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Happy New Year! It's Time for Another BAN!

Original post made by Jim Neal on Feb 5, 2014

You know it's a new year when the City Council finds yet another thing to ban! Last year it was plastic bags. The council argued that banning plastic bags was necessary in order to protect the environment, but evidently the fact that there are manufacturers that make biodegradable plastic bags was overlooked even though I showed them one from my trip to Venice (which by the way has lots of water nearby).

I can never seem to grasp the concept behind passing laws and ordinances that deny people the right to use legal products. However, I find it an amazing coincidence that many bans are accompanied by a mechanism for revenue generation.

This year's ban is polystyrene foam (or styrofoam). The City Council will be debating this earth-shattering issue next week, but with all the other work that the overburdened city staff has, why now? I could understand if the City had nothing better to do and was bored, but there are tons of projects scheduled for this year, affordable housing has become the topic-du-jour, with neighborhood preservation and parking and traffic following closely behind! So why this?

I will leave it to you to answer the question for yourselves. However, as a general statement, I will say that I find these type of bans to be a colossal waste of time and resources with the ultimate effect that they limit people's choices while simultaneously imposing some type of hardship on employers, manufacturers or consumers if not all three!

Enough with the bans already! There are better (and more appropriate situations for which) to use the Police Powers of the State than hassling people over petty things like this. I would like to see the City place a ban on banning things that are legal. With all the important issues we have to face, we don't need to waste valuable city employee time on this issue.

By the way, did you know that styrofoam can be recycled right here in Mountain View? I'm jut sayin' .....

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As you all know, I am running for City Council this year. If you would like to find out more about my campaign and common sense approach to City government, you can find my web page here:

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Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

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