When it comes to state and local governments, there are some regulations that make sense, some that don’t, and then some that just leave you scratching your head and wondering what’s going on. As a result, decent, good-willed people often get taken advantage of and the government reaps the benefits. Such is the case with 76-year-old Lorraine Walsh, who was recently fined $200 for not shoveling snow on her property in a timely fashion. (RELATED: Read about how other cities across the country are unjustly fining and ticketing their citizens.)
Walsh, who is a resident of South Boston, told a local CBS News affiliate that she doesn’t “think it was fair because it was icy and it was difficult to get up.” But even though the conditions were cold and terribly dangerous, the 76-year-old woman still made an attempt to remove the snow from the sidewalk in front of her home. She even used an ice melter to try to speed up the process, but the freezing weather ultimately forced her to retreat back indoors.
Normally, people would have a tremendous amount of sympathy for an elderly woman out deicing her sidewalk in the bitter cold. Not the city of Boston, however. Because Lorraine wasn’t able to clear the snow and ice off of her sidewalk fast enough, authorities hit her with a $200 fine. (RELATED: Shameless police state continues to steal innocent citizens’ money.)
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh released a statement and showed no remorse whatsoever. “The rules are, three hours after a snowstorm we’re asking residents to shovel their sidewalks and businesses to shovel their sidewalks,” he said, “and if you can’t shovel it, get somebody to shovel it for you.”
I wonder how Mayor Walsh would feel if his mother or an elderly person he’s close to was fined for not clearing snow in under three hours. My guess is that he wouldn’t be too happy.
The reason why these rules are in place is obvious – it’s to make sure that people have a clear path to walk along the sidewalks without having to trudge through snow or risk slipping on ice. Trust me, as a New Englander myself, I know how frustrating it can be when sidewalks aren’t clear. But if I knew that the reason snow wasn’t cleared was because a 76-year-old woman didn’t want to risk her health and safety going outside to shovel, I would be more than understanding. It’s a shame that Mayor Walsh and the city of Boston don’t see it that way; it seems to me that the only thing they do see is an opportunity to take advantage of an elderly woman for money.