The city of Boston recently fined 76-year-old Lorraine Walsh $200 because she could not shovel the snow off her sidewalk fast enough (video below).
"My first thought to be honest," Lorraine told WBZ-TV. "I'm calling city hall."
Lorraine is one of hundreds of Bostonians who have seen fines for failure to clear their walks. She tried to shovel the snow on time, but was not able to finish because of freezing temperatures.
"Really windy, really if you remember," Lorraine recalled. "55 miles an hour all the next day."
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Lorraine's sister owns the house, and her brother Thomas Walsh runs an insurance business out of the home, notes the Boston Herald.
"It’s a three-family with one small office paying the same fine as Gillette," Thomas told the newspaper.
"I don’t think it was fair because it was icy and it was difficult to get up," Lorraine told WBZ.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told the news station: "The rules are, three hours after a snowstorm we’re asking residents to shovel their sidewalks and businesses to shovel their sidewalks and if you can’t shovel it, get somebody to shovel it for you."
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"I do intend to call and I will write an appeal letter," Lorraine stated. "We’ve never had a ticket like this before so I don’t know how strict they are with it, and whether I have a chance of appealing it or not, but I hope."
The mayor offered some consolation: "The last thing we want to do is penalize people and write fines, but if we don’t, then we won’t have people shoveling sidewalks and we’ll have situations where people can’t get past on the sidewalk."
"Give us a little flexibility," Lorraine countered. "Consider a warning. We realize that it was windy and there were ice problems so we’re going to give you an extra day, that type of thing. That would be fair, wouldn’t it?"