Monday, February 04, 2013

Panhandling in the middle of the street about to be abolished. That and porch furniture.

And that's fine by me, with a caveat or two.

Actually, there's no second-guessing the panhandling ordinance. No matter how worthy the cause, empowering people to wade into streets filled with distracted drivers on their iPhones is a profoundly unwelcome clash of the outdated with the post-apocalyptic.

As for the ordinance ridding the city of "indoor" furniture and various appliances arranged tastefully (although usually otherwise) on porches, I'm mostly down with the notion, although (a) it's yet another aesthetic Band-Aid that addresses symptoms, rather than the fundamental rot of slumlordism, and (b) if there's any one thing we've learned during the past decade, such a Band-Aid is meaningless without concrete enforcement plans. I'm told the council discussed enforcement at its work session last week, and that's a positive sign.

I might add (c) that Steve Price won't like it, but then again, that's one impediment we actually did address directly -- with votes. 3rd district councilman Greg Phipps, who handily defeated Price in 2011, is presenting both these measures.

In 2012, Phipps was instrumental in pushing for a reconstituted Human Rights Commission, and he also made a valuable, if largely and intentionally ignored, point that government rushing Caesar-lemming-like to fund church steeple repairs for an active congregation is a genuine church-state separation issue.

The muddy medieval pall of the Price Error is lifting in the 3rd. The council meeting is tonight. The newspaper article is here: New Albany City Council may abolish collections at intersections

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