Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Grass It Is A'Growin'
Watch out Villagers the Grass Police are taking prisoners! Or, well, at least threatening imprisonment! My lovely lawn guy (yes, I have a lawn guy!) (and he is lovely!) has informed me that the village sent out at least three of these letters in the past week, and those are just the ones he knew about.
1) First off, in my world we capitalize the "P" in New Paltz.
2) Does the village really need to yell in ALL CAPS in bold and italics and underlined about the need to remedy the situation IMMEDIATELY!
3) Does the village really need to threaten "fine or imprisonment or both" for this offense?
4) I spoke to (confidentially, due to the extreme social stigma) two high grass offenders (high grass, now that's funny) and neither were notified by phone or any other more personal way of warning before receiving this overly formal, overly harsh form letter. I thought we lived in a quaint little village in which we can expect neighborly, intimate relations (funny again) with our government... Guess not.
5) I have to wonder if we spent more tax dollars policing this and filing paperwork and paying postage than we generated in revenues gained from the fines.
6) Have you seen the code - do you know how tall your grass is legally allowed to grow? Guess what, 3 inches:
124-1. Maintenance of Grass Lawns
Grass shall not be allowed to grow in excess of three inches. This provision shall not apply to land under cultivation, naturally wooded areas or undeveloped areas which are at least 200 feet distant from any occupied building or residence.
Now that is just crazy silly for so many reasons, not the least of which is the burning of fossil fuels on a much too frequent basis for pretty lawns.
7) What is the big picture question here? Are we resorting to taxing quality of life issues in order to beef up the budget in these recessionary times? Jeez, that would be really pathetic.
(I got a parking ticket the other day at the municipal lot - the machine would not take money before 9:00am, I was there at 8:30am and was not able to run out and put money in the machine at 9:00am. My silly day job has prevented me from getting down to Village Hall to contest the ticket -- what do you think my chances are?)
kt Tobin Flusser