Good reading

Dateline: Wed 19 Jan 2011

Sunday's Indianapolis Star story by Jeff Swiatek, "Sweet Dreams," on the frustrations of a businessman trying to open a wholesale donut shop in Irvington was revealtory.

Why? Because Swiatek outlined the mountain of red tape the guy encountered (and was buried in) at every step -- in an area that is desperately seeking business growth and development.

Alas, alas, I can't link to the page -- the Star's fractured website is an example of BAD reading -- but I can tell you the high points of obstacles:

The bakery, called Virginia Kay's, has just one employee, but "building codes required a bathroom up to the standars fo the Americans with Disabilities Act, including an extra-wide doorway and grab bars." Cost: $4,000.

A building inspector required the owner Mike Ferrell to install a water fountain on the premises. Ferrell wanted to bring in water every day, but no wash.

The most egregious: a "decontamination shower" next to the donut line. "In case you get sprayed with jelly, I guess," Ferrell is quoted as saying.


This is the sort of story that people will talk about, that resonates; in Greencastle, a friend/biz acquaintance opened a bed and breakfast next door to her hair salon. She had to spend 6 grand building a sidewalk at the side yard on a tiny, mostly rural street that literally went nowhere. She called it "the sidewalk to nowhere."  The whole project opened, but eventually she had to file bankruptcy.

My physician told me his offices are so closely inspected by health inspectors looking for open vials of urine (not found) to exposed syringes (not) and other really dumb stuff, that, he said, "I feel like coming to work some day without a shirt, just so he could cite me."

This is why people are angry at government. Those of us who are trying to run a business or earn a buck resent the constant destroys the American entrepreunerial spirit and besides that, it's just dumb.

Good for Swiatek for wading in. This story, by the way, was "the second in a series of occasional stories following the progress of Virginia Kay's doughnut factory."

Again, I'd link to Sunday's and the earlier one, but no can do. Talk about red tape...






Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I liked the story, sure as hell beat that township drivel, which ambled on for paragraphs and said nothing. Editors, wherefore art thou?

I've banged around zoning issues for a long while, via neighborhood groups and compliance staffs coming-and-going. But the bakery guy's complaints hit me kinda odd:

Nothing in the story was new news. All those facts would've been available to this businessman if he'd sat down with the Dept. of Metropolitan township liaison--everyone can do it. That person explains the entire permit process, and the overlaps depending on the scope of the project. All facets of zoning are discussed, including variances if required.

They're overworked and under-appreciated at DMD. But if you use the resource, even mildly, the surprises encountered by the donut guy would've been, at the very least, minimized. If not eliminiated altogether.

DMD is supported largely on permit application fees. Our tax dollars flow through there, but permit fees are a huge part of the budget. The professionals in that department largely survive 25th floor changes. There are exceptions, of course--the name of a former DMD ALJ and wife of a Council Majority Leader sticks in my craw--but the professional staff is good. They know their customers: permit applicants. They don't sit back and laugh at folks floundering around the edges of bureaucratic hell. They make mistakes, but they keenly recognize their decisions set precedents, and they work hard to keep that mantra "Page One."

OK, stepping off my soapbox now. And no, no one in my family works at DMD, now or ever.

2011-01-19 10:48:16

hendy [Member] said:

Forearmed with usable information is better than strutting around like a rooster in a barnyard, outraged. There are lots of horror stories around, regarding people that didn't do their homework. The DMD is one good place, but there are others. Anecdotal information regarding twits that had to do ADA compliance just inflames and outrages. The otherside of the coin are the indignities that veterans, the handicapped and physically challenged have to face every day of their lives. For them, the ADA has been Heaven-sent, yet the implementation is incomplete because of grandfathering of inaccessible restaurants, and other public places. Bottom line: my outrage is with people that think that opening a new business is like starting a lemonade stand. It's not.

2011-01-19 11:15:06

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Exactly, hendy, And, as Cong. Charlie Rangel told Hugo Chavez (after listening to Chavez rant for an hour about American Imperialists, and while delivering a heating-oil donation to Rangel's Harlem 'hood):

"You sanctimonious so-and-so, don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining."

