Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kenneth City Update

Kenneth City, Florida's city council meeting last night was not a fun experience for the city council or the city attorney according to this report. After a heated, 3-hour meeting, the city attorney agreed to redraft the neatness proposal, excluding the troubling provision that would have allowed city officials to enter houses for inspections. But from the story, it sounds like he didn't agree to this willingly. He was evidently defensive, critical of news reports, and at times scolded angry residents for protesting instead of thanking the city council for trying to improve the town.

Oy. It seems to me like perhaps the city attorney himself is the petty tyrant type I was worried about. Part of his agreement that the inspection language could be removed was based in the fact that town officials already had authority under state law to enter homes or businesses if they had probable cause to suspect those homes or businesses were in violation of the neatness ordinance. I assume he's referring to search warrants? You know, the authority required by the Constitution to search people's homes?

The article today, though, makes it sound like the city council still intends to pass some kind of neatness ordinance. I really wonder what that says, what standards it sets for how neat the interior of a home has to be. I'm not gonna lie -- I'm not the best housekeeper around, but I don't think my city ought to be able to cite me as an ordinance violator because I don't wash all my dishes right away. I wonder how much the residents of Kenneth City are letting slide on that issue because they were so understandably incensed by the inspection provision.

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