Sunday, February 01, 2009

People who can't follow the rules

No, this isn't a post about Pachino Hill.

I've noticed quite a trend lately in both of our local papers. There have been a number of stories of people essentially complaining that they were punished for breaking the rules, laws, or ordinances of the community they live in.

Example #1. The uproar over the red light and speed cameras.
Mostly people's anger about these comes down to the feeling that its not "sporting" for the police to have automated enforcement. I'd like to point out that we don't have some inherent right to get away with breaking the laws just because there aren't police around. Don't speed or run red lights, or loan your vehicles to those that do, and you will never get an automated enforcement ticket.

Example #2. Snow removal policies bother many residents -QCTimes
This article features a landlord who hadn't shoveled his walks for 4 days after a snowstorm, and complains that the city charges him too much when they have to do something that is his responsibility. While I believe, as mentioned in the previous post, that the 10 hour rule is a bit too strict, the rule has been in place for years. It didn't just go into effect this year, and if the guy wanted to avoid the city bill he could have just shoveled his walks, as is required as part of owning a house.

Example #3. Parking headaches cause clashes in downtown Davenport -QCOnline
The guy featured in this article moved his business out of downtown after his car was towed away from the front door of his business. The reason? He had 10 unpaid parking tickets! He felt that, despite the laws, it was his right to be able to park in front of his business without paying the meter. Many people disagree with the fact that we have parking meters, but that doesn't change the fact that we have them. If he didn't want his car towed he should have followed the rules.

Example #4. Lack of notice irritates residents -QCTimes
This guy stores his junk outside and then gets upset when the city enforces their ordinances. A lot of people have been wanting the city to crack down on this kind of stuff for years, and now the paper is going to make him out to be the victim. Most of the article bemoans the fact that he didn't get the letter (since he isn't the property owner) warning him about it. If he'd kept his yard clean he wouldn't have had to worry about any letters.

The moral of these stories to me is that if people want to avoid trouble with the city they should follow the laws! Who would have thought? As I said in one of the article comment sections, from all the threats of people to leave the city over this stuff, Davenport will probably become an even better place to live.

If you feel that a certain rule is unjust, you don't need to break it to make an example of yourself. Call your alderman, run for council, or otherwise participate in the democratic process. Not shoveling your walks doesn't make you the Ghandi of city ordinances, it just makes you a jerky neighbor.


Anonymous said...

Hear Hear!

Anonymous said...

"Davenport will probably be a better place to live"? Let's drop to word probably out of that sentence. It seems that every time to city ramps up there's always someone or something that hinders progress. I say go after those clowns and those not knowing the code will be educated and those who defy will support the cities tax base.

Anonymous said...

If I was a meter maid and someone called me a nazi or gestapo I know where I basically live - all tickets all day in a one block stretch of downtown and no one would get a break. What an idiot. I wouldn't let anyone that stupid work on my car.

Anonymous said...

If the QC Times would actually do some investigation and TRY to present a fair story, this wouldn't be nearly as infuriating, but it probably wouldn't generate as much interest, either. Yake the guy with the junk in his yard, for example. I understand he had 33 tires and some junk vehicles in his yard. The city routinely takes photos of this sort of thing before any action is taken. Couldn't the Times ask for the pictures? They're probably public record. Same thing with snow on sidewalks. Of course, the city's position might seem rather reasonable if they published these.

Anonymous said...

Amen QCI! Amen! The Times has been a big kick lately taking the side of every dumb ass who breaks a common law for sake of giving him a platform to complain.

The City's side of the story is rarely presented in the headline, and it's also rarely presented as strongly in the article.

That guy downtown had an open surface parking lot within 50 yards that he could have rented space from for $20 a month. He just absolutely refused to walk more that 5 feet. Plus, what the hell are you doing taking the best parking spot to your business for YOURSELF!

Anonymous said...

QC - How do you feel about tow trucks lying in wait for drivers in posted downtown lots? Do these driver deserve immediate towing with accompanying fees and inconvenience? Just curious if this falls under the same category as the offenses you mentioned.

QuadCityImages said...

Somewhat. I don't feel much sympathy for the illegal parkers. That, however, doesn't make what Action is doing good for the well-being of downtown. I'm mostly staying off the subject though, as I know some people involved in both sides of the issue.

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is they have every right to tow those people as soon as they park there. What they don't have the right to do is unfair businesses practices like price gouging, or some of the other less than Better Business Bureau methods they've employed.

A residential parking spot downtown is no different than my driveway at home. You can't park there, no matter how bad you want to, and I'd tow your ass in a heartbeat if you did. The difference is that the company i call to do it should at least be reasonable in their price and demeanor, which is where Action is guilty as charged.

Anonymous said...

While I do believe that an owner of a business or residence has the right to their parking lots, the fees that Action Towing charges is outrageous. $160+ to get your car back is WAY too much.

The other problem is that the non-parking spaces aren't clearly marked. Look at it this way, if you go there at night and the signs aren't visible does that give Action Towing the right to take your car? If the sign isn't in clear sight, or not posted at all then it is not right.