Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Snow scoff-laws

The white stuff is piling up alarmingly this winter! Eight and a half feet in Boston!  Robert D. Behn, a lecturer at the Harvard JK School of Govt, writes in Government Executive about how local govts handle people who don't do their civic duty and shovel.

If a home or business owner does not clear the sidewalk--people have to detour into the street and that is dangerous.

I remember in DC, one side of my block on Connecticut Ave, at least eight stores and a library, did not shovel...it turned to ice--very treacherous.

In one Massachusetts city, overnight snow must be cleared by 10 AM. Snow in the daytime? Get rid of it by 10 PM. First offense $50. Third--$200!

But this same city also decided to name and shame--anyone who did not shovel got a big ugly sign on their door.

Still, some owners say the sidewalk is not owned by them and should not be their problem.

Behn had a great quote from H.L. Menchen--"Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody might be looking."

Even if this does not faze you--would what your neighbors think of you be a motivator?

Should govertnment--some argue--even be in the business of shaming citizens? Well--check out the feds--they do it everyday. So I guess the answer is yes.

Aw--just shovel... You don't need some Harvard guy to tell you.

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