Boston City Councilor Busted For Not Shoveling - For Cultural Reasons

Dec 8, 2004
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#1


Boston city councilor Chuck Turner said he'd heard the warnings and was willing to pay the fine, for not shoveling the sidewalk in front of his Roxbury home.

Now he's changing his tune.

After our report Wednesday afternoon in which Turner said nothing would convince him to shovel, our cameras found him doing just that Wednesday night.

City law requires all residents to shovel the sidewalk on their property.

WBZ sent a camera to the homes of several councilors Wednesday - and all of the sidewalks were clear - except Turner's.

Turner had said he was willing to pay the $50 fine for not shoveling.

"The reality is that if I have to pay a ticket, I have to pay a ticket. So I have no problems with city inspectors coming by and ticketing me because I didn't do it in this particular case."

He told WBZ he knew he was violating the city ordinance, but claimed people in his neighborhood don't use sidewalks.

"The law is the law, but the reality is the cultural practice is not to use the sidewalks even when the snow isn't there," Turner said.

That's a statement some community activists took offense too. Jamal Crawford, of Roxbury, was incensed when he heard it, particularly because he has to walk along un-shoveled sidewalks all the time.

"I'm a 20 year student of African Culture both all through the Diaspora and particularly here in America. I've never heard of any kind of cultural significance that I know of myself. If the inference is that somehow black people, if that's what he meant by it, don't use the sidewalk, that's definitely not true in my experience," said Crawford.

Turner later tried to clarify his statement by saying he meant the "culture of his neighborhood."

Others we talked to said Turner's late effort to shovel was too little, too late, because he'd already set a bad example.

Carlos Henriquez ran against Turner in the last election. He says not shoveling isn't just inconsiderate; it's also a put people at risk when they're forced to walk in the street.

"I know the day that I don't shovel in front of my house, is the day that those parents and kids have to walk in the street. With the roads the way they are you're putting these people at risk," said Henriquez.

Crawford wondered why Turner would be willing to pay a $50 fine for not shoveling, but apparently wasn't willing to pay a neighborhood kid $10 to shovel.

Rodney Brown, one of Turner's neighbors, wasn't buying the councilor's excuse. "I'm 72 years old. If I can do it, you can do it too," Brown said.

Another neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, defended Turner, saying he's the one who's making sure that his elderly neighbors are plowed out, he has a great track record and people shouldn't focus on just a few feet of snow.
http://wbztv.com/local/Chuck.Turner.turner.2.614442.html

Roxbury... now there is a shocker...
 

norton23

Opie And Anthony Always Win In The End
Dec 1, 2002
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#3
yepp,,big shocker on this one,,,even more shocking is that he lives in Roxbury:rolleyes:
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#4
Uppity..................Check
Lazy.....................Check
Breaking the law.....Check
 

weakside

He was stupid. I was lucky. I will visit him soon.
Dec 9, 2004
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#5
I have a question that is slightly off topic…

Living in California I never had to worry about shoveling snow but I find this law kind of odd. Is this a common law where it snows? Isn’t it the city’s job to maintain public sidewalks?
 

sniper

Front, and to the right...
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Oct 13, 2004
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#6
Uppity..................Check
Lazy.....................Check
Breaking the law.....Check
:haha7:

Crawford wondered why Turner would be willing to pay a $50 fine for not shoveling, but apparently wasn't willing to pay a neighborhood kid $10 to shovel.

you find me a kid that'd be OUTSIDE, in roxbury THAT WON'T ROB YOU, that'll only charge $10 to shovel, i'll show you a Nigerian with a business proposition.

I have a question that is slightly off topic…

Living in California I never had to worry about shoveling snow but I find this law kind of odd. Is this a common law where it snows? Isn’t it the city’s job to maintain public sidewalks?
Well, it's up to the city. Roxbury isn't the cream of the crop, the more upscale cities (read lighter) have city owned, small sidewalk plows. look like tiny bobcats.
 
