The town I live in tends to be… a little full of itself. While the people themselves are sweet and it’s often somewhat like Mayberry, the town government side is just a tad different. They’re insular and want to keep every perceived benefit to themselves. If you’re outside their boundaries, they will stick it to you.
The annual pool pass is a perfect example. If you life within their borders, you pay a reasonable fee – with of course increasing fees the later you purchase it. If you happen to live outside the border that pays tax to this district – and much of the area that feeds into the pool does – then you pay through the nose. Your fee is more than double the in district rate. It never fails to amaze me the difference in fees they charge, and it’s a far greater difference than can be accounted for by taxes paid alone.
When we moved last fall, we moved into the district. No longer would we have to pay the “we’re going to thumb our collective noses at you” fee for the pool pass. That was one of the main reasons I was happy to go to the Secretary of State’s office and get a new driver’s license. Then the brochure came out – mailed to me since I live in district now, rather than something I have to look up online.
Ok, so I purchase in person, no big deal. The office is near my house since I live in district now. But wait. WAIT. I have to show not just my ID with my address but my tax bill, too? Why do I have to show my tax bill? I’m renting. I don’t have a tax bill. But I live in district, and I deserve the in district rate.
I could feel my blood pressure rising as I prepared to go to battle with our pool pass magistrates. I found my signed and notarized lease. I brought along copies of two different utility bills in my name to my address. I marshaled all my arguments in my head and was prepared to call my landlord and have him vouch for the fact that I was living in district.
When I arrived at the office, I asked about a pool pass. The worker disinterestedly directed me to the stack of forms and invited me to fill one out. I filled it out as much as I was able and handed it across the desk, ready to start my arguments over being in district. He looked up at me. Is this address in district? he asked. I nodded. Yep, it’s just down the street and over there, I pointed. He nodded and started typing away at the computer.
Minutes later, all the information was entered, and I was charged the in district rate, no questions asked. No ID required. No tax bill necessary. No arguments needed. I was armed for bear, and yet… there was no need this time.
Note to self: Don’t make things harder than they need to be. And simply be grateful that none of your meticulously formed arguments were necessary.