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We’re not heavy, we’re students

Last week, Mayor Fretti made a comment about taking steps to remove “kegs and couches” from the front lawns of Valdosta. My response to Mayor Fretti:
You can take my couch, once you pry it from my cracked and sticky porch.
The Valdosta City Council claims that they aren’t on a witch-hunt against college students. However, with Ordinance (2009-43), a vendetta against kegs/couches, and the pitchforks, it’s difficult to believe otherwise.
Now this mission to protect the image of Valdosta, whatever that is, has become a full-blown crusade at the inconvenience of every Valdosta resident, not just students.
Recently, I heard that the police department has been issuing tickets for cars parked in the “wrong” direction. Apparently, this has been a result of cops spending more time driving through residential areas to enforce the parking ordinance. Are you kidding me? It’s a parked car on the side of the road. How can a parked vehicle, regardless of direction, hurt Valdosta’s image or offend any of the residents? There’s no reason for this.
Now driving in the wrong direction, on the other hand, is a serious issue. So how about allowing the police to keep an eye on that instead of wasting their time being community-wide meter maids?
I never liked the parking ordinance. It was born from the ashes of an ordinance that prevented more than three nonrelated residents to live in the same house. Fortunately, the Supreme Court deemed the ordinance as unconstitutional on the grounds that you can’t define what makes a family unit. This victory was short-lived, however, because now we have to deal with a very aggressive parking ordinance made to discourage more than three students living together and throwing parties. It’s an attempt to control the way we act, and they’re going about it the wrong way.
People want to visit other people. If this offends the uptight hermits on the block, so be it. There shouldn’t be a rule against residents inviting friends over and allowing them to park wherever they can manage. Of course, if this gathering disrupts the neighbors, then the police can be called in. After all, that’s the way it has always been. There’s no need to continually stack rules upon rules to stop people from getting together, students or otherwise.
Now, this isn’t to say that we aren’t incapable of compromise. However, that requires some give and take. The debris ordinance, for example, makes perfect sense to me. Living in a community means respecting the community, and that starts with taking care of your property. It’s understandable that the city council doesn’t want Valdosta to look like a hurricane just struck the local brewery and scattered the contents all over a few houses.
However, it does seem like they are ridiculously lenient when a keg is found on the lawn compared to a car.
What happens is a city marshal gets a complaint or finds the drunk-pile on your lawn. Then they send a letter, warning you to clean up the mess. If you don’t comply, you get a summons to arrive in court where a judge will issue you some incentive/fine. It’s like your parents telling you to clean your room. But, instead of 15 minutes in the naughty corner or being cut off from the television, you have to pay money for being a slob.
Why not handle the parking ordinance like this?
The fact is, people of V-town, the students of VSU are residents of Valdosta. At least, that’s what the census forms we filled out awhile ago told the state, and we know how important that was to the community.
So how about we come together as a community, instead of alienating one another over couches on the porch and cars on the lawn?
If not that’s impossible, then I dare Valdosta to take the porch-couch from my house.
You’ll find that extremely difficult, seeing as I rent an apartment.

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