Mayor’s Son


Mayor’s Burnt Out Building

This building has, or rather used to have, an incredibly beautiful interior in addition to the beautiful exterior stone and granite work. For a long time it was a bank. In fact it was the first bank we had when we moved to the area decades ago. I remember the stonework as being stunning. Later it was a variety of businesses and apartments. Then it stood empty for a while.

There is a song “My Home Town” by Tom Lehrer[wiki]. In the song it describes a variety of, er, interesting characters. One of them is the mayor’s son:

I remember Sam, he was the village idiot.
And though it seems a pity, it
Was so.
He loved to burn down houses just to watch the glow,
And nothing could be done,
Because he was the mayor’s son.

Now I’m not suggesting that Barre’s e-steamed Mayor Lorenzo has a son named Sam, or that he is the village idiot, the mayor or his son. This is just a song.

Yet, that is the Mayor’s burnt out building. Apparently someone was playing with matches and things go out of hand. The result was the loss of a beautiful historic building that is now gutted and boarded up.

One might think the government would offer historic preservation grants and such to renovate such a building with it’s increadible granite and marble walls & floors. The work would help employ local people and lift the economy. Barre, like many towns, really could use the help. But no, the government said the Mayor may not fix it since he must bring it up to codes to meet earthquake standards for levels of tremors that just don’t happen here. Special irony is the Mayor’s plan had been to fix it with his own money without any government grants, until our leerless feeders stepped in and said the foundation has to get replaced to California earthquake standards. The cost is prohibitive so now the building stands ugly and boarded up. It is a center point of the town common. Sad.

If the government is going to make those sorts of demands then they should pay for the work. The GOA should then step in, assess the cost to the country and strike down ridiculous regulations. This is a beautiful example of out of control government regulations being used as universal rules that they apply without taking into account local situations. Tyranny by the ruling regulators.

We’ll see if the mayor can work out a way around this idiocy of his Uncle Sam.

Outdoors: 80°F/59°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 75°F/67°F

Daily Spark: “A great wave of oppressive tyranny isn’t going to strike, but rather a slow seepage of oppressive laws and regulations from within will sink the American dream of liberty.” -George Baumler

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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6 Responses to Mayor’s Son

  1. David Lloyd Sutton says:

    Another mayoral incident along similar lines:

    Some years back, one of Santa Barbara’s former mayors was intending to build an adobe home, a quintessentially californian structure, and one that I know personally is perfectly suited to southern California. I lived in one for forty years that my Dad built before that legislation, or, indeed, before building codes arrived in our area. But the former mayor couldn’t get a permit in the 70s because some nimrod at the state legislature had put into law a set of requirements for energy conservation in new housing, then left it to staffers to tack on methodology after the bill passed. They mandated infrared photography of the exterior of a structure after the hours of daylight to determine heating loss. Of course, Walter, you know the tendency of any masonry mass to retain either heat or cold. After a sunny day an adobe radiates in the infrared for long hours. My Dad tested his own concreted adobe formula by building a fire beside one face of one of his blocks and keeping it burning for twenty four hours. The other face of the block was still cool after that time. Pretty good insulation, I’d say. But that bill wound up outlawing a good building material because of a scientifically incompetent clerk. Government is a really dangerous weapon, like a shotgun. It should never be allowed in the hands of the ignorant. OOOps . . . too late.

  2. mellifera says:

    Not to cast any aspersions on your e-steamed mayor, but at least here in the South it is not uncommon for politicians to run on a platform of “showin’ that darn county/state/federal guvmint who’s boss.” Then they proceed to do very little of effect during their term except for blaming that darn guvmint for how they can’t get anything done. Just sayin’, building codes are there but it’s not uncommon to be granted exceptions if you can show good reason for it. Call me a snob, but– I have a healthy caution for laws/regulations gone awry and also a healthy caution for people who blame the guvmint for why they can’t get things done.

    For example: when confronted with the need for an inspected slaughterhouse, lots of people just piss and moan and let their enterprise end there. Kudos to Walter for pullin’ on the big kid shorts and just building one, proving that it’s not as much of a game-ender as some people might make it out to be.

    Tom Lehrer! A week or two after meeting the gentleman who is now my husband, we were discussing a folk singing event in our town and at one point both blurted out “Ready! Aim! SING!” Yessir, I hung onto that fellow.

  3. Brian says:

    Spot on posting!

  4. Peter says:

    This is not really as ridiculous as it sounds. The Washington Monument is closed for the next year or so to repair damage from the 2011 earthquake in Mineral, VA. My recollection is that is was felt pretty far up the East Coast. And I believe that there is a quasi-active fault line that runs through New York City.

    • Hmm… And that area is a lot more earthquake prone and the Washington Monument is a lot taller. If the government insists it must be done then they should pay. Fair is fair. And it pains me to say that in this case as I have no love for the Mayor. But fair is fair.

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