Friday, May 18, 2007

And "The System" Rolls On

So, it's been over 100 most days for the last month and a bit, with some massive wind and dust storms... generally not the most pleasant outdoor environment, and like many Arizona residents we've neglected our yard a bit.

Note, I said "a bit"; here's the total weed growth since we last did the weeds in March(the dead branches are damage from a series of severe wind storms over the past couple months. We've been waiting for the trees to recover a bit before trimming back; and the desert scrub grass at the base of the trees is there ON PURPOSE):



Today we received a notice from the city of Scottsdale, demanding we remove the "Excessive weed growth" from our "desert landscaped" front yard by Sunday, or face a $2000 fine.

WHAT!

Well, first of all, they call THAT EXCESSIVE?

WTF Over?

Not only that, but a $2000 fine?

We're not talking about some anal HOA here. Our house was built in 1953, long before the unholy institute of unlawful prior restraint, the home owners association, was an itch in Satans scrotum.

No, this is the city of Scottsdale...

Now, I thought something was a bit fishy about that; so I started looking at city ordnances etc... and there is nothing that says they can levy a $2000 fine for weeds. The only thing I can find is a "blighted property" statute where they can charge you $2000 for allowing your property to fall into a dangerous state of disrepair or abandonment.

Sooo, they're going to declare a property "blighted" because of (and I counted them) 29 small weeds, mostly right along the edge of concrete.

Yeah, Ok, that's really gonna fly. Obviously, if I took them to court then I would win; but seriously, who's going to do that? Hell, just to take them to court, I'd have to post the fine, AND fees penalties and costs in escrow before hand.

So, grumbling, we go out in the 102 degree sun and pick the weeds. Then we notice a bunch of other folks outdoing similar things.

It seems that every house in the neighborhood got some kind of a violation notice.

Our neighbor got a notice saying he would have to pay a $600 fine for not having his house number posted properly so that it was visible from the street...

Only the house number is PAINTED IN 8" HIGH LETTERS ON THE CURB IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE.

Not only that, but it's also on his mailbox, which is on the side of his house facing the driveway. He has a set of numbers on the side facing the street as well, but one of the numerals had fallen off during a recent windstorm, and he hadn't fixed it yet.

This one was flagged because it was a "fire hazard" because "emergency services may not be able to find the address in case of emergency".

Did I mention that every address in the city is in the cities GIS database, which is GPS linked to all city vehicles, and emergency services?

We talked with him (a great guy actually. A rastaman in his early 50s who's been here for 20 years. He and his wife have a beauty salon a couple miles away, and a bunch of grown kids), and he says a few days ago a guy from the city was around looking at everyones houses, and didn't leave 'til he found violations on everybody. Then this morning he went around posting notices.

So, what would have happened if we were gone on vacation for the week?

This is your tax dollars at work ladies and gentlemen. bureaucrats have to justify their existence after all, or they could be downsized (unlikely, but hey, it could happen). Thus, they drive around every neighborhood in the city, and search every house and yard for some kind of violation.

I guess if here are no violations, then obviously they aren't doing their job; so there have to be violations.

Just like lawmakers have to make new laws... because after all, they are lawmakers right; if they arent making laws then they aren't doing their jobs...

...right?

But what about when there AREN'T any violations, or no more laws are needed?

Of course THAT would never happen, because there are ALWAYS more laws to make, and the laws are written so that EVERYONE is a violator, no matter how they try not to be; because the government cannot control you if you aren't guilty of something.

So everyone is guilty, and the system rolls on

...and more bureaucrats are hired, and more attorneys, and more prosecutors, and more officers... and the system rolls on.

Because that's what systems do. They perpetuate themselves. They create work, to ensure that there is always work. They increase work, to ensure they can always increase their empires. They justify work, to ensure they will always increase their budgets... and the system rolls on.