Flip Floppin’ Robin

September 10, 2008 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Yesterday I noted how Robin Eschliman fought the good fight against government overstepping its bounds by legislating on things that really aren’t any of its business. Alas, today I have to tell you that Ms. Eschliman has done a 180 by proposing an ordinance that would do the very thing she just finished condemning.

Ms. Eschliman wants to ban upholstered furniture on porches and in yards. I know, many—if not most—of you want to give her a high five. But you shouldn’t. There is absolutely zero difference between a ban on outdoor couches and a ban on any other type of furniture or decoration on your property. Simply, the City ought not be in the business of regulating tackiness. Such activities are best left to neighborhood associations and good old fashioned peer pressure.

If you want to talk about tacky, let’s talk in three months. Lincoln’s houses and yards will quite literally be draped in the tackiest of the tacky exterior accoutrements. And yet nobody proposes to ban those decorations. No, instead City government shows off some of the most egregious examples (along with some genuinely attractive exceptions), and makes money in the process!

This isn’t about outdoor furniture. This is about what certain types of furniture represents when it is removed from the living room and placed on the porch. It represents drunk college students. It represents the poverty culture. It represents deadbeat landlords. None of those problems are addressed in any way by this sort of proposal. So why waste our time on it? Oh, right, because it makes people feel good that the government is “doing something”. Bah. We are substantially better off putting our efforts into public and private neighborhood-level interactions. To name one example: LPD’s “problem-oriented policing” efforts.

All that being said, I won’t be the least bit surprised to see Ms. Eschliman’s proposal become a new city ordinance in some form.

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The Comments

Fletch September 10, 2008 at 3:55pm

Surely you can’t be serious…

Gene September 10, 2008 at 3:57pm

If the city’s landlords are so concerned about it, why don’t they clean up their own properties? I’d think a concerted effort by the city’s property owners would take care of the vast majority of the porch furniture problem. It seems they’d rather rely on the police and citizens of Lincoln to clean up their rentals rather than doing it themselves.

CP September 10, 2008 at 4:35pm

Manhattan, KS has had this ordinance for as long as I remember. In fact, I believe it was a Trivial Pursuit question long ago. (Seriously.)

JT September 10, 2008 at 6:02pm

I thought Republicans were for smaller government?

West A Dad September 10, 2008 at 6:26pm

on that black leather Lazy-Boy with vibrate and heat!

Ed1974 September 11, 2008 at 5:59pm

They may be, but they’re also all about wealth and the look of it or of themselves in it.

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