It was with much sorrow and anger that I participated in the City Council hearing on the "regulations" on mobile car washers on May 11. This is yet another chipping away at our rights to earn an honest living, to have the ability to use our God given right, to quote Nancy Reagan, to just say "No" when approached for a $5 wash. It is really disheartening to have the chairperson of the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce Jill Lederer say "regulate the heck out of the, just don't ban them."
I submit that we have gone overboard on many regulations causing the failure of many, many businesses as well as the moving out of the area or even across our borders of many others due to this over zealousness. The bureaucrats seem to have gone overboard in their zealousness to regulate the work environment.
Now my 15-year-old son wants not to flip burgers or maybe he is not able to find a position to do the same. So he wants to earn some extra money in the summer and takes a pail and some soap with a towel and talks to some neighbors or walks to the neighborhood shopping center and asks to wash a car. Is he going to be required to have all these expensive permits? Is he going to be put in jail for six months for trying to earn a few buck through the sweat of his brow rather than hanging out with the kids listening to 2-Live Crew!
The argument is made that these operators have no workers' compensation insurance and hence low overhead. They may not be required to have such insurance if they do not have any employees, which most of them don't. Their costs are less as they do not have to pay the inflated rents of fixed car washes. It is a crying shame that council members think it is their role to "level the playing field" instead of letting the market do its magic through survival of the fittest.
There are already many laws on the books that can take care of not having unwelcome solicitors or vendors on private property. We do not need more laws to make us all into scoff-laws! Besides, why would you need big brother to come between two consenting adults? Those who do not like the product have the complete freedom to say no. And, if enough people say no the car wash people would be unable to buy the gas to come out and try to make a living.
If pollution really was the issue, there would be a throng of Greenpeace members, environmentalists and other concerned people opposing car washers rather than just the fixed car wash people. Also, if safety was such a big problem, these business people would not be able to get liability insurance at reasonable rates, which they can get readily. Thank God there has yet to be a report of a single accident caused by these entrepreneurs in The Conejo.
One fixed car wash operator said that the car dealers who wash their cars need to have a clarifier (a catch for waste water that is sucked out and sent for cleaning/recycling) which is pure hogwash! The Feds may be considering bringing such stringent rules that the homeowner may not be allowed to wash his own car in his own driveway.
This is an example of regulation gone to pot. If such regulations are passed, I predict another Boston Tea Party. However, this time, it will be on the West Coast over a bucket of soapy water! Let's hope our elected representatives can get the message in time.