And A Little Child Will Lead Them……

Dane Best
(Image courtesy The Greeley Tribune.)

Meet Dane Best.

Dane Best is a 9 year old who, on field trip to the Severance, Colorado, City Hall, learned that an ordinance had been passed that prohibited snowball fights.

In the 1020’s, when Severance was founded, the City passed an law that made it illegal to throw “missiles” at people, places or animals. . Part of what got caught up in that law was a snowball. No snowballs, no snowball fights.

I thought it was crazy,” Dane Best said. “Little kids should be allowed to throw snowballs at each other.”

So young Mr. Best decided to make a presentation to the City Trustees asking them to amend the ordinance to allow snowball fights.

It’s a no-brainer, right?

Let kids be kids and throw snowballs at each other. Heck, every Hallmark Channel Christmas love story that takes place when there is snow on the ground has the protagonists engaging in a snowball fight. If it is good enough for the love seen on the Hallmark Channel, it has to be good enough for the rest of the world, right?

(We are joking. Sort of.)

Yet even in a town of approximately 4,200 people,there will be some elected morons officials who are overly officious and ridiculous.

Can we amend this ordinance to say that if you’re over 60, no one can throw a snowball at you?” asked Trustee Dennis “Zeke” Kane.

Trustee Michelle Duda posed this question: “If we do enact snowball fighting, have you talked to your fellow students about safety issues?”

It almost seems as if the Trustees are thinking that kids who engage in snowball fights are guilty of some crime or desire to permanently injure someone or property. Obviously, the kids are guilty until proven innocent.

(It’s Colorado, so maybe the Town Trustees should put in language making it illegal to engage in a snowball fight while high.)

Dane, who has been working on a presentation for the town board for the past month, was prepared. He doesn’t plan to throw snowballs with rocks inside of them at anyone, he said, and he’d never throw a snowball at a window.

In the end, the City voted to amend the ordinance and there were smiles and photo-ops all around:

Just minutes later, when the ban officially ended, Mayor Don McLeod stepped outside with two snowballs. Dane and his little brother, Dax, 4, threw the first legal snowballs in Severance history.

After the meeting, Dane and Dax’s grandfather, Rick Best, stood back and took the in the scene as Dane and his parents took questions from reporters. He thought about how much Dane has learned about local government, and how many kids might think about getting involved themselves.

People will say “Awwwwww,” and we are sure that Dane Best’s parents are rightfully proud of the young man who saw something and wanted it changed. We applaud him and his parents support for that.

Yet to us, there is a deeper issue that needs to be looked at and needs to be examined on every level of government.

How in the heck did this law stay on the books for ninety-one years without anyone on in the City and especially in the City government ever looking at this and saying, “this is not only weird, this is wrong.”

There is a tendency for officials to add more laws and regulations rather than fix or repeal the ones that are on the books that are wrong to begin with.

For example, here in Florida:

  • If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
  • The molestation of trash cans is banned. (Daytona Beach)
  • You may not fart in a public place after 6 PM.
  • Corrupting the public morals is defined as a nuisance, and is declared a misdemeanor offense.
  • If you notice an ice-cream man attempting to sell his cold concoctions in a cemetery, call the police immediately, for that is illegal. (Destin)
  • Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.
  • Persons may not be “inappropriately attired” who work at hot dog stands.
  • You may not kiss your wife’s breasts.
  • Oral sex is illegal.
  • It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit.
  • Unmarried couples may not commit “lewd acts” and live together in the same residence.
  • If you like to love to ride your bicycle in Destin, don’t lean it up against a tree in a cemetery. (Destin)
  • When having sex, only the missionary position is legal.
  • A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing.
  • Owning a flower pot with water in it that isn’t capable of draining is considered a public nuisance. (Daytona Beach)
  • It is against the city ordinance to hang your clothes outside on a clothesline. (Cape Coral)
  • If you wish to go swimming in the ocean, get dressed in your hotel room. (Destin)
  • Persons face up to thirty days in jail for selling oranges on the sidewalk. (Miami Beach)
  • Women may be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer, as can the salon owner.
  • Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.
  • It is considered an offense to take a shower in the nude.
  • It is illegal to have sexual relations with a porcupine.
  • It is illegal to chip the edges of more than four cups or saucers or to break more than three dishes.
  • In Pensacola, Florida, it is illegal to roll a barrel down a street. Depending on the content of the barrel, you can be fined. (We guess that singing “Roll Out The Barrels in a swimsuit while rolling a barrel is definitely verboten.)

There are even a few local laws that have us shaking our heads, wondering what is the genesis behind these laws and why are they still around:

  • In Palm Bay – Persons may not tow a sled behind their bicycles.
  • In Satellite Beach – Persons may not appear in public clothed in liquid latex.

Dane Best should be applauded for taking on City Hall and winning.

On the other hand, those who are on the City Board of Trustees, (as do every governing body) need to read the laws of their town before taking the oath of office. Instead of arriving into that office and saying “we are going to make laws that …..,” officials should look at the laws that can be repealed.

We don’t want to bring President Trump into this, but his rule that if an agency is going to make a new rule, it must first get rid of two rules that are on the books makes a great deal of sense. Laws that may have seemed legitimate and needful when passed may be outdated.

It shouldn’t take a nine year old to force the supposed adults to do the right things.

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