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Jul 11

Karma & Ordinance Enforcement

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

You’re going to love this story. It’s about karma.

I was recently the victim of a hit and run. Now before you get all excited about hearing a tale of blood and gore, let’s just say that I was a victim of a hit and run in my own driveway.

Let me also remind you that I complain a lot about ordinance violations. I’ve complained to Ron Monroe, the ordinance officer. I’ve complained to his boss, Charles Boulard. I’ve complained to Nathan Vought becuase he’s the City Planner in charge of zoning. I’ve emailed the mayor and members of City Council. I’ve done a bit of grandstanding and complained during City Council meetings. And naturally, I’ve complained about it here. I’ll talk about ordinance violations to whoever will listen to me. I even thought about renting a booth at the Heritage Festival so I could complain to anyone who might walk by.

I’ll admit that I’ve probably annoyed everyone I’ve complained to about this, but I feel that my quality of life is being impacted and there are ordinances on the books for a reason. But now that someone cracked into my car and sped away, I don’t look like such a boob anymore.

The circumstances that led up to this were pretty simple. The house next to mine is a rental. Before you start putting words in my mouth about people who rent, let me just say I was a renter here a long time before buying a home. In a tiny sixty foot driveway, there were seven cars parked as tightly as humanly possible. They were on the grass. They were on the sidewalk. They were in my driveway. They were everywhere. I have to admit I have this bizarre pet peeve about people who pack the driveway like sardines when there is a ton of parking on the street. It’s wrong of me to feel that way, but it’s my problem and I’m working on it. Anyway. Everyone begins to leave, and instead of leaving in an organized fashion, everyone tries to get out of this tiny driveway as fast as they can even if it means driving around other cars that are idling. In my dream world of people who park on the street, people could leave whenever they chose to because of the magical powers of parallel parking.

So I’m sitting in my study. I call it my study instead of an office because unlike the office at my place of employment, I don’t do “work” there. I thought about calling it the library because it has most of our bookcases and a desk, but study won out in the end. Regardless, that’s not terribly important to this story. The bottom line is that I could see outside to the driveway. I sat there and watched as this one car backed up. It was one of those cases where you know what’s going to happen, but you can’t stop it. All of a sudden, my car starts shaking back and forth because someone hammered it. By the time I could get outside, the car had slunk away into the night. I’m not even concerned about how stupid it is to commit a hit and run in your neighbor’s driveway. Seriously. Did they think I wouldn’t track them down and dish out my brand of vigilante justice? Whatever.

The one bright spot of the night was Officer Brad Compton of the Ypsilanti Police Department. I had to sweet talk the dispatcher into sending someone out to my house, but the officer that came out was the nicest and most helpful person in law enforcement that I’ve ever encountered. His demeanor just may end my boycott of the annual Rubber Duck Race.

It’s kind of sad that in a City that is as broke as a joke, they won’t enforce existing ordinances even when asked to by fine, upstanding members of the community. It’s even sadder that the City seems to pass ordinances all the time because they see value in them. I’m probably most sad because it was my car and not yours.

Look. I’m not going to pretend the sky is falling because someone did $787.92 worth of damage to my car, and then split. It’s not like the City hired a contractor to pave a parking lot, then that contractor damaged the foundation of my bakery, and then refused to help put things right. That would piss me off. I also know accidents happen, but this one was preventable. I’m not blaming the City for the damage done to my car. I was able to track down the person, or perp as we like to say in law enforcement, who backed into my front fender, front door, and rear door. I will be able to shake them down for the damages too. But I do blame the City for not enforcing the ordinances they felt so compelled to enact.

Now I’m a bit nervous about discussing anything else on here for fear of cosmic retribution. If I’m not careful, the rest of Ypsilanti just might secede from me.

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