Letter to the Editor: Why can’t the city go the extra mile for citizens?

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to Clarkston DPW’s sidewalk shoveling fiat handed down in the December 9, 2020 issue of the Clarkston News.
While I am not a resident of the city of Clarkston, I can’t help but think that not unlike me, the serfs of Clarkston have probably tolerated enough orders from our federal and state lords this year.
Wearing a mask, social distancing, no gatherings, closed schools, businesses shuttered, and playgrounds wrapped in crime tape are just a few examples of the new world the good citizens of Clarkston have found themselves in over the past eight months.
If one reads the snow shoveling edict to its finality, one will learn that those residences and business not in compliance with clearing more than two inches of snow from their sidewalks within 24 hours will receive the ultimate display of tone deafness in today’s challenging times, a warning and the financial threat in the form of an invoice from our government officials should, God forbid, the DPW would have to serve just a little bit more during these challenging days by clearing the rebellious snow themselves.
This decree is written as if we have reached a mutually beneficial business agreement at some point in time.
Like most citizens or business owners, in our world we have something called “value added,” “getting more for what you paid for,” or “going the extra mile.” These principles, when applied in the free market, more often than not result in business growth and increased incomes.
The fine businesses in downtown Clarkston that are in the sights of your oppressive ordinance are fine examples of those aforementioned principles.
Not to be overlooked, in the case of our government officials, “value added” could be the difference in re-election or being shoveled out of office faster than two inches of snow in front of Rudy’s.
These laws, when applied to the free enterprise system, ultimately helps nurture a healthy tax base, something which I am sure the DPW appreciates.
The issue with the business arrangement described in the December 9 publication is that it is one way, as we, the citizens, have no reciprocal financial recourse when government services rendered fall short of expectations. So my fellow serfs, as we consider those shortcomings, too many to list here from a federal to local level, let’s also imagine what would be said about our leaders if “going the extra mile” was applied for just one winter, one historic extraordinary winter.
Imagine an America, a Michigan, a Clarkston where instead of receiving more orders, ”warnings,” let alone an invoice, another virtual boot to the necks of the lifeblood of Clarkston during these trying times from our government servants,  a shovel and a strong back would arrive at the doorstep instead.
At a time when our country yearns for real heroes and leaders, clearly an opportunity to either “Build Back Better” or “Make America Great Again” has been missed here.

Tim Parkin
Independence Township

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