[Lgpolicy-list] [lg policy] Linguistic Hygiene: A Southern California city is considering a new policy that would punish residents who repeatedly use "foul language".

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Oct 16 18:57:06 UTC 2014

A Southern California city is considering a new policy that would punish
residents who repeatedly use "foul language".
[image: 635490074529380006-635490019508948170--indianwells.JPG-20120405]

(Photo: Nicole C. Brambila, The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun)

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — A Southern California city is considering a new
policy that would punish residents who repeatedly use "foul language" or
exhibit "disrespectful behavior" toward city officials.

The City Council in Indian Wells, a city of 5,000 people in the Coachella
Valley, will vote Thursday on a sweeping civility mandate. If passed, this
policy would punish residents who exhibit "disrespectful behavior" by
revoking perks — such as free tickets at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and
hefty golf and spa discounts — offered to all Indian Wells property owners.

But some residents, and at least one councilman, said such a stringent
policy is overkill. Councilman Doug Hanson said the policy would grant the
city manager "dictatorial powers."

"The proposed policy goes far beyond what is reasonable or necessary,"
Hanson said. "It literally creates something one might expect to see in a
police state."

The proposed policy gives City Manager Wade McKinney sole discretion to
temporarily revoke a resident's perks. City residents could also lose their
perks if they violate city municipal codes, including the ones that govern
council elections. And residents could see a lifetime ban from the perks if
they are repeat offenders.

McKinney said the proposed policy is a response to problems the city has
seen in recent years. The policy was drafted, at his request, by the city's
community activities committee.

McKinney insisted his authority is not as encompassing as some believe.
Most offenses are "black and white" and not open to interpretation.

"If you scammed your way into the tennis suite and you didn't actually have
suite tickets, that is an obvious violation," McKinney said. "I would be
the person to implement it. Someone has to notify you that an offense has

Earlier this year, a man from neighboring Palm Desert was arrested on
allegations that he falsified a deed so he could pretend to live in Indian
Wells to get free tennis tickets. He was sentenced to three years probation.

Ed Doran, an Indian Wells resident, said he felt the civility policy gives
the city manager too much power.

"He will be the judge and jury in determining whether you assisted in any
violation … and he can , if he chooses, take your (perks)," Doran said in
an e-mail. "No complaint, no defense counsel, no trial, no rights, just


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