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Friday, August 31, 2007

This is a joke, right?

A few days ago, I may have given the impression that only one of our city councilors is ridiculous. I would like to confirm that this is by no means a problem restricted to expense statements.

I could barely get through this morning's paper because I was so infuriated that the citizens of Name of Town Withheld have elected such silly people to represent us. In the past, they've suggested that real-estate developers should be encouraged to build new subdivisions that don't have driveways. Their thinking was that people should be able to decide whether they want driveways. I am all for the free market, but that was just dumb. Now it's getting worse.

Councilor Paul Falvo has been pushing the idea of a spitting bylaw for several weeks. I agree that spitting is disgusting and that there's far too much saliva downtown. However, I'm not sure how enforceable this type of bylaw would be. I admit that I haven't given the matter much thought, but it seems like a waste of effort for very little benefit.

Councilor Lydia Bardak is also against the bylaw, but for a different reason. She believes that this type of law would unfairly target homeless people. She also points out that spitting is not a criminal act. Boy, this really helps. We should review all city bylaws to make sure that none of them would apply to homeless people. Also, city bylaws should only cover things that are already covered under the Criminal Code.

Our old friend Councilor Kevin Kennedy thinks a spitting bylaw is easy to mock, and he's against it. Instead, he is suggesting that the city should set up public toilets to keep people from peeing and pooping on the sidewalks. Another fabulous idea.

But the best suggestion of all comes from Councilor Shelagh Montgomery, who wants a new bylaw to keep people from idling their cars. We already have an anti-idling bylaw that kicks in after 20 minutes, but Councilor Montgomery wants to cut this to three minutes. She says the 20-minute rule is unenforceable. The municipal-enforcement manager disagrees, but really, what does he know? Three minutes it is, then! She wants to move on this right away. It is great to know that we have a city council that is so dedicated to really really stupid ideas.

As Steve will attest, I do not like to idle our vehicles: it doesn't really warm up the engine and it wastes gas. However, I can hardly wait to see Councilor Montgomery's proposed bylaw. It probably will not include any penalties; rather, people who idle their vehicles will be encouraged to seek counseling. If there are penalties, there will probably be a sliding scale based on income. People who earn more money will get heavy fines and a whip-lashing to their lower backs. People who live in their cars will get an earnest talking-to and a fistful of cash to show city council's support. They're the ones who really NEED the money, you see. Don't you know how expensive gasoline is?

3 comments:

- A former co-worker...you know who said...

Placing a bylaw on idling vehicles won't impact the homeless, so it's sure to pass :P Although spending council's time on something not relevant to homeless people may be discrimination...

Spitting bylaws get debated, yet we can close off the only artery through town to traffic, even though only one side is being worked on for water/sewer lines...oh yeah...not to mention school zones on the same main road causing traffic to back up into and out of town each and everyday...

I think you've forgotten to mention the 'lets ban grocery bags' suggestion too...along with the we need a $700,000 tunnel under the highway so skiers and snowmobilers don't have to go over the road moronic suggestions...

I won't even start on the bylaw crazies...

I love this town more and more with each day I spend here...but we know I already think council are nuts...

Miss Lyndsy said...

Is it really that uneventful in your town? Why can't they focus on building a new playground or the recycling program? Or just get excited that there isn't anything so terrible happening?

I thought Orono was bad with their ordinance to restrict residency to no more than three unrelated people...

Megan said...

Let me guess. This ordinance is their attempt to do one of the following things:

1) Cut down on the number of students who live off campus.

2) Ensure that anything more than a threesome will be too difficult to attempt, thereby freeing up the morals police to conduct more sting operations in the back of the Arby's.