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Friday, August 28, 2009

Commission Piddling Around with Public Urination Ordinance

Disclaimer: I herein totally abandon any pretense to citizen-journalistic quality. This post is complete toilet humor. Sometimes, you just can't hold it in.

I s#-- you not: The Madison City Commission will give first reading Monday night to Ordinance 1484, a measure to outlaw public urination.

My first thought? "Holy crap!" Oops -- I guess that's not appropriate, either.

Forget coming for the budget session after the commission meeting; Monday's meeting would be worth attending just to watch Commissioner Nick Abraham struggle to keep a straight face through the discussion. Let's just hope no one asks if this rule is part of the penal code.

Actually, the ordinance fails to mention any penalty. Could commissioners simply be peeing in the wind?

So why on Earth is the city making a pit stop to discuss an anti-potty ordinance? Did Karen Lembcke catch someone tinkling on the Main Street flowers? Did the Mayor Discover something similarly Unexpected out on the bike path?

Wait a minute -- does this proposed ordinance mean it actually isn't illegal now to take a public whizz in Madison? Ah, better hold your water. We already have ordinances that appear to make public piddling prosecutable. Sec 13-3-2(j) on Disorderly Conduct makes it illegal to damage, befoul, or disturb "public property or the property of another so as to create a hazardous, unhealthy, or physically offensive condition".

The new ordinance does appear to flow naturally from existing municipal powers: Sec. 22-38-2 does grant the city commission authority to regulate or prohibit any method of "sprinkling, watering, or irrigating of shrubbery, trees, plants, vines, flowers...." (But I also hear that extra nitrogen is good for your compost pile!)

Neither conservatives nor eco-compost-extremists are likely to flood the commission room with protest Monday night. But if we need police protection from public pee, we might want to check the wording of the proposed ordinance: "It shall be unlawful for any person to urinate in any public place in the City. For purposes of this section, a public place shall be any public or private property to which the public has permissive access." Any public place...does that include the bathrooms in city hall and the library?

But our commissioners are straight shooters. We can trust them to flush out bad ordinances.

p.s.: Just curious: why ban public urination but not public defacation?


  1. Wow, an anonymous post trickled through!

    Why are they even doing this? If there are already enforcable laws and statutes, doesn't this just clutter up the law?

    If I have a fence around my yard with a sign posted "No Permissive Accese to the Public", does it then bypass said law?

    And what about all the kids and diapers? Or those poor children who accidently pee their pants? Are they not also persons?

    And let us not forget the man who got out of a public urination charge by asking if the arresting officer actually saw him urinating or had tested the liquid for DNA..... http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080625/NEWS/80625055

  2. [Sometimes, Joe, accidents do happen... or I'm just sleeping. Funny thing is, this anon was only leaving a joke. It boggles me that some people are even afraid to put their name to a harmless joke.

  3. Wouldn't this seem to take care of this? Already on the state books:

    22-24-1.1. Public indecency--Misdemeanor. A person commits the crime of public indecency if the person, under circumstances in which that person knows that his or her conduct is likely to annoy, offend, or alarm some other person, exposes his or her anus or genitals in a public place where another may be present who will be annoyed, offended, or alarmed by the person's act. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

    Source: SL 1998, ch 136, § 2; SL 2005, ch 120, § 298.


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