Monday, February 9, 2009

Our Meeting With The Mayor

Today, Kati and I had our meeting with the mayor. I was happy to see that they really had listened to us and had worked at rewording the ordinance in accordance to suggestions we had made. They added the word "unattended" to the Unattended Child In Motor Vehicle Ordinance. They had somehow managed to leave out that word in the original. They also removed the words "in the motor vehicle" for the portion that stated "without supervision by another person in the motor vehicle who is at least 14". So, now you can still be " supervising" if you are within sight or sound of the vehicle. Yeah, we no longer have to stand in fear of dropping the books in the return slot or returning the cart to the cart return!

We didn't get it reduced to an infraction but they did add a clause that for a 1st violation, the person could have the opportunity to complete a diversion program, a 24 hour parenting class. After successful completion, the 1st class misdemeanor would be dismissed. They also removed the mandatory fine of $1,000. The judge could fine the person anywhere from $0-2,500 depending on the severity. The fine would have to cover the cost of the class which would range from $250-$450, so you technically could still be hit with a $500 fine.

With the rewording, I do not stand in fear of breaking this ordinance. With the rewording, children will be protected from being left unattended in a vehicle which was the original goal and the innocent, law abiding parents will be protected as well!

I'm grateful that I live in a community where the Mayor and Town Council truly listen to their citizens. The mayor even gave us his cell phone # and told us we could contact him at any time with any other concerns we might have concerning our town. We have an amazing mayor who truly loves the people and the town that he serves.

This has also gotten me interested in serving on a citizen advisory committee for the town. I'm looking in to the committee for the police. I really think there needs to be a voice of concern for parents of young children. I feel that had there been a parent on the committee, the wording of the ordinance would have been changed before it ever got passed.

I also think I will try to keep my shopping to Marana. Tucson passed an identical ordinance to the original one that Marana passed. For all those moms in Tucson, be careful when you go to return the shopping cart! I hope that Tucson follows the example of Marana and changes their poorly written ordinance as well!

1 comment:

brandonsbunch said...

Good for you girls! We need more courageous girls out there like you. I need to do better. I always leave the job to the people who are brave enough to speak up, but I know I could do more.Thanks again for being brave enough to do it. :)