Translation to this situation:

Don't try to open a business, flail about as if you're opening a hendy lemonade stand, and then whine about "the process."

Chavez was able to wax poetic because he nationalized his nation's oil companies. The rest of us must exist in a world of zoning permits. It ain't perfect, but:

I'll take permits for $200, Alex...even with the bureacracy.

2011-01-19 11:51:25

hendy [Member] said:

Having owned several businesses in Marion County, I can vouch for level playing fields, at least anecdotally. I can also tell you the urban legend horror stories that ought to have made it to

But the, there's the City, which ripped up my residential property and caused me no end of grief. But rather than make the lawyers rich, I simply moved on. Litigious, I'm not.

2011-01-19 18:30:49

Jason [unverified] said:

I wonder what the turnover's like down there. Maybe there's still a little pie in the face over the Roselyn fiasco a few years back.

Unfortunately people can't have it both ways. It wasn't corporate America in this microcosm that killed small business, it was local government. Zoning certainly has it's uses, but generally speaking the more hoops you make someone jump through, and the more money you make them spend, the more likely they are to throw their hands up and go back to the unemployment line or wherever they came from.

He should have just opened for business and not even bothered doing it "the right way." I've seen plenty of bakeries and restaurants in this city on Washington Street, Michigan Rd., etc. that probably should've been shut down years ago. I'm guessing there's an implied quid pro quo or willful negligence that simply doesn't float in Irvington.

My father-in-law owned a hardware store for 25 years in a small town where zoning wouldn't have been as drastic. Just with the tax structure being what it is now, along with how hard it can be to safely fire an employee and all the litigation out there, he said he would NEVER do it again.

You know who has handicap accessible bathrooms, water fountains, decon showers, and an army of lawyers to make sure it all goes off smoothly? Wal-Mart. Starbucks. Panera. And so it goes. I need some comfort food, I think an Alligator Coffee Cake will do splendidly right now.

2011-01-19 20:30:54

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Marsh sells ALL the Roselyn products, Jason. For five bucks. We have a Sweetharrt coffeecake on the counter for breakfast tomorrow. God they're good.

As for zoning, the turnover at DMD isn't that bad, salaries generally aren't good. But there are some dedicated degreed planner down there, and in all the interaction I've had with them, I honestly couldn't tell you their politics. Not a one of them.

Oh yeah--the adA exists for a damned good reason. Compliance is a relatively simple issue, and everyone has to play on the same field.

And once again--nobody's surprising these business critters with 'new" or "hidden" requirements. If they'll take the time, it's all spelled out for them, and the various alternatives are noted: variances discussed, permit processes explained.

It's not rocket science. And it does lead to orderly growth and better compliance, over time. Irvington and Nora and a few other areas pay particularly-close attention to their neighborhood-notice rights, and they roll up their sleeves and get involved. Bully for them. They're sometimes a little too NIMBY for me, but hey--they put in the hard work, month after month, over decades, so they've earned the right.

And I know folks in those organizations--if a prospective businesspersons wants to get shorthand version of city approvals, those neighborhood groups will meet with an applicant informally, and make suggestions.

2011-01-19 22:02:12

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

The donut man's story still sounds like the Death of A Thousand Cuts.

He was supposed to plant 24 trees? In a blighted industrial area?

Too much of his story resonates with bureaucratic box-checking without any overlay of common sense. I sense the suffocating presence of municipal fees, taxes, permits, licenses, codes, inspectors, and more fees.

Government is a disabler, not an enabler of small business. Technically it should be neither. But for those who can afford representation by lobbyists, fixers and lawyers with connections, the path is much smoother.

2011-01-20 06:31:29

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Tom: Calm Down. No lobbyists insisted on the Tree Preservation Ordinance--it was citizens. I was there. It's enforced pretty well, but it does have some common-sense kinks.

Every single requirement is known in advance to the Donut Guy. And you or me.

The city will calmly explain the requirements for a permitted use. And the timeframes.

It's not a conspiracy.

2011-01-20 10:00:40

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Puts me in mind of the ruckus over requiring sidewalks in new developments ("sidewalks to nowhere").

Once one stretch of concrete was in, another would pop up to connect...and soon there was sidewalk for blocks (an urban amenity that should have been a given has now become routine).

