Stop Making Sense

The City Council has already approved a plan where a wife’s car could be confiscated if her husband uses it to solicit a prostitute.  They’ve requested red light cameras that would target the owner of a car, not the driver.

So it should come as no surprise that the Telegram is reporting that City Councilor Mike Germain is (once again) proposing that the police fine landlords when their tenants have an out-of-control house party.

“It makes perfect sense, I don’t care what anybody says,” says Germain.

If this is what sense looks like, then I respectfully request that Councilor Germain stop making sense.

Germain says that a similar ordinance is in effect in Narragansett, where he owns a house that he rents to URI students.  “Since the ordinance went into effect, however, he said he has had no problems because he makes it clear that his tenants or their parents will be responsible for any fine he is assessed under the ordinance.”

Why does it make sense to create another nuisance ordinance that college students can ignore?  Why make the landlord the middleman of fines when we could just fine the people who are actually responsible under existing ordinances?

I can’t decide whether Mike Germain’s primary goal is to draft another ordinance that will get the city sued, or whether the goal is to draft another ordinance that will backfire and then be found illegal by a court in three years’ time.

I have let myself be distracted by Councilor Germain’s boyish good looks, cherubic figure, and tendency to agree with me 30% of the time.

I can be distracted no longer.

I am tired that our elected officials continually propose ideas that will not work and — more importantly — either do not target the responsible individuals or lump the bad and the good into one category.

We deserve thoughtful laws that address problems (and those who cause them).  We should not be drafting nonsensical laws that do not punish those at fault when we already ignore existing ordinances that would address those problems.