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Law Enforcement: What Does It Take?
updated: Feb 28, 2013, 5:57 PM
By Ashleigh Brilliant
Dear Mayor Schneider,
What does it take to get a law enforced in Santa Barbara?
I don't mean just any law, but one that over 9000 City residents signed to get on the ballot, one which
was passed by a substantial majority, and which has been on the books for fifteen years.
I refer to Ordinance number 5036, section 9.16.021 of the City Code, which prohibits use of Gasoline
Powered Leaf Blowers.
To say that this law is not being effectively enforced would be an understatement. The noisy,
obnoxious, and polluting machines, little changed or improved since their menace was first recognized,
are still widely in use, even though existing law provides for a much less objectionable electric-powered
Those of us who worked so hard to secure passage of this ban are appalled and frustrated that, after all
this time, so little is being done to enforce it. When attempts are made to call police against violators,
the complainers are usually given to understand that this is a very low-priority matter. If police do arrive
before the violators have left the scene, they (the police) often show little respect or sympathy for the
person lodging the complaint.
There are many steps which could be taken to improve this situation, but they all depend on the
cooperation and support of the City Administration:
1. An official City document in English and Spanish could be prepared and distributed, clearly stating
the law and the penalties for its violation.
2. Police could be instructed to take this law seriously, and empowered to confiscate offending
3. Concerned citizens could be instructed on the proper way to document and report violations, e.g. by
taking photographs of violators and their vehicles (including of course the license plates.)
4. Local media could be encouraged to report arrests, convictions, and fines of violators.
5. The Mayor herself could issue a statement detailing the problem and the measures being taken to
Thank you for giving this matter serious attention.
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