Thursday, August 21, 2008

Clayton, California Mayor Bans Children's Vegetable Stand

I thought Ebenezer Scrooge was cured if his stinginess and dislike of children. But apparently, he relapsed and got himself elected the mayor of Clayton, California.

That’s because Clayton mayor Gregory Manning shut down a vegetable stand run by 11-year-old Katie Lewis, and her 3-year-old sister, Sabrina.

According to a story on ABCNews.com, the two girls were selling homegrown watermelons for $1, and zucchini. A town official told Mike Lewis, Katie’s dad, that it was all right if the stand was open on the weekends. But after two (TWO!) residents called to ask if the stand was legal, Mayor Manning brought the long arm of the zoning law down on the two little girls who just wanted to sell healthy food to their neighbors.

(This is when you all go “awwwww.”)

Mike Lewis compared his daughters’ entrepreneurial efforts to a lemonade stand, which Mayor Manning says are also illegal. However, he says town officials overlook those, since they only last a day or two. But not Katie. She’s saving her vegetable money toward her college fund.

"I take it and once I've got about $20 to $30, I'll bring it to the bank and put it in my bank account for college," Katie told ABCNews.com.

But once Mayor Manning heard of the veggie stand from the two anonymous citizens, he sprang into action. “Two months later, a police officer was sent to the stand to tell the Lewises that the girls were violating zoning regulations that prohibit commercial activities in a residential area,” said the ABCNews.com story.

Two months? Okay, so maybe it’s not springing into action, but still he let the thing run for so long why both about it now?

Manning told ABC News, "I find that for every person who calls you or writes a letter, there are 100 that feel the same."

My guess is that he’s going to feel differently after he starts hearing from people on the other side of the fence. (What’s 100 times a crapload?)

In fact, why don’t you let him hear from you? The Clayton City Council has their own website, along with Gregory Manning’s email and phone number -- (925) 673-7316, if you don’t want to click through to Clayton City’s website.

(But PLEASE, do NOT be rude to Mayor Manning. While we may not agree with his decision, that’s no reason to be rude or crude. If you want to voice your opinion, at least be civil about it.)

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