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city beautification

i just read an article on a local paper's site about city officials requiring a $65 encroachment permit from a man who had decorated a little grassy parkway in between his home and the street.

now, i don't care for flashy holiday decorations. i usually find them kind of tacky. paul loves them, though, so i tend to keep an eye out for them so i can point them out.

because the decorations are on city property, okay, i can see why a permit would be necessary. $65 is pretty steep for decorations that are only going to be up for two months, tops, but i don't know how cities assess the rates for these things, so... whatever.

normally i'd just read this sort of thing and not really think anything of it, but today i feel enough irritation at one comment to write about it. in fact, i'm not really here to write about the permit or the fee or even the fact that somewhere nearby a man loves flashy decorations so much that he ran out of decorate-able space on his own property. i'm writing about one line in one comment by a person who couldn't even bothered to use his real name.

the majority of comments were directed at the city for their meanness and lack of holiday spirit. considering that the homeowner in question had decorated this little strip for four years' running and had even won awards from the city's own beautification committee, it does seem to me that this was something that could have been brought to his attention a little earlier. perhaps they could have mentioned it last year? i'm guessing this isn't something new, but because holiday decorating only comes around once a year, maybe the city should send out a little notice each year reminding people of the city's rules and regulations. but who knows, maybe they already do that? i don't live in that city.

one person objected to the homeowner's decor, felt it was "jumbled" and a "blatant disregard" of city policies. this is fine. taste is taste, and apparently someone knew about city policy. but this one line -- "happy holidays and way to go on spending your son's college fund" -- rankled beyond belief. i don't know which i object to more -- the idea that someone who knows nothing about you can criticize your spending habits, or the idea that every parent needs to have a college fund for their children. either way, ugh!



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