07 January 2009

Humpday Happenings...
Get ready for the city's "Slip N Slide" this morning, as it's going to be a wee bit on the slick side along the streets and roads.
Just last evening, the FWPD were way too busy with accidents, especially in the areas of West Jefferson and State Blvds.
Sure would be nice to bring back STUDDED snow tires or those TIRE CHAINS Philly PD used to have. No problem getting around with those babies on, I can tell you.
I've always been a firm believer that if you want to see the dark side of humanity, put someone behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Better (or worse) yet, do it in weather like THIS.
Along those lines...
City Council voted in Tom Smith as their president, with Glynn Hines as vice-president. Smith beat out Marty Bender by ONE vote.
I noticed Tim Pape with some facial hair...must have gone KLINGON for the holidays with that goatee.
Not pretty, Tim...not pretty one bit.
And the City Council voted for the "parking amnesty" program.
Interesting thing, I found out that the city DOES NOT BOOT vehicles in violation, unlike damn near every other city I've been to. And clerk Sandy Kennedy had a good reason (I think)...it's due to all the LAWSUITS the city "would" get.
Well, that follows along the yellow brick road, right, Toto?
I mean it makes sense NOT to punish wrong behavior by enforcing a law or ordinance for fear of legal reprisal.
Oh, no...wait...it DOESN'T make sense.
Yet our city (Fort Wayne) does it anyway.
You know, this city's got a pretty damn good parking plan in place....it's CHEAP (to park) and it's relatively AVAILABLE, which is something that doesn't exist anywhere in Philadelphia, where parking laws are enforced.
And the ticket for meter parking (here) is ONLY FIVE FRIGGING DOLLARS!
Yet people have neglected paying that (even after the price doubles to TEN dollars), and in some cases, this violation occurred close to TEN YEARS AGO. You got it good here, people, and the LEAST you can do is pay the hell up when YOU are wrong. It's not going to break your bank anytime soon, that's for sure.
On the flip side, it PAYS (you) to ignore the parking meters, the violation and the fines, because the city can't do much about it. Your car won't be booted, and as a result, will not be towed away or otherwise confiscated.
Sweet deal, huh?
And all due to the fact that the CITY is AFRAID of LAWSUITS. I say counter sue the assholes back then. THEY did wrong by skirting the law and not paying up.
Oh, but that would mean that OTHER ordinances might have to be enforced more stringently...like the NOISE ordinance.
Yeah, imagine if THIS city followed cities that actually CONFISCATE the offending vehicles for noise law violations...now THAT I could get on board with REAL fast, but since many departments within the city are scared shitless to enact any REAL enforcement, we (the people) have to muddle through, accepting these "token" enforcements that slap the wrists of offenders every once in a while.
Sure says a lot when officers repeatedly tell the SAME PEOPLE to turn their car stereo down, after neighbors repeatedly call it in. I have NEVER witnessed anyone getting cuffed and stuffed after being pulled over for a noise violation, or for that matter, even when the officer went to a HOUSE that was loud. The officers stop, they do the speech aka "turn it down", they leave, and the noise soon returns.
Same goes for parking scofflaws in this city...they just IGNORE the law...period.
Just ask a person with a VALID REASON to have a HANDICAPPED PLATE to tell you about how all the times they have tried to park in handicapped areas only to find the spots occupied by those with NO HANDICAP.
At least that costs more..about $50 (it could be a LOT more, like OTHER cities that have fines AS HIGH AS $250, but our City Council voted the current price in years ago, so blame them).
For some odd reason, this city is scared of it's own shadow when it comes to enforcing laws, ordinances, and basically telling the morons living in this town that THEY have broken the law and must pay the price.
The people who flagrantly thumb their noses at the laws in this city aren't going to be changing their stripes anytime soon, either, so this city better get on the stick and start cracking down on those who would ignore the law.
And they need to start at the TOP of the judicial system. Get some judges with some BALLS that know HOW to creatively sentence people to penitence that is required. Then we need a prosecutor that knows HOW to prosecute....often and with a strong arm.None of this toss every case out if there's the slightest notion it can't be tried.
Hell, the defendants have more chances than you can shake a stick at...gamble a little, you might surprise yourself and win a lot more cases!
We need to further empower the police in order to allow them to fully perform the job we've paid them to do, namely ENFORCE the law...and arrest those who break it...period. Screw the racial profiling, because that's nonsense (and a convenient tool used in ethnic neighborhoods to get a "hands off" aspect from law-enforcement). LET the police do what they're trained to do.
And we need lawmakers that make GOOD laws, and not some frivolous nonsense (like this light amendment to the noise ordinance). Let's not allow a handful to dictate policy for the masses, shall we?
That is certainly NOT a democratic republic. You know it, and I know it.
As long as this "lawsuit mentality" reigns in our cities, don't expect things to ever get BETTER. When a city, along with it's laws, codes, and ordinances can be "held hostage" by the lawbreakers who will drop a legal suit at City hall's doorstep soon as look at you, nothing will change for the better.
When all of us begin to reverse this trend, THEN, and only then will these laws, written to protect all of us mean more than the ink used to write them, and the paper they were written on.
It's nothing short of common sense.
And it's long overdue.

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