05 June 2005

Another Reason to Loathe Minneapolis.

Here's a test of your logic skills; answer this question: Are shopping carts abandoned around the neighborhood BECAUSE stores aren't paying a ransom to the city to get their carts returned? Of course not. Shopping carts are abandoned around the neighborhood by slothful louts who are too lazy to carry their own merchandise home. That is the simple truth, albeit legally unspeakable in Minneapolis, which is why it's so preposterous that the giant encounter group known as the Minneapolis City Council has cleared the way for the impounding abandoned carts.
Some 15 years ago, the city required stores to track their carts. Stores had to file a plan with the city that outlined how they would manage their carts, and the carts had to be branded with the stores' name. The stores also had to sweep the area for "rollaways" within a half-mile of their property every day. That ordinance remains on the books, (Gary) Schiff said, adding that an attempt at enforcing it recently proved costly. The city had to send a letter to the store and would issue a citation if it did not respond. If the store then contested the fine, the matter would go before an administrative law judge. "For $100 fines, we figured out we had spent over $500 worth of staff time," Schiff said.
Wow, that's pesky, Gary, that whole due-process thing. You wouldn't want to actually have to go through all the steps you frauds invented to address this issue in the first place, would you? And I 'd love to see the formula by which you arrived at the value of the labor of the civil service employees who pushed the paper to and fro.

Schiff recently introduced, and the City Council unanimously passed, an ordinance to gather the carts. Stores can buy back their carts for $150 apiece. Most are worth double that, Schiff said. If no one claims them, the city will sell the carts for scrap, said Susan Young, the city's director for solid waste and recycling.
Minneapolis will not miss any opportunity to hit you up for a fee. It costs so much to have government provide everything for everyone these days. Oh, and never mind that offering to sell stolen property is fencing, which, even in Minneapolis, is an actual crime.

Local grocers say they're unhappy with the plan. The fee to retrieve the carts is punitive, said Nancy Christensen, executive director of the Minnesota Grocers Association. And, she said, the ordinance targets the wrong people. After all, the stores didn't want the carts to leave their properties, she said.
There isn't a store in the city that has a policy that allows carts to leave parking lots, but Minneapolis has such a diseased political enviroment, they would never dream of charging arresting people and charging them with theft for removing carts from store property.

No one said you must own a car to shop at Target, Rainbow, Cub, or K-Mart. You may ride the bus, you may walk, you may call a cab, you could get a ride from a friend, or ask a neighbor to let you come along when they go shopping. You can even buy you own cart. The options are endless.

The people who take carts out of lots are stealing. When they abandon them in neighborhoods, they are lazy. Because of this, the city that never rests (from an ordinance-issuing perspective) is going to get into the cart-as-hostage business. What a backward way to operate.

Only in Minneapolis is the victim of crime in line for punishment.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Come on! This is Minnesota. The state where Noting Is Allowed! Why are you so surprised?