I was dumbfounded by the actions of our city last week when a neighbor called and told me he got a letter from the city saying he didn’t have street address numbers on his house or mailbox.
He was in trouble. He received a citation.
My neighbor said exactly what I was thinking: “Don’t they have bigger fish to fry?”
This was the city being pro-active in the worst possible way. Codes didn’t get a complaint that somebody had high grass or had a car parked backwards into the drive with expired tags – those are two things that can get you in some real hot water with the authorities. No, somebody inside City Hall dreamed up this scheme that I believe is tantamount to harassment.
The certified letter cost the city $7.85. My neighbor said his letter carrier told him that scads of these certified letters are being delivered across the city, maybe more than 1,000. If this is indeed true, the city just burned eight grand of the taxpayers’ money.
My neighbor told me he promptly sent an email to the mayor and council asking about the citation but has yet to hear back from anyone.
One person on social media observed that the mayor/council was powerless to do anything that involves the day-to-day operations of the city. That job is exclusively the domain of the city manager.
Rubbish, I say. The mayor/council makes policy in the form of ordinances and resolutions. Those documents are not, repeat are not, carved in stone. They can be amended. Plus there’s this thing called the budget where mayor and council set spending. If our elected officials don’t like a program they don’t have to fund it!
Codes is driven by complaints. Typically, staff members don’t leave the friendly confines of their office unless somebody out in the public is unhappy and has a beef.
The liquor store sign was a prime example. Folks were unhappy over the sign installed on John Ross at a rear entrance/exit to East Ridge Wine and Spirits. Folks complained. Where was codes when this sign went up? Last time I looked, any business sign had to be approved by somebody at the city.
The incumbent responded by taking to social media saying the city knew nothing about the liquor store sign. When it was brought to the city’s attention, the sign was removed.
Remember the last time City Hall sent out certified letters to thousands of citizens? I do. It was to notify residents that their homes were in a district that was subject to redevelopment by the East Ridge Housing and Redevelopment Authority. That didn’t end well, did it?
Somebody is sound asleep at the wheel up there at City Hall. Maybe the roosters crowing in my neighborhood will provide a wake-up call. Oh, it’s against city code to have roosters, if anybody is paying attention.