Recently, the city halted my attempt to replace my dilapidated fence. They insisted that the new fence be moved two feet farther into my yard, which would take out all my bushes there and half of my garden. The fence is on Alden Place, where there is a wide tree lawn, a full-width sidewalk, plus three feet of stones banking the current fence — there is no lack of room for pedestrians or anything else.
To contest this, I would have to pay $150 — just to try. Here is one more example of the city’s arrogant and unnecessary regulations. These pretend to promote public safety but only extort fees and let bureaucrats pretend their jobs are worthwhile.
A more obvious example: When I had to replace my porch, I was forced to put in inappropriate high railings to protect kids I don’t have (and who apparently can’t fall down stairs), while National Grid was allowed to dig many pits six-feet deep right next to sidewalks all over the neighborhood and leave them there for five to six months.
This proves incontestably that the city’s laws have no concern with public safety, just with extorting more money from homeowners. And we have to pay the salaries of the people who do this to us.
If the city wishes to cut spending and still make Schenectady a better place to live, it can do so by eliminating the extortion departments.