Best Way For the City to Make an Easy Buck - 2001
Ticketing yard sales
Scenario: You've cleaned out your closets and your garage, and in an attempt to sell your junk instead of leaving it at the curb, you hold a yard sale. To advertise said sale, you innocently nail a sign to the telephone pole on the corner. Maybe another sign on another street corner, too. A little while later, a white truck pulls up to your house, only the driver isn't there to buy your old futon or rummage through any of your discarded clothing. No, he or she is there on behalf of the city of Dallas' code enforcement department, and thanks to those signs, you've just contributed about $500 to the city. Congratulations, you're a good citizen. Blame your unintentional good deed on a severely underpublicized law that hit the books in the last year or so, as well as the city government's long-held policy of nickel-and-diming its constituents to death. Put another way, there's a good chance if you hold a yard sale, you're only raising money to help defray the cost of the ticket you will likely receive. The code enforcement department doesn't necessarily like driving around on Saturday mornings, taking Polaroids of illegal signs, then visiting the scofflaws midsale--we've heard stories of hysterical crying jags and angry confrontations--but that is beside the point. Unless you follow the city's rules and regs when it comes to yard sales--no signs allowed, unless they're on your own property, and only two sales a year--you might as well cut out the middleman and write a check to the city.