City council déjà vu … could this anti-littering ordinance be the dream that might come true?


Last evening’s anti-littering ordinance is all well and good, but lest we forget, déjà vu is more than just a strip club in Louisville.

Definition of déjà vu

a : the illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time
b : a feeling that one has seen or heard something before

Despite a blond, swept-back mane all his own, Fonda looks startlingly like his father, Henry … . He even moves like his father, only dispelling the eerie feeling of déjà vu when he opens his mouth. — Peter Biskind

: something overly or unpleasantly familiar: “The team’s poor start to the season was déjà vu for its long-suffering fans.”

Ah, the memories. Back in 2013, Greg Phipps heroically tackled porch fridges.

Panhandling in the middle of the street about to be abolished. That and porch furniture.

As for the ordinance ridding the city of “indoor” furniture and various appliances arranged tastefully (although usually otherwise) on porches, I’m mostly down with the notion, although (a) it’s yet another aesthetic Band-Aid that addresses symptoms, rather than the fundamental rot of slumlordism, and (b) if there’s any one thing we’ve learned during the past decade, such a Band-Aid is meaningless without concrete enforcement plans. I’m told the council discussed enforcement at its work session last week, and that’s a positive sign.

Can anyone recall an instance of porch furniture ordinance enforcement?

Thursday’s littering Band-Aid fits precisely the same pattern. It addresses symptoms, not fundamentals, and it will be meaningless without equitable, consistent enforcement … and it’s the latter that invariably stalls, if not every last time, then just about always.

Later this afternoon, I hope to link readers to a follow-up about this week’s most compellingly New Gahanian story: Warren’s sad Board of Works social research meltdown: “Jeff Gahan’s appointees could use a refresher course in due process. After all, it is a tenet of representative government and basic justice.”

New Albany City Council approves stronger litter ordinance, by Erin Walden (N and T)

NEW ALBANY — New Albany City Council took major strides to make the city, as one council member put it, an “overall cleaner city” Thursday night.

The governing body passed a litter ordinance that imposes much heavier fines for littering, structured to make citizens think twice before dropping a cigarette butt, ditching a bag of trash instead of paying for a trash service or dumping an appliance.

The new ordinance is structured around the type of litter, proximity to a natural water source or storm drain, amount of litter and if the individual is a repeat offender.

A styrofoam cup can carry a $100 fine, a hypodermic needle or obscene magazine up to a $1,000.

The heftiest possible fine is $8,000.

Council member Al Knable introduced the ordinance, explaining that he was told both the police department and mayor’s office were behind it.