Why Is Everyone Mad at Me?
This room feels tense.— Erin James (@ydcity) November 27, 2013
City council recently introduced ten pages of regulatory barriers and restraints on mobile food vendors. As I’ve always advocated for people to have the freedom to exchange goods and services in York City, I thought I’d attend the proceedings and offer my input on York’s mobile food vendor ordinance.
Don Hoyt's mad again.— Erin James (@ydcity) November 27, 2013
It should have been just another committee work session. But for some reason, city solicitor Don Hoyt was incensed at my testimony and even councilwoman Hill-Evans made it clear my testimony was less than invited. Early on, I was asked if I was ‘almost finished’. I don’t know about you, but when an angry bureaucrat poses that question under those circumstances, the connotation is clear. It seemed they were frustrated I was actually there to offer substantive input. That’s what committee work sessions are intended for.
Despite patiently sitting through hours of bureaucratic back-and-forth between council and the administration, and the fact that this mobile food vendor ordinance has been in a perpetual state of flux and uncertainty for over two years – I think they wanted me to discuss all ten pages of their regulatory babble in two minutes or less.
Message to the petty tyrants and chieftains on council: it doesn’t work that way.
So long as my family has chosen to call York home – and I’m a resident of this city – I will take a dignified stand on the issues and expect my input to be received without barriers or prejudice. There was no reason for me to be placed under duress or for my testimony to be given in haste. I was strict and to the point and the items I brought for discussion were not repetitive or frivolous in any way.
Worst of all, we were sitting in an empty room. I was one of only two people in chambers not paid to be present. The bureaucrats wanted to be left to their own devices. There’s no other explanation.
The unexpected melodrama caused me to miss several key points of discussion, particularly those dealing with proximity bans and brick and mortar establishments being given veto power over food vendor permits.
Stay tuned for part two where I’ll break down, point by point (free of angry bureaucratic objections) the specific reasons why this ordinance is ill-suited for York and can only serve to harm its economic vitality.