City bureaucrats are just waiting for a nosy neighbor to complain and give them an excuse to swoop in so they can harass and persecute.
Picking on an old lady with a recently-broken pelvis is such a low form of cowardice!
But some nosy neighbor, empowered by code that disparages property rights and encourages bullying, has decided that he is “bothered” by the great-grandmother sitting on her porch.
This shows you that our troubles with the big government really do begin on Main Street.
Rose St. George is 93 years old and enjoys sitting in the plush leather chair that time and sunshine have turned from green to beige on the porch of her Irondequoit home.
“It’s very comfortable,” she said the other day as she demonstrated sitting, propped up by a thin yellow throw pillow. “Sometimes you get a nice breeze.”
St. George doesn’t get out much anymore, not since she broke her pelvis and had those falls. So, she sits and takes in the scenery on Ellinwood Drive, where she’s lived since 1961.
“I don’t bother anybody,” she said.
Ah, but it did bother someone. And that complaint got the attention of the “code enforcement officer” who is threatening a $350 fine.
The code, in this case, was a “bulk refuse by-law” that said that trash could not be in front of the house. The son, who lives with his mother, had been using the plastic trash bin for weeding his front yard, but abandoned the task due to heat. He agrees that the bin should not be left out front and is happy to move it.
But now it is too late. The “code enforcement officer” took it upon himself to decide that a chair being used for sitting is somehow properly defined as “bulk refuse.” That is obviously false. The woman sits on the chair outside because it is comfortable and she wants to be able to be outside her home when the weather permits.
[Jeff] McCann [the town’s director of development services] said such a chair runs afoul of Section 192-19: “No person shall accumulate or permit the accumulation of refuse upon any premises owned or occupied by him or her …”
That is obvious nonsense. Once again we have a case where “the rule of law” means that the people who rule simply invoke whatever law they want in order to do whatever they want. The woman keeps a chair on her porch and uses it to sit on her porch. The code enforcers are just thugs and would be treated as such by townspeople in a civilized country.
However, there is good news. It looks like, with the publicity that has occurred, the town enforcers are not going to pursue the chair if the trash bin issue is taken care of. McCann told KDSK,
“If the house was in compliance with the exception of the chair being on the porch, I’m not sure that would be something that we’d be interested in pursuing in and of itself.”
I’m glad the town isn’t going to torment an old lady any further, but the chair is not out of compliance!