A reader from somewhere in Southern California writes to lament the regulatory roadblocks that are severely delaying the opening of his business:
We submitted our building construction plans for the restaurant last year to the county. We had over fifty revisions including a request that the trash dumpster have an enclosure. We stated that the dumpster had a walled enclosure of six feet in height and that the dumpster was rain proof. The County stated that we must have a roof over the trash dumpster. We had the architect draw it up. The plans returned rejected.
The County now rejected the dumpster enclosure because it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. They required that we build a ramp with a locking gate at the top of the ramp for any wheelchair-bound employee. We argued that the public did not have access to the enclosure and we would not ask any employees in a wheelchair to throw out the trash. The County stated that the lack of a ramp would create a barrier to hiring a handicapped person.
The additional ramp with locking gate increased construction costs by $17,000 and it will take my employees longer to throw out the trash on a daily basis.
It sounds like an urban legend. But I have known the reader personally for well over a decade.
This is just one of many roadblocks that our system is throwing in my reader’s path. He is trying to contribute to the economy and put people to work. And government seems hellbent on trying to stop him.
I sympathize with folks who are stuck in a wheelchair. I fully support voluntary efforts to try to accomodate them — within reason. But let’s have a little common sense. Why do we tolerate laws and regulations that appear likely to spur mass pool closures this summer, when more reasonable accomodations exist? Why can’t my reader give trash duty to employees who can walk, and assign more appropriate jobs to employees in wheelchairs?
With a little level-headedness, government could allow my reader to get his business off the ground, so he can put people to work — wheelchair-bound or not.
P.S. The reader refuses to allow me to publish the funniest story of all, because his business would be easily identifiable if I told the story.
I may be able to talk him into letting me tell a third story, though. Stay tuned.