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Archive for the ‘Nanny State’ Category

Local Food Discussion On The Oracle Inn Podcast

October 1, 2016 Leave a comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

I was happy to join the Oracle Inn Podcast tonight for a discussion on the many aspects of local food and urban farming. Topics covered included local rules and regulations, challenges to local food production, food education and competing with large corporations. You can watch the entire show here:

Flag Council To Reconsider RV/Boat Parking Restrictions

September 22, 2016 2 comments

By Elisha Dorfsmith

On February 16, 2016 the Flagstaff City Council voted unanimously to approve ordinance 2016-07 which contained sweeping changes to the Flagstaff Zoning Code. Among those changes were new restrictions on RV, boat and trailer parking which put major limitations on where you could park on your own property.

Much like Flagstaff’s recently passed Party Ordinance and rejected Property Maintenance Ordinance, residents were told that citations would only be issued on a complaint driven basis and only gross offenders would be targeted. What the City conveniently left out is the busybody element that always goes along with these types of laws.

We have one guy going around our neighborhood complaining about everyone.” Writes Susan McCullough, founder of the facebook group Flagstaff RV/Boat/Trailer Code Breakers & Friends, a group dedicated to making changes to the ordinance.

“You can park in your backyard or interior side yard (between houses, but not on the street side of your house). The front of the rig must be behind the front of your house. Even if you have a paved driveway specifically for your rig, you are not allowed to park it there.”

McCullough joined with concerned neighbors and other Flagstaff residents and was successful in getting a FAIR (Future Agenda Item Request) on the October 4th City Council agenda. At the October 4th meeting, at least four council members will need to support moving this request forward in order for the City to revisit the RV/Boat parking part of the City Code.

If you have an opinion on this ordinance, you can contact the entire Flagstaff City Council at council@flagstaffaz.gov

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An illegally parked RV in Flagstaff.

Party Ordinance Will Impact Council’s Nuisance Parties

April 13, 2016 Leave a comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Last night the Flagstaff City Council put up the final roadblock to nearly a year’s worth of work on a citizen driven effort to make changes to Flagstaff’s recently passed party ordinance. The Council work session was the last in a long line of hearings and meetings and council chose to keep the ordinance “as is” as the police department asked.

Councilman Jeff Oravits was the only member of council even interested in making any changes to the law and I want to thank him for being willing to look for a compromise that could make everyone happy. There were very reasonable changes that could have been made.

Even though we didn’t get our desired outcome, I am very impressed with the effort and work that went into this by so many people on so many levels. The fight is not over yet. We will be looking at other ways to push back against this ordinance and protect people’s right to assemble.

In the video below you can find my comments to council yesterday evening. I explain to them that they need to realize that this ordinance will impact the nuisance parties they throw.

Conflicting Party Ordinance Talking Points

March 28, 2016 Leave a comment
By Elisha Dorfsmith

The Flagstaff City Council will be revisiting their recently passed party ordinance on April 12th at their 6:00 pm work session at City Hall. This may be our last chance to institute changes to the ordinance and if you have concerns I strongly encourage you to attend this work session and make your voice heard. If you cannot attend, please send council an email. You can email the entire Flagstaff City Council at council@flagstaffaz.gov

I will be speaking at this work session but I have also emailed council several times with additional concerns. Below is an email I sent today talking about the Flagstaff Police Department’s conflicting talking points.

“Mayor and Council,

As you know, the Flagstaff Police Department recently conducted a series of meetings with students and concerned residents to discuss Flagstaff’s recently passed party ordinance. I attended these meetings and while I found Flag PD to be open to listening to our concerns, I also found that they seem to be pushing a lot of conflicting talking points. 

At our first meeting a Daily Sun reporter quizzed us about why we were opposed to the new ordinance since it takes away some criminal penalties and makes them civil. She said students should be thanking Flag PD for making their lives easier. I said the better question is how will this ordinance help Flag PD if it is all about making student’s lives easier. After all, Flag PD says they need this new ordinance to help break up parties. Flag PD responded that the reason it is better is because they can now go after property owners. 

