Panhandling proposal mostly panned at Fresno City Hall
Steve Brandau’s proposed ban on panhandling cloaked as a ban on handing stuff out of car windows died on the vine, but all is not lost for everyone’s favorite lame-duck Fresno city councilman.
As a parting gift, I’ve prepared a list of similar ordinances Brandau may want to get behind before he takes the oath as Fresno County supervisor.
Which cannot possibly happen soon enough.
Ban dumping of coffee from car windows at intersections
This may seem like a harmless practice, until you consider how unsightly all those stains look on our streets.
And has anyone ever stopped to consider the impact on snails? We can’t have over-caffeinated mollusks zipping up and down our streets. Could upset the balance of nature.
Ban ice cream trucks
Now here’s a real public safety issue. As soon as children hear that familiar jingle, they rush headlong into the street, traffic be darned.
Can’t have that. Young lives need our attention.
Ban walking across the street
Pedestrian fatalities in Fresno are on the rise, and here’s a simple solution: Make it illegal to cross any street on foot.
What if you’re parked on one side of the street and need to get to the other? Get back in the car and drive. Duh.
Ban putting coins into other people’s parking meters that are about to expire
Other cities already have an ordinance against this very thing. They call it “interfering with the collection of city revenue.” Honestly, I’m surprised Fresno is behind the curve.
Gotta keep those quarters, dimes and nickels rolling toward City Hall.
Ban saggy pants
Lawmakers in South Carolina recently proposed this very ordinance, once again beating Fresno to the punch. (Shame on us.)
One of the bill’s sponsors claimed it had everything to do with halting an “unbecoming” and “unprofessional” look and nothing to do with discriminating against minorities.
On second thought, it isn’t fair that people who wear tight pants wouldn’t face the same penalty.
With that in mind, I propose Brandau form an ad hoc committee to determine allowable tension standards in the buttocks and waist areas.
Ban liquor licenses
The City Council is just going to rubber stamp every application anyway, so what’s the point?
Ban public sales of Girl Scout cookies
Sure, they taste delicious. But have you for a moment considered the congestion they cause in front of supermarkets and big-box stores? Can’t have that.
Ban bicycles from bike lanes
Because cars need more space to maneuver, and nobody uses bike lanes, anyway.
Have you ever considered how much vacuuming carpet taxes our energy grid? Better to mandate only tile, laminate and hardwood floors in all Fresno domiciles.
(No, this ordinance has nothing to do with the fact that Brandau owns a carpet cleaning business. Just a coincidence.)
Ban the use of utensils while eating pizza, hamburgers and fried chicken
Thought I’d sneak this in here. Just a pet peeve of mine.
Ban public sleeping within the city limits
Just to be certain, it could be expanded to include all forms of public sleeping. And if that proves too difficult to enforce, ban all public shutting of eyes.
Ban “Paying it Forward” at Starbucks
Talk about a misnomer. When you tell the barista to add the latte of the person behind you on your debit card, shouldn’t it be called “Paying it Backward?”
And, besides, it could be construed as unsolicited panhandling. Can’t have that.
Ban “poverty pimps”
Who needs social justice advocates in a city with little poverty, scant air pollution and ample park space? A city renowned for public engagement and transparency and zero history of corruption?
Better to forbid the practice altogether and let those in our community with no voice speak for themselves.
Marek Warszawski: 559-441-6218, @MarekTheBee