I would like to thank the city for scheduling a time to listen to the citizens of Warsaw in their concern of the overreaching Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance.
While I understand the intent of the ordinance, wanting to give current law some teeth to clean up Warsaw, I am deeply concerned about this ordinance.
I would like to share a personal story about why I so strongly oppose this ordinance, and offer a possible solution at the end of my letter.
My concern is the “interpretation” of current Indiana law.
As a former business owner and home day care provider, I have already lived through this and it nearly put me out of business. It did put several day cares out.
Here’s my story. Indiana law stated that “all children shall be supervised.”
The state of Indiana felt this was not specific enough and wanted to give the law teeth. They said it would actually help us from overzealous inspectors.
They decided to change the law from “all children shall be supervised,” to “every child shall be in sight and sound at all times.” That sounds great if you are superwoman!
Here was the result: The licensing inspectors began to write us up for things like changing diapers because our backs were turned against the other children. They wrote us up for going to the bathroom because even though we secured the children, they were not in our sight. Providers lost their licenses. Common sense was lost.
When I see the 20 page ordinance, and the city’s interpretation, this floods me with memories of what the government can do if given the power.
Current law already gives the city all the power they need to address unsafe buildings. The code is 36.7.9.
There are about five or six things that they are able to get warrants for. These are the only things that should be in this new ordinance. Unsafe buildings as according to state statute. This ordinance overreaches and is ultimately about aesthetics of our community.
Here is my solution: I propose if our mayor and council want to work on aesthetics, that we come togetheras a community to help one another fix it up. I propose them seeking grants, pulling churches together, hosting neighborhood cleanups.
There are so many things we can do to fix our town other than regulating. The nine most dangerous words in the English language are, “I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.”
I am asking that the city council remove all portions of this ordinance that apply to homeowner occupied property and simply follow current law.
I also urge the community to come to the meeting Monday at 4 p.m. at City Hall and let them know how you feel. If you can’t make it to the meeting call them. Engage them.
With firm reliance on divine providence.