A quick scan of the paper money in your wallet reveals a simple phrase printed on each bill no matter what the denomination:
"This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private."
It is a fairly simple concept, unless you live in the California town of Discovery Bay where cash is no longer accepted when paying for services provided by the city. Starting this Spring, residents will not be allowed to pay water bills or purchase park permits using cash, they must have a credit/debit card, a check or money order. Why? Discovery Bay had a small problem with four or five residents who were requesting copies of PUBLIC INFORMATION and doing so anonymously (allowed by California law). Instead of dealing with this inconvenience, they changed the rules and have added more irritation and annoyance to all 17,000 residents of the city.
Resident Don Flint, who is often critical of the board, noted that the district began receiving anonymous records requests last fall -- it has so far received four -- and charged that the board was attempting to limit access to public information.
"I'm troubled that the board takes steps to limit people's access to records," he said. "I think that you guys are overstepping if not the letter then the spirit of the law."
This story is ridiculous and a prime example of the unintended consequences caused by knee-jerk reactions by governments gone awry.
One might say this is kind of like completely overhauling an entire healthcare system that generally does a good job serving 275 million people in order to provide medical care and support to 40 million who are without it. Instead of solving the problem of the minority, we are inconveniencing everyone (except those chosen to be exempted).
This is not about service or care, it’s about control.