We didn’t anticipate that the change in the borough’s meeting schedule would impact our ability to keep up with the meeting videos as much as it has. In addition to the change in schedule, we experienced a camera malfunction that nullified any filming we attempted at the meetings we were actually able to attend!
Thankfully, it seems as if all that has been rectified, and tonight we will have a camera in place for the April Pre-Council Meeting. As always, as much as we appreciate you tuning in to view the council meeting films we provide, we encourage you, the residents of Bellevue, to attend the meetings if possible so that your voice can be heard in person.
Tonight, Bellevue Council will be reading a questionable new ordinance for the third and final time – the new snow removal ordinance. This new ordinance would effectively remove all required warnings from the current snow removal ordinance. Meaning, under this new ordinance the Bellevue Code Enforcer will maintain the right to issue a citation on the spot if one’s snow is not shoveled from their sidewalk within 24 hours (the prescribed fine for not adhering to this ordinance is between $100-500). After expressing some question and concern regarding the potential abuse of power to which this ordinance could lead, we have been reassured that the ordinance is only being changed in order to “more effectively handle nuisance properties in the borough.”
There is no doubt that the intent of the new legislation is honorable and for the benefit of the borough. However, intention and implementation are two entirely different things. Liberty in Bellevue is always suspicious of new legislation which unnecessarily increases the power of local government. For instance, what is to stop a Bellevue official from targeting their political or personal adversaries with excessive citations and fines if the warning system is rescinded (let’s not forget recent history before we cast off any fears of personal vendettas). While we understand the frustration stemming from an unnecessarily bureaucratic warning period (the former ordinance required something like a 30 day warning) potentially eliminating the warnings altogether seems like an unwarranted swing of the proverbial pendulum. Would it not be prudent to maintain a small window of opportunity for a suspected offender of this ordinance to correct their mistake?
We’d love to hear from you. What do you think of the new proposed Snow Removal Ordinance? Do you support immediate citation? Or, do you prefer some kind of a warning period by which one would have the ability to rectify their mistake?