Like a couple of little old ladies helping each other across an icy parking lot, our tired old Saturn, and our sparkly new Volkswagen, are both having some problems with mobility. The Saturn, bless her dear engine block, is falling to pieces. We’ve replaced just about every part on her but the engine, which I understand from our friendly neighborhood mechanic is the only solid thing about a Saturn. The latest thing on its way out is the transmission, which will cost more to replace than the car is worth, if we could find a transmission to put in there. Now another relic of the automotive industry, her future, probably sooner than later, is the scrap heap.
While driving home from the dealership after entrusting the VW to their Service Department to replace a throttle body that, thank the dieties is under warranty, and engaging in no criminal or reckless activities whatsoever, (as if the Saturn had it in her) we were pulled over by a police officer in the itty bitty city of Sheridan. Apparently, at the tail end of the final block of a school zone, while driving downhill away from the school, husband crept over the speed limit. No one was even remotely in danger. Kids were all, or should have been, still in class. There was no other traffic on the road. The cop showed no mercy.
If you’re not familiar with Sheridan, Colorado, it’s a mere 2.2 square miles of property shoehorned in between Denver, Englewood, and Littleton. The average annual income of its residents is minimally $20,000 below the neighborhoods that surround it, and home values are 40% lower than the state median. With so little money in the city, they’ve gone to great efforts to get as much money as possible from the people who travel through it.
To pad their straining coffers (someone has to pay for the cop car), they flexed their muscles and ran a bunch of small businesses off a piece of land on their border in order to allow a developer to build a whole slew of retail establishments and restaurants on what was a former landfill. (EPA be damned!)
I’m guessing all the new sales tax revenues aren’t up to snuff, what with all the wonderful incentives they extended to the developer, new businesses, and all, so the police still have to do their part by panhandling issuing as many ridiculous tickets as possible.
Hence, the $200 surprise delivered through the window today, with an accompanying 4 points on husband’s license. The officer explained the ticket would be reduced to 2 points, if paid by a certain date.
Aren’t police supposed to be concerned with public safety? Shouldn’t fines be levied against people who put others at risk? The ticket issued today had nothing to do with public safety, or risky behavior. It has to do with money. Why else would points be reduced for quick payment? If the few miles over the limit was indeed as big a deal as the fine suggests, why on earth are points negotiable?
Thanks to their over-zealous fundraising, Sheridan has seen the last of me. In addition to the $200 donation to the Donut Fund (trust me, she’s had more than her share, thankyouverymuch – what? of course I’m being bitchy; can you blame me?), our insurance rates will likely increase. Every dollar I may have spent in one of the stores, restaurants, bars, or the new movie theater in their city, will be spent elsewhere. It will be no inconvenience in the least to avoid the half-dozen streets that go through Sheridan, and spend my money (and sales-tax dollars) in any of the other suburbs of Denver.
Some of the many Denver Metro cities where I will spend money:
- Wheat Ridge
- Highlands Ranch
- Lone Tree
- Denver (if I have to. I hate them for completely different reasons)
The one city that’s not getting another red cent:
Sayonara, Sheridan. Hope you enjoyed seeing my tail lights on my way out of your city. You’ll never see them again.