Like planting trees in blighted areas.

2011-01-20 13:36:30

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Ms. Cynical hits a home run

Or, in other words;

A rising tide lifts all boats

2011-01-20 15:51:29

whosear [unverified] said:

Should do like the landscapers, roofers, and other a sundry employers: hire as independent contractor. Avoids much red tape.

I've always believed that gov't regulation should put an onus on the regulatory agency to suggest (and be knowledgeable of) possible solutions and inexpensive alternatives. Instead they act like NFL referees.

Regulation is embraced by big business when they know it will impede smaller businesses. A good friend almost lost her flower business with the road construction on East Washington (US 40). Her business wasn't big enough for an entrance.

2011-01-20 23:56:09

whosear [unverified] said:

Another story: and sometimes they miss the big stuff big time. They came out with flexible tubing for inside the house which required a special fitting to connect to the tubing. There were three companies that sold the tubing, hence each one had a different way of connecting the tubing. State law does not require a separate license for natural gas, so anyone licensed in heating and air conditioning can do it.

Fast forward to 2007-2008. I helped the best man in natural gas over two years as I established my business in Costa Rica. One of the major jobs was replacing the incorrect fittings with the correct ones. The leaks were so bad that he had to use fans and make sure the air flow dispersed the gas.

Another 0 down subdivision in Lawrence had a steel pipe hookup to both the hot water heater and furnace that used Teflon tape instead of paste. There were 13 leaks and a flew pipe had two holes in it. All of this was in a 10' x10' room between the house and the garage! btw...the house was 10 years old! The tape was pushed out of the connection.

So, as long as we can pee comfortably while we are being blown up, as is well.

2011-01-21 00:05:25

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Every single requirement is known in advance to the Donut Guy. And you or me."

This doesn't make some of these requirements any less absurd, T3. Especially when you realize a shower, water fountain and disabled restroom have no foreseeable relevance to your business.

2011-01-21 06:16:57

hendy [Member] said:

Consider, Tom:

Donuts. Hot oil.

Sipped water, rather than from a tap.

Disabled restroom allows disabled employees and patrons.

There might be some logic here.

2011-01-21 08:58:53

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Hendy, it's a startup wholesale bakery. With one employee, his brother. No walkins, no patrons. No need for a fountain. (Jeez, put in a hose for drinking and oil spills.)

The requirements are laughably excessive. And I think the point above about big business advocating strict regulations because they (a) can afford to comply and (b) because it is an underhanded way of eliminating out small, startup competitors, has consderable merit.

2011-01-21 12:26:15

hendy [Member] said:

I'll concede that the entrance costs can be high. But they're also known. Bitching about them doesn't change them, it just means there's a higher initial cost in the build-out. Afford? How many undercapitalized businesses have you seen smash into the walls of market reality? I want to see everyone make money, but you can't expect every cockamamie business plan succeed.

Yes, this is the reason that large corporations are getting larger. Yet every day, I watch people try and get into business with unrealistic plans and fail. Others succeed, and the difference is planning and a sound understanding of the obstacles. Occasionally insipid local rules are part of those-- and not the only part by a wide stretch of the imagination. Lots of stuff can take you down, said with experience as a teacher.

2011-01-21 13:01:27

Homer [Member] said:

Here's the link:

2011-01-21 13:39:12

Homer [Member] said:

This and a previous story in the IBJ about the donut start-up described an entrepreneur unaware that he was over his head in opening his own wholesale operation. He could have saved himself a lot of time and money by seeking advice from consultants or even friendly peers. When he gets operating and then BEGINS to think about marketing, we'll probably see another woe-is-me.

2011-01-21 13:50:20

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Amen, Homer.

And on this one, Tom,'re just wrong.

I have little sympathy for someone who should've known the requirements, which are available on-line to read. And they're not excessive in this case. They sell food. HELLO? Don't you want the places that sell or manufacture your food, to include proper ventilation, sanitation and restroom facilities for employees?

They may not have a handicapped employee now, but if they ever do, and that person has inadequate RR facilities, the sanitation impact is pretty evident.

