Each day, an ever-expanding government encroaches into our lives without any justification or explicit authority granted to it by the citizens. Unelected organizations consume our tax dollars and dole out numerous policies and laws with zero input from the citizenry.
While basic services that we, the people, want our government to provide – such as police and emergency response units – are threatened during every budget stalemate, we never hear about cuts to these unaccountable, nonvital agencies. Why is that?
Recently, the Daily Republic highlighted one of these agencies, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and its policy of issuing tickets to those scofflaws who dare utilize their fireplaces for warmth on “unapproved” days. Apparently, a small army of taxpayer-funded “monitors” scour our county looking for the most egregious criminals infesting our society: people who burn wood on “forbidden” days, as determined by the BAAQMD. Per the guidelines, if people have the audacity to want to remain warm on a cold winter day, they better check in or face a $100 ticket, $500 if they are a repeat offender.
This policy emits unacceptable amounts of absurdity. It seems, magically, any air quality issues somehow stop on the border of Fairfield and Vacaville. A fire in Vacaville would not a get a ticket, but a fire in Fairfield would be ticketed, just because Vacaville is in a different air district. Other questions ensue: If banning fireplace operation during spare-the-air days is sound policy, why don’t we expand such sound policy and ban motor vehicle operation as well? If homeless people have a campfire to keep warm, do they have to pay a fine? If my house catches fire on a spare-the-air day, do I have to pay a fine?
How far do we take this? How much incursion do we the people accept into our lives?