It’s not easy being an elected official.
They have to put up with abuse from the public, and the public can be a nasty, unforgiving beast.
Take, for example, the recent Town Hall meeting held at the public library. The common complaint heard that night was the inconveniences this winter’s massive snowfall created and the demands from the city.
For most of the winter, the side streets were not cleared by the city. On the other hand, the city required homeowners to clear the snow from their sidewalks.
Some folks protested, though, pointing out that none of the sidewalks in front of city-owned lots were cleared.
The argument went that since the city failed to clear its sidewalks, why should homeowners?
To our surprise, City Councilmember Anam Miah agreed with that reasoning. Now, Councilmember Miah is a reasonable person, and he is sympathetic to the concerns and hardships of residents.
But in this instance, he is dead wrong. As the cliché goes, two wrongs don’t make a right.
In other words, if we were to excuse homeowners from their responsibility to clear their sidewalks because the city can’t do the same for its properties, we would find ourselves in a colossal mess where no one could get around on foot.
As a city official, Councilmember Miah ought to know that the cost for the city to clear the sidewalks from in front of all its lots after each snowfall would have tallied up to at least $50,000 for this past winter.
The city simply can’t afford that, and it’s not like the city went out and bought these lots. They mostly came into the city’s possession through default, by tax foreclosures.
You can ask yourself this: Would you rather have an extra cop or two on duty or spend that money shoveling snow?
And besides, is it too much to ask homeowners to clear their sidewalks? It’s not like we’re talking about a great deal of space to clear. For the typical household, it’s about 15-20 feet in total.
Is there any excuse for a homeowner to not be responsible?
If that’s too much to ask, we suggest you go find a nice apartment building to live in.
In another instance, City Councilmember Mohammed Hassan let it be known he’s against the upcoming school millage election.
That’s fine, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. But we find it funny that Hassan is against something that will make vast improvements to our public school district and, in turn, raise everyone’s property values.
Here’s a guy who fell behind on something as basic as paying his water bills, and then failed to live up to a payment deal he made with the city to catch up. The city had to finally cut off his water service to get its payment.
Perhaps it’s no surprise Councilmember Hassan has steadfastly been against any tax proposal since he can’t even pay his own basic bills.
What’s disturbing, though, is he got re-elected to office last November. Apparently there are others out there who don’t think they should have to pay their fair share to keep this city operating and well-maintained.