Every once in a while the government does something so crazy that I get really fed up. I just got a notice from the county that I have two weeks to pay them $444 to come to Idyllwild to inspect for stormwater runoff. Now, if there were lots of environmental hazardous waste coming off the roof of my house and if the only way they could do the inspection was to hire a limosine to drive from Riverside to Idyllwild via Las Vegas and they would only do one inspection per trip, and we weren’t in the middle of a drought and the worst economic times in recent memory … you get the picture.

I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be practical to pool all the money demanded for these ridiculous inspections and use it for a class-action lawsuit against the county. The last time they did this they demanded a couple hundred from one of the local small businesses who didn’t own their building and being on the ground floor of a two-story building, had no runoff. Ridiculous.

If Idyllwild were an industrial area with a big potential for hazardous waste it might make sense. So what we’ve got is trickle-down.

The feds sit in their offices in Washington and make laws that they demand the counties enforce whether they have the budget for it or not. The feds don’t supply the funds, just the rules. The county is afraid to tell them to stuff it, so they pass it along to us.

I can only say we need to make it more costly for the county to fight us than to fight Washington. Anybody know a good lawyer who does pro bono work?

Eric Townsend