Have you or anyone in your family ever dropped a coin, tossed aside a bad piece of fruit, tapped the ash off a cigarette, spread mulch, or mowed a lawn?
If you ever engage in these behaviors, among many others, Baltimore County Council seems to believe you should be made guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a minimum $500 fine and/or possible imprisonment.1
This bipartisan county council maneuver to empty your wallets is sponsored by Republicans David Marks, Todd Crandell, and Wade Kach along with Democrats Cathy Bevins, Vicki Almond, Julian Jones, and Tom Quirk.1
It is scheduled for final reading and vote on Monday, April 6th at 6pm.
This recently proposed Bill 20-15 reads as follows:
(A) A person may not place, deposit, cast, or throw on, or into, OR ADJACENT TO, any road, street, sidewalk, lane, alley, bridge or drain the THE county:
(1) Any metal, wood, glass, nails, grass clippings, leaves, or other object or article; or
(2) Any dead animal, offal, garbage, ashes, fruit, dirt, filth, rubbish, noxious fluid or substance, or refuse of any kind.
(B) A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION IS GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR AND SUBJECT TO A FINE OF NOT LESS THAN $500 AND NOT MORE THAN $1,000, OR IMPRISONMENT NOT EXCEEDING 6 MONTHS, OR BOTH.
Take a moment to think about what the word “adjacent” means.
What is adjacent to roads & sidewalks? Almost every person’s yard or house.
Do you have a yard or house that shares a border with a road or sidewalk? If so, then based on how this law is written, you could be guilty of a misdemeanor if you have grass clippings in your yard.
Why stop at grass clippings? County Council also seems intent on fining you for dirt, wood, leaves, or any “other object or article” imaginable!
If Bill 20-15 passes, its vague, all-encompassing language could allow Baltimore County to construe you as guilty of a misdemeanor if ANY QUANTITY of material is placed on ANY PART of your property or public right of way.
“But they only mean really big piles of junk in the road or right beside it,” some might claim.
Is that what the bill says? As currently written, there is no minimum quantity of material that must be exceeded before you are guilty.
In other words, a person who discards one ugly grape could be punished just as severely as someone who discards an entire shipment of spoiled fruit.
If material is placed in your yard, how close does it have to be to the road or sidewalk before it’s considered illegal? Five feet? One hundred feet? Again, the law as written has no specification and potentially allows Baltimore County to use your entire property as an excuse to fine and imprison you.
All it takes is one tax hungry sociopath in a position of executive authority to start abusing this power. Arguably, we already have a person like this in a position to do so.
There is no reason why we should trust County Executive Kevin Kamenetz with this power. After all, Kamenetz is the one who requested that county council introduce the Rain Tax, and he also supported speed cameras.
Don’t let this outrageous power grab in Bill 20-15 become a reality. Contact your councilperson and demand they withdraw the bill and/or vote against it. It’s easier to kill a bad bill before it passes than it is to repeal it later, so please don’t miss this opportunity!
Protect liberty & justice! SIGN THE PETITION – CLICK HERE! Please share this message with friends and neighbors!
Don’t miss the deadline! County council votes on Bill 20-15 on Monday, April 6th at 6pm.
Remember, David Marks, Todd Crandell, Wade Kach, Cathy Bevins, Vicki Almond, Julian Jones, and Tom Quirk introduced this power grab.
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES!
Not sure who represents you on the county council? Find your councilmanic district HERE
CALL TO ACTION! Copy this example e-mail to send to your representative:
SUBJECT: Stop the Bill 20-15 power grab!
Dear (councilperson/Kevin Kamenetz),
Bill 20-15 must be opposed. As written, it empowers the county executive to excessively fine and imprison county residents for dropping ANY QUANTITY of ANY OBJECT in virtually ANY PLACE for ANY DURATION. This is tyrannical and inconsistent with principles of liberty and justice. Do not support this terrible legislation.
– Concerned and overtaxed citizen –
1) Read Bill 20-15 and see which council members sponsored it HERE