And I know cases where seemingly-silly requirements were altered by DMD staff. Show them the better altlernative, and they're pretty flexible, if they can be.

2011-01-21 13:58:45

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Hendy, I am all for sound business plans. I used to write them for clients.

But I still assert that knowing what the rule book says doesn't diminish the absurdity of some of the requirements in it. And I think donutman ran into some Kafkaesque requirements. You have dinged him for complaining about that which you say he should have known. I think his grounds for genuine complaint are the pettyfogging rules irrelevant to his enterprise.

2011-01-21 14:38:01

Nicolas Martin [unverified] said:

Business and land use regulations hit the less affluent particularly hard. Not only do they prevent minorities from opening businesses, they provide a decisive advantage to those who are well-heeled. Regulations are one way that politicians protect their friends (i.e., donors), at the expense of upstart entrepreneurs. Milton Friedman called this the “tyranny of the status quo.”

As leftist historian Gabriel Kolko described, in his brilliant book, “The Triumph of Conservatism,” progressive era regulations were designed not to protect consumers, but to insulate powerful businesses against competition. Regulations have ever-since served that function.

2011-01-22 09:49:11

nicmart [Member] said:

@Tell The Truth

Would you have faulted Rosa Parks for her failure to obey a law she obviously knew about before boarding the bus? Would you have faulted participants in the Underground Railroad for disobeying runaway slave laws they obviously knew existed?

The existence of a law is no proof of its morality. Often it is merely the result of a politically powerful group obtaining special dispensation, or unpopular groups being persecuted.

2011-01-22 09:57:20

hendy [Member] said:

There is civility, and the rule of law. Conservative or Liberal or somewhere between or something else, we've agreed to abide by it.

Equating ADA compliance to Rosa Parks is a stretch, even for this liberal. Yes, the entrance point to business gets higher seemingly every year. But it's attainable. You have to have capital, and use it wisely. You have to work hard, plan, and know when to fold.

I can think of a lot of businesses in Indy that now live inside old Burger Chefs. Some are restaurants, some are dry cleaners, and so on. Large businesses make mistakes, too. It's tough out there.

That's why a decent business education, or at minimum, accounting/financial/legal knowledge is required to stay above the fray. Every Sunday you can look at the auctions of businesses that failed. And when you look in the rest of the paper, you can see the advertising of those that are trying to succeed.

It's NOT ENOUGH to have some way-cool profession, go out and hang a shingle, and hope that you've built the world a better mousetrap. The world doesn't care. You have to fill a need or a perceived value to make it, then do it again, repeatedly, each time with profit. Barring that, be a wage slave. Many of us are. I am not.

2011-01-22 17:05:35

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"I can think of a lot of businesses in Indy that now live inside old Burger Chefs."

Burger Chef, a company bought by Hardy's, absorbed into The Borg. Not exactly an example of small business failure. Rather an example of small business enterprise that became large enough to come to the attention of a feeding shark, which is what all small businesses aspire to: get bought and go to Bimini.

2011-01-22 20:44:33

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Nic: There are a couple of comparisons which should always be gut-checked before usign them: anything Holocaust-related, and Rosa.

We saw the Holocaust comparison badly misused by a Democratic Congressman in a floor speech last week.

Rosa and a donut business's permit problems/


Take a step back and read that again.

I'll wait over-----------here.

If you still think the Rosa comparison is valid, repeat the above process.

We're talking about a businessman opening a donut shop. Hardly death-defying.

2011-01-23 15:10:23

Fee Enterprise [unverified] said:

Sources within DMD will confirm its fee driven attitude toward business & older buildings (with the unrealistic mission of demolishing for rebuild or making the old new). If they get their way, downtown will look like Carmel, that's their mindset. Owners of existing older buildings can find the conversion to new is cost & ownership prohibitive. The new compliance division is supported by fines rather than attracting new business. Businesses won't come or even stay if they don't feel secure here.

2011-01-23 15:12:26

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Yet another reason Greg Ballard will NOT be re-elected, eh?

2011-01-23 15:45:13

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Fee, you couldn't be more wrong if you tried. The Council sets fees. The DMD staff persons oversee the permit process...they have no control over the fee structure.

