Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Container Mania

Here in Fresno, officials have gone off the deep end in an effort to get folks to stop leaving their trash containers at the curb all week. In their zeal, they are now telling citizens that they will have to pay a fine even if their containers are neatly stored alongside their home as long as it is still possible for somebody to still see them. What a crock of excessive government!
Here is a response I got from my councilman when I wrote about this very issue:

Thank you for your comments on this subject.

The City of Fresno staff (621-CITY) will be pleased to come to your house to provide suggestions as to how you can screen your refuse cans. The cost and effort will be minimal.

Constituents tell us over and over again how they do not like to see these cans from the sidewalk/street.

Your interest in the City of Fresno is sincerely appreciated.


Councilmember, District 2
2600 Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 621-8000

The key phrase here is that "the cost and effort will be minimal." To me, these are highly relative terms. The cost and effort might be "minimal" for an able-bodied college professor. Can the same be said for someone with physical challenges living on a more limited income? And, if the cost and effort are truly "minimal", maybe the city should consider footing the bill??
My main problem with this whole issue is that the city is going tooo far. The city's own website has "before" and "after" pictures that show people with containers left out by the street or the end of the driveway. They don't even dare to show someone with containers neatly places alongside their home. Check it out at this link:

Given the narrow gates and walkways alongside many homes, the city is way out of bounds in forcing people to make what the councilmember has surely mislabeled as "minimal cost and effort". The ordinance should be revised to permit homeowners to store their containers along the sides of their homes as long as they are behind the frontline of their house.


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