Every community has one: the small grocery store, bodega or coffee shop where locals stop each morning for a newspaper and cup of coffee before driving on to work. They are a part of our morning ritual, a pleasant few seconds to greet your neighbors and ease into the day. Not so for the patrons of Bronx establishments such as Lizzie’s on Layton Avenue.
It seems that our local traffic enforcement personal despise this piece of Americana. Bronx residents (and I suspect, New Yorkers throughout the city) attempting to do what Americans all over the nation do without a second thought are ticketed with alarming frequency. There can be no pretense that this harassment has anything to do with safety or traffic flow. Even double parked vehicles on Layton provide no obstacles on the wide avenue to the light local traffic flow.
It’s not just parking tickets and coffee shops that are involved, either. Enforcement of every type of regulation and fee-generating activity on local businesses and local residents has hit a fevered pitch. The reasons are obvious and disturbing. This type of enforcement has become nothing more than a revenue-raising activity, with little or no relation to legitimate law enforcement.
There can be no dispute that safety, health and other appropriate regulations need to be rigorously enforced. But common sense and basic human decency must always prevail, elements clearly lacking in the current climate.
In every election, including the one just completed, candidates piously pledge their loyalty to the middle class and local businessmen. Unfortunately, once in office, the middle income wage earner and small entrepreneur are promptly forgotten. But small businesses are the backbone of our city. They are wedded to the neighborhoods they serve. They hire local residents. But it appears that the only time city officials take notice of them is when there is a quick buck to be made out of fining them for whatever trivial transgression or red tape violation is available.
Recently, at a meeting of the COMACTA board, several members noted that when traveling outside of New York City, the completion of simple, everyday tasks is so much easier. Indeed, it seems that the government of the City of New York is in a constant state of warfare against the people of New York City. That must end, and COMACTA will be doing everything possible to accomplish that goal.