Letter: Thank You, Mr. McLean

Letter: Thank You, Mr. McLean

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

The following letter is addressed to Alexandria resident Scott McLean.

I just wanted to thank you for your efforts in helping force the City of Alexandria to repeal the law that made it illegal to display a “For Sale” sign on a vehicle. This is long overdue but unfortunately comes too late for me. Several years ago I also received a ticket for simply trying to sell my car. I wrote a letter to the paper back then complaining about this law that was published locally, “What’s wrong with car for sale?” (May 2007). At that time I wasn’t in a position to file a lawsuit but did go down to try and appeal the ticket. When I met with the representative I explained that I had never heard of this law, and no one I knew had either. Their response was that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” When asked what the purpose of the law was, what harm was done or what problem it was trying to address, I was told it was for “safety reasons.” I was dumbfounded, safety for what? When I asked for further explanation, how this was a “safety” issue, they had no answer but did reduce my fine. With having to take time off from work and still pay a fine it was hardly a victory.

From all I have read since then, no legitimate reason has ever been provided for banning the displaying of for sale signs on a vehicle. To me it all seemed like nothing more than a way for the city to squeeze more money out of hard working Alexandria residents. It is a shame that it took a lawsuit to force the city to do what they should have done decades ago, but I'm thankful that Mr. McLean decided to stand up against this law. I'm glad that the City Council finally saw the light and repealing that unfair law is certainly a good "sign."

B. Marquis