“I’ve had my rant!”
I received an email last week from a lady that ended with “I know you probably won’t publish this, but I had to have my rant”.
She’s right, I won’t publish her letter because, although she had some interesting things to say, she covered a number of issues and it was quite long, she also used some terminology that would rub some people and our Council the wrong way. What I will do however is share some of her more interesting comments, and I do this to further demonstrate that a lot of people, myself included, feel our Council could be more creative and efficient in the way they manage our City. I’ve said it on so many occasions that running a City is no different to running a business and the same principles should apply. Sadly, they don’t. Here’s not the place to elaborate on that so I’ll just stick to this lady’s email.
This lady rocked into Council following the publicity that Orange is fining drivers at three times the rate of similar cities in Bathurst and Dubbo. She wanted to know if it was illegal to park on the footpath or on her driveway where it crossed the footpath. She was told yes, it was Council land and even if her car was an inch over, it was illegal.
She then said, so I shouldn’t have to mow my footpath? She was then told, no but Council probably won’t get around to it as they are so busy and a long way behind with the Parks and Gardens. She then said…Well they should put more workers on. She was then told… it all comes down to money.
The discussion then got onto rates, but we won’t go there.
In the end the lady concluded that Council will fine anyone for using Council’s land in any way, to raise revenue, but are not willing to maintain said land.
She acknowledges it only takes a few minutes to mow her footpath and doesn’t mind doing it, she does it to keep the street neat and because they have always done it. She claims however, that technically she doesn’t have to.
So, in summary, footpaths belong to Council, technically residents don’t have to mow or maintain them, Council is unlikely to mow or maintain them, and technically residents can get fined for parking on them.
I’m not sure what readers make of all that but if nothing else, it does show how rules and regulations can get very confusing and often don’t make a lot of practical sense. I don’t for one minute think Council would reasonably fine someone for parking on their footpath, but I can imagine an over zealous parking cop doing it without thinking. I have also heard of people being fined for parking cars for sale in their driveways etc. My point being, the spirit of the rule suggests common sense would always prevail, but we all know that doesn’t happen.
This lady’s experience at Council says something, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to what that something is.