“PAGEDALE Mo. Drive through this working-class suburb filled with 1950s cottages and you will see many edged and weeded lawns. You’ll also notice orange sticky notes on the doors — at least one or two per street in many parts of town.
They are warnings the city gives to residents who violate local ordinances. And in this community of 3,304 residents, the list of what earns a ticket and fine is long.
Among the things that will be “closely monitored” through the spring and summer, according to a newsletter that recently went out to residents:
Pants worn too low or grass grown too high. Children riding bikes without helmets. Barbecue pits or toys in front yards. Basketball hoops in the streets.
There’s no loitering — described in city code as “the concept of spending time idly” or “the colloquial expression ‘hanging around.’” And, despite a citywide 20 mph speed limit, there’s no playing or walking in the street.
Faye Millet, one of the aldermen who wrote the newsletter, said the ordinances are aimed at safety and quality of life. Pagedale is in the midst of a massive redevelopment effort, aimed at drawing businesses to its main corridors and restoring a population that has fallen off since the 1960s.
“Even I have a letter from the city saying I have to do certain things to my property,” she said, pointing out that nobody wants to be surrounded by derelict homes.
But there’s more to the story.
Pagedale handed out 2,255 citations for these types of offenses last year — or nearly two per household. That’s a nearly 500 percent increase from five years ago, according to an analysis of state court data by the Post-Dispatch.
And yet none of the fines and fees from these offenses count under the Macks Creek Law. The law is the state’s one tool for keeping cash-hungry municipalities from relying too much on court fines for revenue.
But it has a major blind spot: Its revenue limits apply only to traffic cases.
Cities and villages have no restrictions on raising revenue from other types of tickets.”
They had better watch it. There was a town here in Florida that was so corrupt and cash hungry that the citizens dis-banded it.
They fired every single cop and elected official and most of them have been charged with financial crimes.
It may not work on the large scale, but on a small town level, we the people are still pretty effective.