Over at Robb Allen's website, Sharp as a Marble, he has a link to this story, about a woman in Oak Park, Michigan who is facing misdemeanor charges for not having the audacity to attempt to have a vegetable garden in....gasp....her front yard. Where everyone walking or driving by can see it! With absolutely no concern for those folks less motivated to put in raised vegetable beds than herself.
Imagine the nerve of someone having the gall to plant a vegetable garden in THEIR FRONT YARD, in the midst of on of the worst economic downturns in living memory, in a suburb of Detroit, one of the hardest hit areas during this downturn.
Anyway...this is not how I wanted my day to start...I wanted to enjoy my Saturday, not get stuck researching what legal leg this city thinks they are standing on. Most commmonly referenced is a line of city code that the states that
'all unpaved portions of the site shall be planted with grass or ground cover or shrubbery or other suitable live plant material'.The city's position is that suitable = common, and since all the other yards have grass, that is what is common, and also suitable, so a vegetable garden is no suitable.
Out here in the wild and unruly West, you can't find a neighborhood that doesn't have at least a few exposed vegetable gardens.
The main villain in this case would appear to be one Kevin Rulkowki, Director of Planning. Whatever...I'm sure he is a career city employee who has very little concern for his future employment. Having dealt with this type before in my federal service, I am sure at some point, in some manner, Julie Bass might have said/done something that cause Kevin to come over all butt-hurt, and now she is going to be an example of.
The real villain, and the ones who should be punished in all the are City Manager, Rick Fox, and then the Mayor and members of the city council....they are the ones who face reelection, and can be voted out. They are the one who control the purse strings that are allowing this case to go to court instead of reigning in Kevin Rulkowski.
As for the punishment, not one to(publicly) invite violence, how's about tar and feathering? Or, I guess we could make them the first against the wall when the time comes.
Sigh. Julie has started her own blog to document everything at oakparkhatesveggies. It looks like she is headed to court July 26th...hopefully now that this story is getting news coverage, maybe those responsible will realize they are boobs and back out before it's too late. Save their taxpayers some cash.