Thursday, January 08, 2004

Talking Junk

The county commissioners have actually weakened the junk-car ordinance.

The old junk-car ordinance (in force until July) did not allow any junk cars. Theoretically. But enforcement was in the hands of the County's Planning & Inspections Department, which quite simply did not enforce the ordinance.

The attempt to strengthen the ordinance started with Sweeting and Wilkie, and they included in the original new draft a provision that enforcement would be by the Sheriff's Department.

The new board of commissioners, in their zeal to repudiate everything that Sweeting and Wilkie stood for, didn't like that provision on enforcement. Allen Trivette said he didn't want "cocky" deputies bossing county people around. Instead, enforcement is left with Planning and Inspections, which presumably can continue its sterling level of performance. Only now there's a much higher threshold for malfeasance.

Also, the "new and improved" junk-car ordinance allows up to five junked cars, as long as they are "hidden from view," which can be behind fences or under tarps. The new ordinance also says that the commissioners are passing this new law because they are concerned with the public health and safety. Which leads logically to this question: How are five junk cars under tarps LESS dangerous to the public health and safety than five that are in plain view?

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