California

Communism in California? County passes ordinance virtually banning most home car repairs (op-ed)

Communism in California? County passes ordinance virtually
banning most home car repairs (op-ed) 1

Control by Janet Jackson

This is a story about control…my control

Control of what I say…control of what do.

SACRAMENTO, CA- Guess Janet Jackson has never met Sacramento, California. You want to hear about the nanny state on steroids? Welcome to California’s state capital, where if you own a car and like to do your own repairs, you may need to think twice.

Several years ago, California, who likes to meddle in virtually every facet of their residents’ lives passed laws a few years back which limited the modifications home mechanics could perform on their cars’ exhausts systems.

More recently, the state announced that they would scrap the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. Not to be outdone, Sacramento County recently took an additional step toward turning the state into a socialist utopia by limiting the kinds of repairs car owners could perform on their own vehicles.

According to the new code, so-called “minor repairs” are defined as:

Minor adjustments, service and repairs to automobiles or other passenger vehicles. Examples include but are not limited to: radiator, transmission, muffler, and brake repair, lubricant shops, diagnosis and tune-up, smog inspection, auto glass repair and installation, automotive seat covers and re-upholstery, tire sales and service, and car washes. Shall not include body and engine work as defined in “Major Automobile Repair.” (See Section 7.3 of the Zoning Code).

According to Odometer, basically what this new code does is prevent home mechanics and car enthusiasts from performing “complicated” repairs, which is defined as jobs which would leave the vehicle inoperable for more than 24 hours.

Simple tasks like oil changes, tune-ups, tire changes and brake jobs seem to be allowed.

So in other words, if you bought that ’65 Ford Mustang or that ’69 Chevelle SS and want to restore it, tough luck. This ordinance would seem to prevent private owners from restoring their own vehicles.

Backyard mechanic that likes to do repairs on the side for a few extra bucks or to fix friends cars? Sorry, out of luck. The new code prohibits residents from working on another person’s vehicle. Any car repairs must be completed at the home where the car is registered to.

Do you use an impact wrench to change tires, or work on your vehicle in Sacramento County? Too bad, because this ordinance also prevents the use of what are referred to as ‘specialized” tools, which for most home garages aren’t so specialized after all.

Among tools that are restricted include air compressors, impact wrenches and drives, and even things such as torque wrenches. The ordinance, obviously written by clueless bureaucrats whose definition of hard work is using a corkscrew to open their bottle of Merlot, defines the above items as “tools not normally found in a residence.”

The one thing you can usually count on in statutes or laws written by bureaucrats is the vagueness attached to parts of the law or code.

For example, in this particular ordinance, it specifies that routine disc brake repairs are allowed, while the law is silent on drum brakes, which are common on older vehicles.

So if you have that classic Mustang or Chevelle that has rear drum brakes, you could be running afoul of the ordinance.

According to an online FAQ that answers questions about the law, it claims it is intended to “decrease” pollutants, as well as maintain property values, with some believing the sight of auto repairs in residential areas is an eyesore.

“The chemicals involved in major automobile repair can pollute our neighborhoods and endanger the health and wellbeing of our residents,” the statement reads. “Furthermore this kind of activity increases vehicle traffic, and the visual impact can negatively impact property value.”

While many are wondering how such laws can be enforced, one member of an online forum, the Grassroots Motorsports forum, says he has already been fined $430 for violating the code.

“I have not been left alone; they levied a $430 fine yesterday. You can request a hearing to review the code enforcement decision, which costs $700 to complain,” he wrote.

If bureaucrats in California wonder why people are fleeing the state, this should answer their questions.

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Speaking of crazy ordinances, here is one that was proposed in Seattle, which would make misdemeanors excusable if they were tied to poverty, addiction or mental disorders. For more on that, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

The following article contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

SEATTLE, WA- When it comes to insane American cities, there are a number of contenders. Of course, Portland comes to mind immediately because not too many cities can claim the number of lunatics per capita as Portland. Then of course, there is San Francisco, the sidewalk defecation capital of the United States.

However, not to be outdone, there is also Seattle, where the city council is actually proposing excusing misdemeanor crimes if they are tied to either poverty, addiction or mental disorders, according to Fox News.

Don’t tell that to Matthew Humphrey, who owns a barber shop. Steele’s shop was the location of a burglary where criminals taped the back-door window, then took a slingshot and shattered the glass. Within a matter of six minutes, the criminals had taken nearly $4,000 worth of goods.

