Monday, June 02, 2008

"The proposed ordinance smacks of socio-economic discrimination."

Tensions are rising (with an assist to the Daily News) over a rejected proposal to discuss term limits for board members at next week's joint meeting between the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District board and the Los Altos City Council. Just imagine what they will say when they actually do discuss something.

Next Monday's meeting will feature a long-awaited decision on the high school district's request for the city to do something about all those damn taco trucks.

Council member Ron Packard, whose position on this issue won him the blog's endorsement in the fall, e-mailed his reasons for opposing a potential ban to colleague David Casas. He is so thoroughly correct that I am going to reprint them here sans commentary. (Also, I can't think of anything funny to say.)

The proposed ordinance smacks of socio-economic discrimination. Students with vehicles can drive and eat wherever they want. Those without vehicles cannot. If the major concern is quality of food consumption, then the District should consider alternatives (whether closed campus or whatever) that apply to all groups, not just one.

The city has already had to allocate police time and efforts to enforce the parking restrictions around the high schools due to the District's approach to student parking. I suspect the high school would be a vigilant complainer each time the vending vehicle exceeded its limited stay. As such, the city's police resources would often be removed for other important functions to enforce the vending vehicle restrictions during school day. I do not feel that is a wise allocation of our police resources.

While nutritional eating habits are important, here the market-place has met a need for the less-mobile, which is already met by other means for the mobile. Let the District go back to the drawing board to come up with another solution that doesn't tax our police department and smack of discrimination.


Anonymous said...

See, I bet no one is covering this over at the Town Crier, you're more on top of local news than anyone over there, NOE.

BigDra said...

Los Altos should be ashamed of itself (again). I've actually been in the same position - discriminated against by a prejudiced city council that wants to stop foreigners from serving "ethnic" food that people want to eat. Sad in a place so money-obsessed as Los Altos that it would discourage such entreprenuerial ventures. But then again, I guess Los Altos values its image as a have for white folks than as center of economic activity. Maybe if this was a tech start-up, LATC would be celebrating it and championing its right to operate.

DAG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Not a big Packard fan, but an excellent argument on why markets should be open and not controlled by bureaucrats. These people argue that because we have to pay for bad (obese) choices through a regulated health care system, we should have the right to decide what they can eat. Even then its unclear that bad eating choices cost society more in health care expenses. Similar to smokers, these "bad" choices lead to a shorter life span which means lower SS payments and lower health care costs in the LR.

The Professor

BTW, nice floozies picture

BigDra said...

I think what's really questionable is if the food from these trucks is actually worse for kids than what's served on campus or at the fast food joints that those with cars frequent.

Nemesis of Evil said...

Professor, it seems the school's argument ostensibly is that the government is paying for students to eat healthy meals. I think that's just a canard for what is really at work here, but I don't think we should understate the argument.

Besides, if conservatives were really serious about stopping the government from influencing people's dietary decisions (other than perhaps through education), seems like the first thing we should do is stop subsidizing junk food.

Anonymous said...

What subsidy? I just paid $13 for a polish and garlic fries at a Giants game.

Did not count the $8 beer purchase since it was all natural grain and hops.

The Professor