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Letter To The Editor: Nuisance Ordinance - It’s Not The Messaging ... It’s The Program

on September 15, 2017 - 7:17pm
Los Alamos

David Izraelevitz works hard for Los Alamos and to support our citizens but on the topic of the nuisance ordinance his opinions are misguided and his advocated solutions inappropriate (link).

There are undoubtedly problems that need to be addressed, but the requirement to solve those larger problems has created an ordinance that is causing unnecessary and useless annoyances to reasonable citizens. Overzealous enforcement is at tax payers expense and adds little value to the community

It's hard to disagree with Izraelevitz’s statement “A community thrives when neighbors work together for the common good of all, and that includes the biggest part of a neighborhood’s core” however the current ordinance has done the opposite, creating self-styled vigilantes going around the community reporting problems that don't affect them, their property values or anything similar. It’s also a wonderful weapon in a spat between neighbor, at the slightest perceived slight you can report your neighbor and have the County inspect and potentially cause problems for them for the smallest of infractions. The County should not be involved in escalating battles between neighbors nor should the tax payers be funding such actions. Since any report will breed suspicion of those closest to you, it's hard to think of a program more ideally designed to destroy neighborhood relations.

Izraelevitz seems proud that the County has a convenient system to anonymously report perceived violators. Anonymous reporting, the preferred tool of oppressive regimes everywhere, has no place whether reporting dissidents or overly tall weeds. If you have a real problem, report it and put your name on a good deed that you’ve done to improve public safety. If that’s not your goal, stasi-style snitching is not an alternative. The County should immediately stop accepting or investigating complaints that do not clearly and publicly identify the complainant.

The ordinance as currently applied and aggressively enforced does little to achieve any of Izraelevitz’s goals. Having followed and opposed this near perfect example of government overreach (despite Izraelevitz’s protestations to the contrary), in its many forms, over the years, I can resoundingly endorse more education. I think many, but perhaps especially some of our Councilors, need to better understand how intrusive and offensive this ordinance is already to many people and how abhorrent, regardless of the intended greater good, is the idea of expanding the inspection powers of the County.

The rhetoric and vitriol aimed at this misconceived program will probably not decrease until the County tones down the enforcements, let’s start by have no more than one person paid to measure the height of weeds in Los Alamos.