As usual, the law is the law. He’s just doing his job…
After a Christmas storm dropped a bunch of snow on Pocatello, Idaho, Mitch Fisher went out and did the neighborly thing by using his ATV to plow the snow from the streets around his neighborhood, where according to him most of the residents are elderly people that are unable to deal with the snow themselves.
Unfortunately, as he was in the process of doing so a local “hero” happened upon his act of kindness and issued him a $200 piece of payin’ paper. Apparently, Fischer had made a pile with the snow that had been plowed in front of his own house. In spite of the fact that the reason that pile was there was because he had moved all the snow out of everyone else’s way, that violated the letter of a law within the city codes of Pocatello.
And for that he had to be punished, regardless of the circumstances involved. It’s obviously a good thing that a “hero” was there to step in and protect those people from a friendly neighbor helping to make their streets safer during winter.
Via Local8News.com (the ABC affiliate in Pocatello):
Whenever it snows, Mitch Fisher is ready to help his neighbors, whether it’s clearing the sidewalks or trying to clear the street. When the area’s Christmas storm hit, he was out plowing his street with his ATV.
“I take care of the neighbors. They’re all elderly and I like to help them out,” Fisher said.
On Wednesday, however, a Pocatello police officer cited Fisher for an infraction — placing or depositing material on a public right of way. It carries a cost of more than $200.
Fisher said he was baffled by the situation.
“I tried to talk (the officer) out of it and tell him what I was doing, that I was trying to get it out of the street because (the street) hasn’t been plowed since the beginning of snow season,” he said. “Of course, he was doing his job, wrote the citation and went on his way.”
Chapter nine of Pocatello’s city code states, “It is unlawful for any person to deposit, place or allow to remain in or upon any public right of way any material or substance injurious to persons or property.” In this case, “public right of way” means the street.
Fisher argues he wasn’t moving the snow back into the street, but that he was doing the opposite. He moved the snow into a pile right next to his curb.
“I didn’t want it in front of (my neighbors’) houses because they can’t park. I don’t care if it’s in front of mine,” he said.
Despite the hefty price tag of his citation, Fisher doesn’t plan on stopping his snow removal efforts.
“I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. I don’t care about the city,” he said.
Fisher plans on contesting the ticket, hoping to show he wasn’t violating city code.
It is good to see that Fischer plans to fight the ticket, since most of these type of revenue generation based tickets are predicated on the idea that the person being preyed upon will just pay the fine and not be willing or able to take it to court.
Government wants people dependent on it. It is an affront to government when people start doing things themselves.
Something that usually is not mentioned: “What is the purpose of Law?”
One might think it is to protect the rights of the (all) individual(s) against being victimized (harmed) by others.
Who is this gentlemen victimizing (or harming)?
• His neighbors? — Mr. Fisher is removing snow from the front of their houses so they do not have to deal with it.
• The town? — He is not costing the town money, since he his removing snow they should have removed (via taxes paid by members of the town).
• Himself? — No. “I didn’t want it in front of (my neighbors’) houses because they can’t park. I don’t care if it’s in front of mine,” he said.
Others may think the purpose of law is for some individuals to benefit to the detriment of other.
In this case, there is nothing to see here. Move along.
I’ve seen this bullshit play out in a town of less than 3000 people where the city was always broke from bad management. You could count on the city to let everything slide that cost money and that included grading dirt roads no matter how bad or how much they were used.
A friend lived on this road at the far edge of town, far enough edge that there were cotton fields, pastures, livestock barns and all sorts of non-residential stuff between he and paved roads. The street was a through street between a major highway and a major county road so it had lots of traffic, big stuff, tractors, lots of pickups and trucks and luxury cars of some of the people who lived on it. It was named after another close town since that town was named after the guy who put the county on the map but it was a foooooootball rival. I never quite understood what these idiots they hired who rarely were even from that county or even that part of the country could have against it. The town had the shittiest, oldest little road grader you can imagine.
Since it turned into a county road after about 3/4 mile the county would have graded it but they were kept from it by those same fools who, no matter who it was at the time, kept this stance of no county grading and the commissioner didn’t want to get crossways with the city even though he had to travel down the road at times and the county equipment did too.
A good friend lived on this road and got rightly pissed off that it wasn’t ever graded. It was washboarded so bad on a daily basis that big pickups could barely get down it wanting to turn circles from such large washboard. My friend finally got to the point of grading it himself with his own equipment and got in a big shitty with the city council over it. What to do when it’s really bad, is almost never graded and you have to use it? Well, he began grading it in the middle of the night when the city a-holes were asleep. I came down it one day and was amazed how smooth it was and mentioned it to him. He said it oughta be smooth since he worked half the night on it. Good work says I. My pickup didn’t want to spin in circles. Then the complaints from people who lived on the road started coming in. He was disturbing their sleep even though the road was ruining the wife’s luxury car and everybody had to creep along to use it. I asked one complainee what the problem was and he cited doing it in the middle of the night. He generally did it on Fri or Sat night when people were up late but there were a couple of people at least who complained mightily about it as did the city even though it saved the city money and was a win/win situation for all concerned.
The city finally got real shitty about it and he stopped……for a while, but got mad enough again he continued to do it. The moral of the story is no matter how badly something needs to be done and how much it benefits everyone. some clover a-hole is going to complain for one reason or another. My friend has been dead for years and that road is as bad as ever and I’m sure the same people who complained of him grading it at night are still bitching about the city not grading it at all. The corollary to the moral is, if I am ever forced to move to town and can’t do anything about it, I’ll use the 12 gauge express to leave.