Friday, 07 January 2011 00:00
“We got it,” That is what our mayor and city council must have thought when they came up with this new one!
In the spirit of consolidation of services, and cost cutting initiatives, yeah right, for their constituency; they must have thought why not go all the way? Why not consolidate the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial) into just two?
Please allow me to explain!
At the public hearing portion of the Dec. 14 council meeting at which amendments of the building department fees were introduced, a citizen was questioning what was the reason why a building permit and a fee would now be required to install a fence.
The mayor’s response was quite intriguing since he suggested that it was not for the money; after all, he said that a $50 fee (amended from the originally proposed $2.50 per linear foot) would not make or break the budget. Rather the reason, he continued, is that we want to have control and prevent encroachments and litigations between abutting property owners.
To that, the person at the podium replied (correctly) that cases of encroachments and litigations were matters for the courts to decide and not a purview of a legislative body.
Here is the clincher: the mayor responded that his way was more cost effective; how did he keep a straight face is beyond me.
At this point one can only wonder what is next.
Answer: perhaps trials in the council chamber with the mayor as the judge and council persons as jurors, heck if we have the city attorney as prosecutor we are all set; small claims suits, unpaid bills, and why not? Property owners and tenants matters, city hall handles them all. Although in the case of the latter, the mayor would have to rescue himself, should he have an issue with his own landlord.