Codified city ordinances and regulations can be beneficial. If properly written, they can prevent issues before they arise. However, the application of every ordinance, especially the insistence that every permit is legitimate, isn’t always necessary.
Some things are just so senselessly benign that officials should just ignore them. One would think that would be the case with a lemonade stand operated by an aspiring 8-year-old entrepreneur. Seriously, what threat to fair commerce could a little girl selling lemonade pose?
Well, according to a few “permit police” in Alliance, Ohio, this 8-year-old-run business needed to be shut down. The “Ohio Rib and Food Festival” was happening down the street. Little Asa Baker was enjoying a successful afternoon selling cold lemonade outside her father’s business.
That didn’t seem to be the problem. But upon further investigation by Asa’s father, that’s exactly what the problem was. In Ohio, in virtually every little town and city, selling lemonade on the street corner requires a license. No, we’re not kidding.
In Alliance, Ohio, to sell lemonade on the corner, an aspiring entrepreneur must secure a “food vendor license.” This license costs $40 and is good for five days. Certainly, this sounds like a rigid requirement for a kid who wants to peddle some lemonade.
But alas, that’s the law. Asa’s mom, Katrina Moore, actually posted an appreciative message thanking the officer who had to shut down her daughter’s mini-business. Moore spoke to local WJW-TV.
Speaking directly about the officer who had to shut the stand down, she said, “I could definitely tell he did not want to shut her down, but, I mean, you get a call, he has to do it. He definitely did the right thing, you know, in the situation he was put in.”
The issue isn’t so much the fact that a police officer had to do the unthinkable. Enforcing codes and ordinances can be an unflattering part of their job. However, the issue is why this had to happen in the first place. Someone from the Rib and Food Festival made the complaint.
Was a little girl’s lemonade stand such a huge threat to the event’s success? Was she gouging away at event profits? It’s pretty bad when adult event organizers can’t compete with an 8-year-old lemonade entrepreneur.