Your old-to-new observation is overly simplistic, and fraught with contrarian examples. Do you want a list of those projects which worked contrary to your assumption?

And I'm saying this, as someone who detests Ballard as a simpleton, and I do disagree with almost all his decisions which have affected DMD, Parks and Police.

But the fee structure? You're off-base.

2011-01-23 18:44:39

Jason [unverified] said:

IMHO, the article was nevertheless not without considerable merit.

If this donut guy is really just trying to make a case for overregulation he picked an extremely expensive way to do it. Installing hand rails in the bathroom doesn't do anything for the blind, deaf, etc. We all understand the spirit of it but where do we draw the line? If we're going to be disability compliant where are the braille and large print menus? Where are the all-picture, no text menus for people who can't read? Auditory prompts to keep paths of travel clear so we don't violate the fire code? How about an electronic translator mechanism for ALL public businesses capable of transliterating text in at least 15 languages? Like I said before, we can't have it both ways. We're an inertia driven species in an even more intertia driven society. More and more regulation discourages innovation. To an extent this may be great for the code compliance folks or anybody in the business of teaching businesses how to run their businesses, but an economy is only capable of so much adaptation.

Don't you find it odd when NYC tried to ban trans fat they exempted chain and franchise restaurants?

Hendy, nobody's saying businesses should never fail. The point here is that this one never had a CHANCE to fail. I spent a considerable amount of time in high school staring at a fryer and equal amounts of time licking the glass at Long's Bakery. We never had so much as an eye fountain/sani-flush, let alone an entire decon shower. If that's the law, yes obviously they should be compliant. They should also be lobbying to either change the law to make it more amenable, or enact changes to insure the law is enforced equitably, because it's not. I'm guessing that was the point of the article. I still give the guy his kudos for being forthright instead of cutting corners.

Either way, a water fountain? A decon shower? Having to hire a lawyer just to dicker over how many trees he has to plant? Paying hundreds of dollars an hour to expedite a mandatory approval process? Nuts. Reading the article the guy doesn't sound like a noob. He knows his business and he knows the niche he wants to fill.

Makes me wonder if they had decon showers when he worked at Krispy Kreme though.

2011-01-23 19:42:09

varangianguard [unverified] said:

In case you missed it, the IBJ had an article about this same subject. Apparently the Mayor has increased requirements beyond those of the state. Plus, there's been a distinct lack of communication going on. At least until the complaints reached a certain level.

2011-01-24 04:50:16

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I give up. They just don't get it, Ruthie. No lawyers needed to be hired--MUCH more difficult projects than this donut shop, have been pushed through the permitting process with fewer headaches and success at the end of the tunnel.

Handrails are required, Jason, because of that pesky ADA. Adopted over 20 yrs. ago. And its implementation was, at the time, DElAYED to include only those new projects and all remodels after that time. Many of us wanted it to be effective at once, for all businesses with public accommodation.

I'm not for excessive over-regulation. That's just not what happened here. At all.

2011-01-24 07:26:34

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

My daughter and her husband own a Downtown business including an historic building, that has been in the family for more than 30 years. They are continually being nibbled to death by new fees and licensing requirements, many of them clearly driven by big business interests. They have given up sponsorship of various downtown activities because every year there are new licenses and fees calculated to gouge small enterprises. Long ago they discovered that once a business donates to one charity or political interest, you get on a list to donate to many. Then you should expect a flood of suggestions that continued donations would be in the company's best interests: it is noting short of extortion. (And if you think building and health inspectors are above such things, you are living on Planet Clueless.)

2011-01-24 08:32:41

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Tom, someone's pulling your leg.

Please detail those fees, which ones are new, and what entities are imposing them.

Conspiracy theories abound...

2011-01-24 09:11:07

Jason [unverified] said:

Now you're touching on a possibility T3. I don't recall ever seeing anything resembling a decon shower at any bakery in this city. Ever.

Why not spend $20 on a respirator, some eye protection, and a hairnet? Either way our difference in opinions is the rub, there aren't going to be any solutions everybody's going to be happy with. Sure, he didn't have to hire a lawyer, but planting a tree of decent age is not an easy chore. It was probably cheaper to have someone haggle the city down a few.

