Sunday, June 24, 2012
Open door policy trumps law
From the NY Times:
To those who ask what right the government has to dictate to shop owners on a matter of this sort, the Council’s response was simple. Public policy, it said in 2008, is to “conserve energy, reduce peak power demands during hot weather periods and limit environmental pollution and local contributions to global warming.”
Yet enforcement of the law, signed by the mayor with little enthusiasm, has not been conspicuously vigorous. The Consumer Affairs Department, which has responsibility, says that last summer it conducted more than 500 inspections and issued warnings or violation citations to 199 stores.
A first offense brings a warning. A second offense carries a $200 fine, and subsequent violations within an 18-month period can bring $400 fines. For many stores, the penalties are no doubt shrugged off as the cost of doing business.