Councilwoman Fined for Watering a Lawn

Official gets $100 fine for tending to an abandoned home.


In return for her efforts to prevent an abandoned home from blighting her community, Galt (Calif.) City Council member Barbara Payne received a $100 thank-you fine from the local government, according to the Lodi News-Sentinel.

Payne got the citation last week for watering the lawn of an abandoned house next door to hers. Turns out, you can't do that in Communist Chi—oops, Galt, Calif.

From the Lodi News-Sentinel:

The connection, however, created the potential for "cross contamination of the water system," [Galt Public Works Director Gregg Halladay] said.

Should a drop in water pressure have occurred—say, from a fire hydrant being used—mud, insects or stagnant pool water could have been sucked up from the abandoned property and funneled into the Payne's home or into the water system itself, Halladay said.

"I have to say it wasn't a good feeling," Council member Payne told the News-Sentinel. "If you're trying to do something good, why should you be fined for it?"

Update, from today's News-Sentinel: "City leaders in two weeks hope to clarify what residents can and cannot do to take care of abandoned homes."


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