This is the tale of a local government out of control, a bureaucracy out of touch, and the tyranny of power abused in arrogant disregard of the public trust. This is the true tale of...



Serving Citizens By Calling Christmas Lights A Public Nuisance*




"We're not against Christmas lights. We're against traffic."

Ankeny Mayor,
Steve Van Oort


What that means...

Who is that traffic they're against? If you think you have a right to load up the kids, go get grandma, then drive to see the most popular lights in town, it's you.

WHAT'S THIS ALL ABOUT? The Short Version.
GOOD CITIZENSHIP
A HOSTILE CITY
A DISHONEST CITY
CHRISTMAS HELD HOSTAGE

Last summer (2006) I went to the Ankeny Police and told them I was computerizing my Christmas lights and wanted to work with them to make sure things would run smoothly for my neighbors and the City.

Dumb idea.

 

Their answer was this certified letter threatening legal action if I put up my lights and an unspecified number of taxpayers came to see them.

(certified letter)

After then promising to be fair and to work cooperatively with me, Ankeny police officers were actually ordered to shut me down (and only me, as you can see) in response to ANY complaint. (They got ONE.)

(actual police document)

The City has dug in and refuses to reconsider their outrageous and unfair position. Because now they're not only out of touch, they're mad. So as easy as it would have been to make things work for 2007, their plan is to let traffic become a problem, then SHUT ME DOWN until visitors (that's you) leave. Merry Christmas.

Let Ankeny officials know you expect better by following the three easy steps below...

 

Helping is as easy as...
STEP 1

STEP 2

STEP 3

Conceived by a guy I don't
know from New Zealand.

Posted by a woman I don't
know from California.

CONTACT
these Ankeny officials:

2.04.050 Citizens' complaints

Mayor Steve Van Oort
City Manager Carl Metzger
City Clerk Pam DeMouth

Expect this response

Forward To Everyone You Know, then...
CALL
Ankeny City Hall:

(515) 965-6407



READ A MORE
THOROUGH OVERVIEW


(Click for dates and more info)

click

DES MOINES REGISTER (Ankeny)

KCCI-TV News at 5:00

WHO-TV News at 6:00

Deace In The Afternoon on WHO Radio. Click and go to the "Deace 07-20 Christmas in July" then "Deace 07-20 Christmas in July Pt. 2"listings.

Ankeny Escapes Sunshine Violation By Claiming Mayor Lied

ABC5 News at 10

See "Fox News at 9" TV report

Deace In The Afternoon on WHO Radio. Click and go to the "Deace 5/3/07: Light display" listing.

EXPANDED TIMELINE and DOCUMENTATION

Sept. 9, 2006
TALKED TO POLICE.

MY RESPONSE
TO COUNCIL
Nov. 22, 2006
STANDING POLICE ORDERS
SEE TRAFFIC DETAILS
Jan. 19, 2007
MET WITH MAYOR
Feb. 19, 2007
PRESENTATION TO COUNCIL

April 17, 2007
MAYOR LETTER/ COUNCIL REJECTION

CITY MANAGER LETTER

Oct. 30, 2006
CERTIFIED LETTER FROM CITY
Nov. 9, 2006
MET WITH CITY
Dec.22, 2006
POLICE SHUT ME DOWN.
Jan. 18, 2007
LEGISLATOR SUPPORT
Jan. 26, 2007
MET WITH CHAMBER
April 10, 2007
WAKE-UP LETTER
TO COUNCIL

SUNSHINE
ANSWER
The Mayor Lied

Did You Complain?
READ THEIR RESPONSE

It's only funny because it's true.

Take The Ankeny Public Service Quiz


Miscellaneous

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions the City Can't Answer


Notice to City Officials
Please contact me at dave@wda.com if you find anything on this site that is inaccurate or untrue. While I reserve the right to commentary, it is my purpose here to document facts and to tell the truth. A courtesy you have not extended to me.


MY CHALLENGE TO THE CITY

If there is no problem as you claim, just tell the truth and explain why what you are doing is right.

Simply EXPLAIN how spending tax money on lawyers to threaten legal action against my display before it was ever built enhances the season for your citizens. CLARIFY how your continuing plan to illegally apply the nuisance code only to my lights is the right thing to do. And SPELL OUT how your plan to deal with the increased traffic in 2007 by shutting me down if anyone complains is so much better than actually coming up with a workable plan that also avoids problems for my neighbors.