Lansing residents, beware! It's the first major snowstorm of the season, and city beancounters have been waiting for this!

You may have read that a snow emergency has been declared in many Mid-Michigan municipalities, including Lansing. According to the Lansing State Journal, that means there is no parking on any city street until the emergency order expires. In the State Journal write-up, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said that residents can't drive unless it's absolutely necessary.

Now, if that doesn't feel like an invasion of your liberties, maybe this will. Bernero also reminded residents that sidewalks in the city must be cleared and salted within 24 hours of the snowfall ending. It's a city ordinance, after all.

I'm sure you can sense the sarcasm in that statement. To be fair, the ordinance exists for good reason, public safety. Honestly, I don't have a problem making sure that pedestrians are as safe as possible. Where my point of contention comes into play is with the ordinance's timeframe and penalty.

If you don't clear your walks in timely fashion, you will receive warning from the city. Then, if you ignore the warning, the city will have your walks cleared for you at the minimum cost of $150. If snow removal crews actually can get away with gouging us and/or the city for this amount, we are all in the wrong business. After all, the kid next door only wants a five-dollar bill.

My next point of contention is with the powers-that-be that set this 24 hour timeline in a city notorious for not having streets cleared, sometimes, within a week, if ever. Tell ya what, Virg, Chad Gamble, and company, I 'll clear my sidewalks in 24 hours once you figure out how to do exactly what you expect out of your residents!! As far as I'm concerned, I'll shovel my walks as soon as I see your plows on my street! What's more untreated pathway for multi-ton weighted vehicles, or an untreated path for walkers?

Now that I have beat my chest in protest, let's be real. I WILL be shoveling my walks Thursday night. It's been a very slow winter, and I know the code enforcers will be out in droves making up for the missed revenue opportunities that come along with a mild winter.