Written by guest blogger Polly Farquhar
If you search on “Rindge, NH,” the very first hit you’ll get is town info from a URL entitled ePodunk. And if you contact the Rindge police department because there is a deranged woman pounding on your door during the wee hours of a Sunday morning, you’ll hear a message that the law enforcement officer on duty is “on call” and will get back to you. (True story based on personal experience.)
Hopefully, by then, you won’t have an ax lodged in your skull or any other body part, but let’s move on.
What is it about a small, rural community in New England whose town council is evidently so bored and devoid of common sense that it actually took the time to conduct a meeting to decide that idling vehicles for even a mere 5 minutes creates entirely too much air pollution?
Following are the “anti-idling guidelines” as issued by the Rindge Energy Commission:
When the temperature is above 32 degrees, an engine will not idle for over five consecutive minutes.
When the temperature is between 32 degrees, and -10 degrees, an engine shall not idle for more than 15 minutes.
When the temperature is below -10 degrees, and there is no nuisance created, an engine will not be subject to idling restrictions.
Let’s get some perspective, shall we – The State of California -with about 40 million vehicles on its freeways- forces drivers by law to have their cars smog checked every other year to cut down on carbon emissions. The largest State in the Union doesn’t think that the idling of 40 million vehicles will affect their air quality, but tiny, little, by its own admission, “podunk” town council of Rindge figures that its piddly 2500 vehicles or so is negatively impacting air quality so they should create a policy accordingly.
Seriously, I wasn’t even aware that the town (population apx. 5k) even HAD an Energy Commission to speak of since it apparently doesn’t even have the funds to pay a full-time cop. But yet there was the Anti-Idling Policy reproduced on page 8 of the April 2010 edition of the The Rindge Connection.
Bob Cleland, who is a self-identified member of the Commission wrote that Rindge wants to reduce emissions within the town limits, therefore, it wants you to shut off your engine, say, for example, while sitting at a drive-thru, because, you know, it increases engine longevity, saves fuel, and money. Furthermore, Bob proclaims quite confidently that there is no longer a need for an “extended” warm up because everyone is driving a fuel-injected or throttle body injection vehicle, dont’cha know?
Really, Bob? That’s news to me because I see mostly older model vehicles on the road during these days of seasonally adjusted 7% state unemployment.
Bob mentions nothing, however, about the wear-and-tear your alternator will experience by shutting off your engine for fear of “idling” and then re-starting the ignition. Nor does Bob speak of the money it will cost for the parts and labor to replace it.
Are you independently wealthy, Bob, or do you own a body parts shop and get your automotive work for free? I, personally, don’t have the money to replace my alternator every other month because you and your Commission of mental midgets decided that 5 minutes of vehicle idling time equals lung cancer and L.A. smog.
Seems to me that if you truly wanted to preserve the air quality here in the Granite State, then you would jolt the legislature off its ass into adopting the same CARB policy the west coast and sixteen other states currently have in place. If you and the town council actually did that, then I could at least respect what it seems like you are trying to accomplish. But as it stands now, all you have succeeded in doing is generating scorn and ridicule for your fief-like new policy.
So let me see if I’m following correctly – The town wants to preserve air quality so a meeting was held to vote on it during which time all of the following were, no doubt, true:
Town council members had to drive on-site in order to attend the meeting;
The drive to the meeting place probably took longer than 5 minutes;
The meeting required using electricity in the room where the vote was held;
Minutes were transcribed during this meeting which further used precious resources such as ink, paper, electricity to fire up a laptop, as well as toner to print the new guidelines.
I’m sorry, Bob, but I just don’t see where the savings come in with this new policy when you wasted a lot of resources just to have the meeting in the first place. This is also to say nothing of the air quality that was adversely affected by the hot air spewing from the mouths of the merry band of assclowns known as the town council.
Lastly, I’m wondering how this new policy will be enforced?
Will the on-call cop now be stopping and citing motorists randomly if they are, or appear to be, idling?
If the town of Rindge can’t even afford to pay a police department for the full-time enforcement of the existing laws, then how and when exactly will it be expected to enforce the new anti-idling policy?
Rindge Town Council not only has too much time on its hands, but it is also apparently in need of a reality check if this is the kind of governance it believes will benefit residents.
The anti-idling policy is basically a solution in search of a problem and is as equally daffy as having the town’s only on-call cop check residents’ undies to make sure they’re skid mark free. Oh wait–Was that the topic of the next town council Energy Commission meeting?
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