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Feb 22

Enforce This!

Comments (0) 12:00 AM posted by admin |

When I came home yesterday, I had to shovel snow from the sidewalk. It wasn’t my sidewalk that needed shoveling. It was the rental property next to me whose sidewalk needed clearing. I’m not looking to publicize this because I want accolades or commendations or the key to the City. (Although I would not turn down the chance to add to my wall of useless awards like my April 22, 1995 “Guest of the Day” from the Sheraton Suites Country Plaza Hotel in Kansas City, MO or my Honorable Mention for the 1964 Booker Prize.) I didn’t shovel because there are elderly people living next door. I didn’t shovel because I was getting paid to do it. I did it because if I didn’t do it, no one would.In keeping with the spirit of the Vacant Buildings Ordinance and why City Council should vote against it, I wanted to take a moment to point out another ordinance that goes unenforced in my neighborhood. To be fair to the City, from the emails that have been passed on to me, no one from the City or the ordinance department knows for sure what the ordinance for snow removal actually says or when it should be enforced. A copy of the ordinance that was passed in 1979 can be found here for your review. If the fine is still only fifteen bucks, I understand why they wouldn’t venture out in the cold to issue citations.

It makes you wonder why a City on the brink of bankruptcy and being placed into State receivership doesn’t want to collect revenue that these violations might create. I don’t recall where the Blue Ribbon Committee on City Finances recommended passing up on what is basically free money. On a more serious note, had the City been enforcing ordinances on my block for the past four years, they probably could have made up the extra five grand the City spent on picking Plant and Moran to study a city income tax.

The City employs FIVE city planners and TWO paid planning interns, but only ONE full-time ordinance enforcement officer. Maybe after the next snowfall, the City can send one of the planners out to shovel the sidewalk next to my house.

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