Local Government Stupidity

So the City of Bellmawr is costing me two vacation days from work. Now I suppose I should be grateful my employer gives me vacation days. But that doesn’t mean I should be pleased with having to waste them on governmental nonsense.

I made the mistake of being a responsible homeowner and buying a more efficient home heater. Bellmawr requires three separate inspections for new house heater installation: electrical, fire, and plumbing. And I don’t mind the need for inspections. I understand it is a gas heater and the city has a vested interest in making sure it doesn’t blow up. I don’t have a problem with that. What I have a problem with is the completely asinine schedule that homeowners have to adhere to.

See, all the inspectors are apparently independent contractors who set their own schedules. And those schedules were seemingly set up in the 1950’s when housewives stayed home all day waiting for inspectors to come inspect things. One inspector is only available Monday and Wednesdays from noon to 4:30 pm. Another is only available Monday and Wednesdays in the morning. The third inspector is only available Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning. Meanwhile, we both have to be at work during the day. We HAVE to work, because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to pay the ridiculously high property taxes we have to pay. And we can’t NOT schedule the three separate inspections, because otherwise the city will cite us for failure o comply.

So I have to burn vacation time to comply with the regulation, because nobody in city government considered the fact that people work during the day and therefore forcing them to make three separate appointments during work hours for one installation isn’t just inconvenient. It is stupid. In all seriousness, how hard would it be to have one night a month available? Or one Saturday? Even the DMV has evening and weekend hours.

I don’t know if city employees even understand that people have lives that do not involve sitting around just waiting to jump through the city’s hoops. For example, we managed to get the first inspection scheduled for 4:30 on the 9th. Mike was going to rush home from work to meet the inspector. Good Friday we both had off from work, so we had invited some friends over. Out of nowhere there was a knock on the door. The inspector who was supposed to come over on the 9th decided to stop over on Good Friday because he wasn’t going to be available. No phone call. No warning. Just showed up at my door and expected us to let him in to do the inspection while we are entertaining friends.

I wonder if I can send the city a bill for my lost vacation days and have it applied to my tax bill.

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