IF THEIR LIPS ARE MOVING...
July 25, 2007. Mark the score on this one Ankeny - 1, Taxpayers - 0 as you watch what is easily the most one-sided and misleading (deceiving reporters is a REALLY bad idea), story thus far. But if you've been paying attention you won't be surprised that there is only one problem with the City of Ankeny's case as now made by the Police Chief -- it isn't true or even remotely honest. And, of course, he knows that. Ho, Ho, Ho.
The Chief claims (and the reporter accepted, assuming someone of his position would never lie about something so accessible in the City's own public records) that I want special treatment -- an exemption only for me -- from the nuisance ordinance. Which, of course, is absurd, as you can see here. It is yet another bold-faced lie from an Ankeny City official abusing the trust we really want to afford people in their positions. Because, as as the Chief knew quite well when he set out to deceive this young reporter, what I actually asked the City Council to do is repeal that ordinance altogether or exempt all Christmas displays.
Although, wouldn't it be something if they would at least apply it equally and fairly rather than ONLY to me? (Note that only our name is on the bottom of these standing police orders, even though it would apply even more so to other areas of town during Christmas.)
Then once the reporter bought that lie, it was "Katie bar the door." Suddenly, whatever else the City implies must be true as well, so it becomes a report on the guy planning bigger and more disruptive for next year without regard for my neighbors or "public safety." Never mind that I'm actually the guy who went to them in the first place. Otherwise they would have never even known about it -- precisely because I care about my neighbors. Unlike the City.
Then top it off by saying traffic jammed the streets for blocks last year and that nobody could get up or down the streets including neighbors or emergency vehicles. Never mind that there are more than 3,000 people who saw my display last year who know better, that it was a single file line parked along the curb on 16th Street with two lanes open for traffic going both directions.
Fact is, if you can't get a police car or fire truck down a street with two lanes open because there are people sitting in their cars parked along the curb, we have bigger public safety issues than my display.
In fact, they banter around the term "public safety" only as a red herring to justify their abuse of power. Want proof? Compare my display to SummerFest, which also violates the nuisance ordinance. If someone in the 20-some houses in my neighborhood has a heart attack, an ambulance can drive right down our street to ge there. (As if people wouldn't obey the law that requires them to move if the streets actually WERE clogged.) But if one of the multiplied thousands of visitors watching the SummerFest parade had a heart attack -- a MUCH more likely event given with the size of that crowd and the heat -- nobody would get out of the way. They would just wave their arms for the ambulance or fire truck to throw candy. Odd that the City only cares about "public safety" when it means the chance to come after me, huh?
Finally, the City says they can't participate in even considering a plan for traffic other than shutting me down for 2007 -- nor even to clarify whether or not it's legal for people to view the display from both directions. Because they would then be doing something special for one individual. Fact is I don't need them to do anything for me. I can turn on my lights and look at them anytime I want. As the Mayor said last January, "We're not against Christmas lights, we're against traffic." I can turn on my lights. The question is will they let YOU see them.