If he was cutting down trees in order to build his business than I'm all for it, particularly if they're native hardwoods (he probably could have turned a tidy profit.) That doesn't seem like the case here.

Tom, I feel your pain. I gave $40 to the Nature Conservancy a few years ago. I got more address labels, calendars, coasters, etc. than I could use in a lifetime for the next 2 years.

2011-01-24 11:08:54

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

T3, I'm not going to be more specific because I do not want my son in law's business identified. Suffice to say they are subject to a sea of regulation and demands by authority figures and electeds with expectations. (And they are not involved in any sort of unsavory or remotely illegal enterprise.)

2011-01-24 19:13:24

T. Paine [unverified] said:

I was visiting with TWG Capital founder, Jim Wallace, who is
exploring a candidacy for governor. He said that "Reduction/elimination of red tape for small businesses is one of the things he would focus on as governor to stimulate job creation. As the chief engine for job growth in Indiana and the nation, small business needs a clear, unfettered path to start-up and growth. He would begin an immediate review of business-killing regulations and processes, and eliminate or consolidate unnecessary, burdensome, or overlapping requirements to creating jobs." That is from a guy who's company has about a half billion dollars in assets. He would understand business.

2011-01-25 06:24:44

nicmart [Member] said:

@ To Tell The Truth

You sidestepped the question, so I’ll restate it.

Why is anyone obliged to obey a law that he feels is immoral?

Of course people use illustrations like the Holocaust and Rosa Parks because they are iconic; and that is a time-honored debate technique. It is also time-honored to evade the point.

One can see how much America has changed by the evolution of the usage of the phrase “rule of law.” Where it once meant that government had to provide clear and fair laws, it has been transformed into a mantra for obedience to the state. That reflects the changes in both the nature of government and how the citizenry perceive themselves as having evolved from rulers to subjects.

I’ve never agreed to obey laws I consider immoral; there is no “social contract” that makes me a slave to politicians and their "swarms of Officers [sent hither] to harass our people and eat out their substance.” (Declaration of Independence.)

Where I previously lauded conscripts who refused to fight in Vietnam, and Black people who refused to kow-tow to racist rules of law, now I laud those who peacefully resist government encroachments on personal liberties so varied and minute as to be impossible to apprehend.

If you don’t think there is a parallel between what Rosa Parks faced by being disobedient and what a non-compliant business owner faces, try setting up a non-compliant business and defending your rights. The consequences will be harsh, and there will be plenty of people like you who will cheerlead the persecution of the disobedient merchant, just as there were to applaud the jailing of Rosa Parks.

2011-01-25 08:17:11

nicmart [Member] said:

Tocqueville predicted what America has become in his justly famous “Democracy in America” (1835). I post the relevant excerpt in two parts:

I think, then, that the species of oppression by which democratic nations are menaced is unlike anything that ever before existed in the world; our contemporaries will find no prototype of it in their memories. I seek in vain for an expression that will accurately convey the whole of the idea I have formed of it; the old words despotism and tyranny are inappropriate: the thing itself is new, and since I cannot name, I must attempt to define it.

"I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest; his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind. As for the rest of his fellow citizens, he is close to them, but he does not see them; he touches them, but he does not feel them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country.

"Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?"

2011-01-25 08:20:37

nicmart [Member] said:

Part 2, from “Democracy in America”:

"Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things;it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look on them as benefits.

"After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd."

2011-01-25 08:21:14

Fee Enterprise [unverified] said:

T3- I've got personal experience with rip off fees. It's real & excessive. I don't know what you read into my last post. You can't possibly know what you're talking about unless you've been a victim of this kidn of graft.

2011-01-25 22:03:30

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Please detail it. Be specific.

I'm intimately familiar with the fees DMD charges, the review process, the permit process, and the variance process.

I don't always win my cases, but I've found that staff to be fair and helpful.

Your post doesn't ring true. Sorry. Again--please be specific. I'll be glad to eat my hat if you're right.

I just strongly doubt that you're right.

2011-01-27 14:31:24

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Immoral laws?

Good God, Nic, it's zoning ordinances, not gay marriage or the death penalty.

You need to get a grip.

2011-01-27 14:32:45

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