawyer is legal counsel and representation. Counsel cannot stop you from doing the right thing, and if it tries, you should find a new lawyer.
You told the Barners to contact the insurance commissioner in an attempt to get their insurance to foot the bill. But their insurance shouldn’t have to, the town of Silt’s should. Has the town of Silt done this with its insurance?
Please stop hiding behind your lawyers and political dodge tactics and man up before a valued member of the community loses his home due to your unwillingness to accept responsibility. Help the Barners to repair their home before it is a lost cause.
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