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On Should the city ticket property owners with snowy sidewalks?


Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 3 months ago

Back in the Olden Days, the 1960s, the neighbor kids and I used to get really excited when there was a big snowfall in Greeley, Colorado, because then we could take our snow shovels out and earn money as a team. We would look over the sidewalks and driveways, and come up with our bid. It was never more than a dollar, and was always divisible by how many were in our team.

We were very industrious, and got lots of money, it seemed like. But in retrospect, we should have bid at least a dollar for those double driveways, with the sidewalks too.

Our bid was often responded to with surprise, and we sure had a lot of repeat customers.


oletimer 1 year, 3 months ago

typical lawrence kansas. they pass laws to prevent injuries and such. But no one wants them to enforce the laws. REALLY? what a bunch of whiners and morons.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

Jan 12 , 2013 - Today Snow likely, mainly after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 34. North wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Tonight Snow likely, mainly before 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. North wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

More snow on the way then comes global warming...


Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

Surely some landscape maintenance operators would love to clean walks for their customers.

This town has a load of active citizens that which like walk,jog or run for exercise daily.

Then there employees who walk to work rather than drive. Lawrence has some active seniors who walk to keep their hearts working.

Public school students of all ages and college students of all ages walk to school.

Some wheel chair bound need a clear travel path as well.

I say there is a demand for clean safe travel paths in Lawrence,Kansas.

No doubt some landlords find this ordinance inconvenient however when folks become rental barons they know what they are getting into therefore go for it. Time to keep a snow shoveling crew on call. Surely some landscape maintenance operators would love to clean walks for their customers.


Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

I was trying to stay out of this, but I just can’t do it. The cities snow ordinance violates both the involuntary servitude and due process amendments.

The legal basis for their claim is a ruling from SCOTUS in 1916. In short SCOTUS upheld a ruling that counties had the right to conscript unpaid labor to work on public roads and bridges.

'See. 10. Every able-bodied male person over the age of twenty-one years, and under the age of forty-five years, residing in said county for thirty days or more continuously next prior to the date of making of the list by the board of county commissioners, or the date of the summons or notice to work, shall be subject, liable and required to work on the roads and bridges of the several counties for six days of not less than ten hours each in each year when summoned so to do, as herein provided; that such persons so subject to road duty may perform such services by an able- bodied substitute over the age of eighteen years, or in lieu thereof may pay to the road overseer on or before the day he is called upon to render such service the sum of $3, and such overseer shall turn into the county treasury of his county any and all moneys so paid to him, the same to be placed to the [240 U.S. 328, 330] credit of the road and bridge fund and subject to the order of the board of county commissioners for road and bridge purposes; . . . 'Sec. 12. Any person or persons not exempt as aforesaid who shall fail to work on public roads of the several counties when required to do so, or to provide a substitute as herein provided, and shall neglect or refuse to make payment for the same, as hereinbefore provided, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than $ 50 or imprisoned in the county jail for not longer than thirty days.'

There are serious flaws in the cities position. The ruling did not include city governments. It did not apply only to property owner’s nor was it enforced on a complaint basis. It specified able bodied men between 21 and 45. And gave specific lengths of servitude.

At a minimum the city would have to conscript workers from all available citizens, not just homeowners. I’m sure everyone in Lawrence would be overjoyed to be conscripted to go shovel someone’s else’s sidewalk right?

Does anyone really think that the SCOTUS would rule the same way today, if it made it way back into their court? BUTLER v. PERRY, 240 U.S. 328 (1916) 240 U.S. 328 JAKE BUTLER, Plff. in Err., v. J. W. PERRY, as Sheriff of Columbia County, Florida. No. 182. Submitted January 14, 1916. Decided February 21, 1916.


thuja 1 year, 3 months ago

Just seeing how my sweet new avatar looks.

No comment.


bearded_gnome 1 year, 3 months ago

complaint driven is indeed just wrong. needs to be systematic.

however, I disagree with the premise of the law. often clearing the sidewalk makes it more dangerous because then the nice smooth surface becomes perfectly smoothly ice covered when you have just a little melt and refreeze. or, if you have rain/ice storm.


grandpaD 1 year, 3 months ago

Lots of opinions but they won't do much good. The city commission does what it wants, when it wants, how it wants. I'm sure it will not pay attentions to the voting public


justanotherface 1 year, 3 months ago

Damn nanny state. Sooooo glad I don't live in Lawrence!


sunny 1 year, 3 months ago

Only rich people should be ticketed.


jhawkinsf 1 year, 3 months ago

Make the ticket the $3 variety, the same as parking downtown at an expired meter. Twenty bucks for the ticket and sixty for court costs seems excessive.

I'd be curious if someone could explain why court costs for these tickets would be so much higher than court costs associated with parking tickets.


irvan moore 1 year, 3 months ago

the fact that it is complaint driven is just plain wrong


sierraclub 1 year, 3 months ago

Someone needs to pay for tax and spend happy liberals.


Anydaynow 1 year, 3 months ago

My most concern are the elderly and disabled that are not able to get outside without falling or who are confined to wheelchairs or use walkers for daily use inside the house. Many of them could maybe get someone to shovel their sidewalks, but some of them are living from month to month and can't extend their money further.
I say no to giving city tickets, mainly because there are many of these tickets just pile up - not paid - then what happens - more money to be spent by the individual. The city should take care of the sidewalks, giving more work for someone in the city at minimum wages.


lionheart72661 1 year, 3 months ago

The city puts in the sidewalks and expects the home owner to maintain them. Their sidewalks let their crews get out and clear them!


signoflife 1 year, 3 months ago

What if you're out of town during the 48 hours after the snowfall. I am sure many people found themselves in this situation over the New Year's holiday. I vote no fines.


Sandrat52 1 year, 3 months ago

I don't believe the fine is fair. If you have sidewalks on one side and not the other only people on side with the sidewalks are responsible, how is that fair?


uglyrumor 1 year, 3 months ago

They should also ticket people who don't take care of their lawns.


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