Aug 27, 2002
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Bensalem, PA via Souf Philly
#8
I have a question that is slightly off topic…

Living in California I never had to worry about shoveling snow but I find this law kind of odd. Is this a common law where it snows? Isn’t it the city’s job to maintain public sidewalks?
I don't think laws like this are that uncommon. Depending on the city there may be a law, but there is also a liability issue if your the property owner. Most of the time, it's the property owner is who "owns" the sidewalk not the city. Which means it's the property owner's responsibility to clear it not the city's.

I've never heard of anyone getting cited for a violation though.
 

Max Johnson

Registered User
Oct 14, 2004
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Well, it's up to the city. Roxbury isn't the cream of the crop, the more upscale cities (read lighter) have city owned, small sidewalk plows. look like tiny bobcats.
Even those that do have those, don't necessarily do every sidewalk. Might just do a few main walkways. The majority are usually up to the property owners. They are the ones who will get sued if somebody slips and falls. I went to school in upstate, NY where it snowed a helluva lot more than down in Westchester and they frequently let the shit fall where it may and apparently weren't worried about lawsuits. The entire sidewalk would ice up and sit there indefinitely with 3 inches of solid ice on them. Meanwhile, growing up, the second the snow started falling my mother would be screaming about "Get out there! If somebody falls, your grandmother could lose the house!!!".
 
Jul 13, 2006
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#10
Well, you don't own the sidewalk. It's public property since anywhere in the USA the first 10' of your property has public right of way where cities can lay utility lines, power and sidewalks.

Let the fucking city clean the sidewalk. If I don't own something then I'm not going to go out of my way to fucking clean it.

I'd just throw out rocksalt the night before snow.
 

weakside

He was stupid. I was lucky. I will visit him soon.
Dec 9, 2004
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California
#11
Let the fucking city clean the sidewalk. If I don't own something then I'm not going to go out of my way to fucking clean it.
This is my point as well.

Now, in reality I wouldn't mind cleaning the sidewalk because I don't want to see someone hurt themselves but it bugs me that that a city is making someone do this. It's not my property. Why not make me to fix potholes in the street as well while you’re at it?

Now, if the city says that the sidewalk is in fact part of my property * and thus I am required to upkeep it, fine. If it's my property I guess that means I could put up barriers and tell people they can't walk on that part of the sidewalk which is mine, right? I doubt it.

This law stinks and I don't like it.

* Translation: If someone falls the city won’t have to pay, the individual will.
 

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
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Jan 14, 2002
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#12
In Nj it is illegal to not shovel your sidewalk and a liability issue. In Montana it is not illegal to not shovel and in terms of liability, it is argueable...but most cases here determine the accident to be an act of God.
 

HummerTuesdays

Another girrrrl!!!
Apr 24, 2005
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#13
This is my point as well.

Now, in reality I wouldn't mind cleaning the sidewalk because I don't want to see someone hurt themselves but it bugs me that that a city is making someone do this. It's not my property. Why not make me to fix potholes in the street as well while you’re at it?

SSHHHHH!!!! Don't give NJ Legislature any ideas!!!!


And yes, it totally sucks. The city determines that you need a side walk, so they put one in, and then make you responsible for maintaining it, from shoveling snow to replacing it if it gets disrupted by tree roots or other stuff.
 

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
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Jan 14, 2002
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#14
"The law is the law, but the reality is the cultural practice is not to use the sidewalks even when the snow isn't there," Turner said.
Yeah, you Fuckers walk in the middle of the goddamn street
 

Salem

Midgets = funny
Jul 3, 2006
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#15
Its law here. $50 a day. Pay it or shovel. WTF are ya gonna do? Dont like it? Move to the burbs where there are no sidewalks and if there are, its on Main St and the "town" takes care of it with the bob cat machines spoken of in a previous post.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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what is even more insulting is they put the side walk in, then force you to maintain it, if you dont they fine you. its a fucking scam. im so glad that i live in the lilly white burbs