Humphrey told KOMO News that he figured thieves would sell the high-end jackets and hair products online in order to turn some fast cash. He then found out about the proposal in Seattle, which would in essence allow thieves to steal, then re-sell items in order to generate the money to meet basic needs such as food or rent. He was shocked.

“I think it’s absolutely insane,” Humphrey said.

The new code being proposed in Seattle would require municipal court judges to consider a so-called “poverty defense” when a case comes before them. The proposal is expected to receive further deliberation in January.

Under the proposal by City Council member Lisa Herbold, there are up to 100 assorted misdemeanor offenses whereby a suspect would be able to use the poverty defense in court.

One person who thinks the idea is peachy keen is Anita Khandelwal, who is the top public defender for King County, who says the current system isn’t working for either offenders or victims.

“It’s meeting nobody’s needs,” she said, according to KUOW. “This is not that we don’t care about the business community or about people who have experienced harm. It is that we know that this process—this processing of human beings throughout the system—is harmful to our clients and again very racially disproportionate, and also not getting business owners what they need either.”

Not to be outdone, Khandelwal also thinks the public should have to pay into a fund for restitution, to compensate theft victims if the offender is unable to pay them back. So, in other words, whack the businesses and homeowners twice, once by assessing them for a public restitution fund, and then allowing the criminals who break into their homes off without penalty.

However, there are still a few sane people in the Pacific Northwest, among them former Seattle city councilman Tim Burgess, who told reporters, “It sends this powerful signal that as city government, we don’t really care about this type of criminal behavior in our city,” believing that such a policy could open the floodgates for criminal activity.

According to feckless Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, crime has been escalating in Seattle this year, with a 525% spike in crimes, she said.

In addition, the homeless population in Seattle has grown over 5% since last year, according to recent King County data. Estimates are that at least 26% of those counted are dealing with either addiction or mental health problems.

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LET Unity

Humphrey said while he understands the concept and agreeing that it is probably well intended, it’s hurting other people.

“It’s one of these well-intended concepts (of) we want to take care of people that can’t take care of themselves, but what you are really doing id hurting other people,” he said.

Another critic of the proposals said it would lead to non-stop shoplifting. That however didn’t set well with some.  

“We know that this is simply fear-mongering,” said Tiffani McCoy, a lead organizer for Real Change in comments to the council’s Public Safety Committee. “The early attacks against it are rooted in anti-poverty bias.”

Stealing and then flipping the stolen goods is not the only element that is under consideration; another element known as the “no legal alternative” option is also being considered.

Under that scenario, if someone shoplifted from a grocery store, yet claims they didn’t know there was a food bank located right around the corner, they could be protected under the poverty defense.

These people are literally crazy, and one person told the city council that it is fair to ask defendants to explore legal means to acquire stolen items before they commit a crime, Assistant City Attorney John Schochet told city council members.

However, Khandelwal was having none of that, you know personal responsibility.

“To show that there wasn’t something nearby seems to just go in the direction of our criminal legal system has been, ensnaring individuals within it,” she said.

Humphrey was not impressed by that argument.

“It’s a little upside-down world,” he said. “The end result is small companies like mine have to close their doors because they can’t afford to be broken in all the time.”

Currently, Seattle is suffering a spate of officers leaving the department, fed up with the lack of support they are receiving from the city council and in the midst of calls to defund the police. KTTH radio’s Jason Rantz told Fox News host Trace Gallagher Friday that an additional 33 officers have left the department over the past two months.

Rantz told Gallagher it is vital to focus on the “greater context” of “what’s happening in Seattle.”

“We have this culture of lawlessness. We have a prolific offender problem where pretty much the same 100 or so individuals keep breaking the law, not seeing any punishment, and then doing the same thing over and over and over again,” he said. “And so, all you’re doing is making it easier for those people to continue that behavior.”

Rantz continued:

“And, the fear is, of course, you know, “Does this only apply to Seattle residents? And, if not, does that mean someone can come from outside of the region who is destitute, who is low income, [and] break a whole bunch of laws knowing that if you do it in Seattle, you’re not going to get in any trouble?”

The proposal is not up for further consideration until January. But this is a magnification of where we are in 2020. The police are the bad guys, and we will make up excuses for criminal behavior. This is almost like elementary school backwards day.

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