Out-of-control government, most common to Washington, D.C., can trickle down to small towns, too.
Here are six examples:
1. Air fresheners, tassels, and rosaries beware!
Mountain View, Colo., population 512, issues more “obstructed view” citations than much larger Denver, Aurora and Boulder combined. The town expects 43 percent of its budget—a whopping $575,000—to come from court fees.
Since 2011, the township of Piscataway, N.J., population 50,482, has used red-light cameras to issue 55,396 citations and collect $4,710,415 in ticket revenue.
The city clerk in Pleasant Hill, Calif., population 33,831, failed to produce City Council minutes for a whole year, leaving residents unable to reference or track official city actions.
4. Town not as sleepy as it seems
An audit found that officials in Huntington, Texas, population 2,105, collected pay for thousands of hours they either didn’t work or weren’t supposed to. Records found that officials also falsified traffic citation records to collect fines higher than those imposed by the court.
5. Hooray for consistency—or not
The city of Ada, Okla., population 17,097, has banned the use of tobacco products on public property. The ban also includes e-cigarettes, even though they contain no tobacco.
6. A very big vehicle for a very small town
The police department of Preston, Idaho, acquired a mine-resistant ambush-protected military-grade vehicle previously used on the streets of Iraq and Afghanistan. It seems an unusual fit for a tiny town of just more than 5,145 in southeastern Idaho, where the crime rate is far below the U.S. average and the town went about eight years in between homicides.
All photos courtesy of Thinkstock.