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Rules, policies and common sense

January 30, 2009 - Frank Robinson
It apparently is possible to put a price on somebody's life.

A wire story we ran recently reported that a 93-year-old man froze to death in his home after the municipal power company cut off his electricity.

Here is what bothered me the most: Some public official in Bay City, Mich., where this happened, said "I've said this before and some of my colleagues have said this: Neighbors need to keep an eye on neighbors. When they think there's something wrong, they should contact the appropriate agency or city department."

Maybe so, but you shouldn't cut off an elderly person's electricity without knocking on the door, offering a ride or something. It was $1,000 that was owed. I guess that's the price.

Here's the kicker: The neighbor who found this elderly man frozen to death said there were utility bills on the table in the home with cash attached to them. The 93-year-old man probably was waiting for the weather to break so he could get the bill caught up.

Unfortunately, the city has rules, and we all know what happens when rules override common sense.

 
 

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