A typographical error might have unfortunate real-world consequences for the dog-walkers of North Hempstead, Long Island, NY. The town posted signs warning that people who don’t pick up their dogs’ leavings are subject to a $250 fine. The problem is that the real fine is $25. Sure, they could change the signs, but it might be easier to just change the real fine to match what the signs say instead. [More]
The town of Quartzsite, AZ, population 3,466, is in disarray after a video showing police hauling away a citizen for speaking at the town meeting podium went viral. The woman was saying that the town council had been violating open meeting laws.
The town of Bridgewater, NJ, just spent $17,000 in legal costs to defend its right to charge a guy $5 for a CD recording of a town council meeting. The man had argued that he should only be required to pay for the actual cost of the CD. The case went to court and the town ended up losing. The kicker? They also had to pay him back a $4.04 refund for the overage.
There will be no pre-dawn Black Friday shopping rampages inside the Victor, NY Walmart. Backed by a wave of local outcry, the town had denied the superstore’s request to open from 11pm to 7am on Nov 25-26th.
Towns are discovering an unexpected side-effect of telling everyone to save save save water: lower water bills are resulting in a municipal income shortfall. [Toronto Star]
Municipal ledger hounds are worried that local governments will slash services as the imploding housing market chokes off access to lucrative property tax revenue. The New York Times visited the future retirement destination of its readers, South Florida, to see firsthand the devastating affect the subprime meltdown can have on communities. For anyone who says “What housing crash, my community is fine,” hop across the jump for a look at your potential future.