Resisting the Neatness Police

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Kenneth City, Fla. council members want their fellow residents to cut their grass, paint their houses, and allow officials to inspect homes to make sure that everyone is meeting acceptable standards of neatness.

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But a motley crowd of voters showed up to object to the new ordinance. According to the St. Petersburg Times:

Council members caved in to demands from an angry crowd and delayed approving a neatness ordinance until officials explain every word of the 26-page document to Kenneth City residents.

In what was estimated to be the largest crowd to ever attend a Kenneth City Council meeting, an outraged group of residents railed at the proposal that would regulate the upkeep of both the exterior and interior of all property in the town.

The proposal basically sets standards for upkeep and appearance and gives town officials the right to enter homes. If the owner refuses to allow the official to enter, the town can go to a judge for an "administrative search warrant" to allow access to the interior of buildings. Violations would cost up to $250 a day.

Angry residents likened the proposal to rules created by Communist or Nazi dictatorships. One person said the result would be to create a network of spies to snitch on neighbors to council members and other town officials. Someone suggested the town should change its name from Kenneth City to "Petty City."

 Apparently the ordinance is not all that unusual. As the St. Pete Times reports:

…the ordinance is a virtual copy of others in places like Fort Walton Beach and Belleair Beach.

Nothing like local tyrannies! Whole article here.

Hat tip to D.A. Ridgely.