With this in mind, pay close attention to the Flagstaff Police Department’s presentation on April 12th. As of March 9th they told us that no property owners had been cited. Yet, they will be at council touting the success, so far, of this ordinance. They will even be showing you a video of them breaking up a party. If it is the same video they played for us, you will see a crowd quietly and respectfully dispersing. You will see no citations issued. You will see a small amount of litter on private property but something I suspect would be picked up the next morning. Simply put, you will hear Flag PD touting the success of this ordinance while showing proof that 3 officers can peacefully break up large parties without using the ordinance. 

Of course, that video is not reflective of all parties in Flagstaff. As of March 9th, 95 civil and 22 criminal citations had been issued under the new party ordinance. What Flag PD could not tell us was how this measured up to the same time period in previous years. Would those violations have equated to 117 criminal citations? Or would there still have only been 22 criminal citations with no civil citations? We need to know because of the possibility that the vague language of this new ordinance is casting a wider net on the civil side. 

I hope you will join me in looking for clarification and answers to these questions at the April 12th council work session.

Thanks for your time, 

Sincerely,

Elisha Dorfsmith
Flagstaff”

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Where Unchecked Property Maintenance And Party Ordinances End Up

November 28, 2015 Leave a comment

By Elisha Dorfsmith

A few days ago someone on facebook attacked the posts here on my blog saying I spend too much time complaining about things that are not really important and will only impact a small number of people.

This person was specifically referring to Flagstaff’s recently passed party ordinance but I have also heard this same feedback when discussing my criticism of laws like Flagstaff’s proposed (and rejected) Property Maintenance Ordinance.

Of course, I stand by all my posts and opposition to these ordinances and today I was happy to stumble across this fitting video showing exactly how far unchecked property maintenance and party ordinances can go. This is precisely what I have been trying to warn everyone about…

Flagstaff Considers Endorsing Carbon Tax

November 28, 2015 2 comments

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Representatives from the Citizens Climate Lobby recently gave a presentation to the Flagstaff Sustainability Commission about their local resolution supporting a National carbon tax.

The Flagstaff Sustainability Commission will be voting on this resolution at their December 28th meeting. The Flagstaff City Council will be voting on this resolution in January, 2016.

If you have an opinion on this proposed resolution, you can contact the Flagstaff Sustainability Commission at: tlawless@flagstaffaz.gov and the Flagstaff City Council at: council@flagstaffaz.gov

Below is a video of the proposed resolution presented to the Flagstaff Sustainability Commission on November 23rd.

 

Flag PD And Paper Back Off Attacking The Grove After The Grove Joins City Program

October 18, 2015 3 comments

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Today’s edition of the Arizona Daily Sun has a great example of how the police and the media manipulate public opinion to achieve a desired result. Over the past year I have said over and over again that the main reason The Grove was a target of Flag PD and the Paper was because The Grove said they did not want to be part of the City’s “Crime Free Multi Housing Property Program”.

On November 19th of last year I wrote:

“I believe I found the motive (for villainizing The Grove) when I attended last night’s Flagstaff City Council meeting. One of the items on the agenda was a discussion for another student housing complex. During the presentation from City Staff it was disclosed that The Grove has been approached multiple times and asked to participate in the Flagstaff Police Department’s Crime-Free Multi-Housing program. Each time they have declined. I am convinced that the villainization of The Grove by Flag PD is an attempt to bully them into participating in a program that they don’t want to participate in.”

After reading today’s paper, we see that both the Daily Sun and the Flagstaff Police Department are backing off their attacks on the grove because they succeeded in bullying the Grove into joining the program.

For those connecting the dots, notice how the Daily Sun says today that the Grove was the poster child for revising the City’s party ordinance? Now read the rest of the article. Not once is the party ordinance listed as a reason for reduced crime.

So what do we learn from this? Flag PD, with the help of the media, used The Grove as a poster child to show the need for a party ordinance. Then they used the ordinance to pressure The Grove to join a City program that they didn’t want to join. Now that the Grove has joined the program, they are being praised as an upstanding student housing complex. Maybe, just maybe, my concerns have been legitimate all along.

You can read today’s Daily Sun article on The Grove here:

The Grove Seeing Fewer Police Calls

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When I brought up my concerns last year, a Daily Sun reporter came on my personal facebook page and attacked my perspective. That doesn’t happen unless you hit very close to the truth (click photo to enlarge)

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