No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

What do you get when you decide to head to tornado struck North Minneapolis to help out those who were affected by the storm? It seems you get harrassed by the police and fined:

For a few years, Mike Haege’s sister lived in north Minneapolis. He knows the neighborhood at least a little bit, and when a tornado tore through the area on Sunday, May 22, he took notice.

On the news he saw trees strewn about lawns and streets. Then inspiration struck. He wanted to help. His schedule for Monday, May 23, was wide open. And, since he operates Custom Cut, a tree trimming business here, he figured his services could be put to good use.

“I thought it would be the perfect chance to help,” he said. “I knew there would be people needing help.”

He was right. By 10:30 a.m. Monday, he was signing paperwork with the Urban League to be a volunteer. He signed a waiver, hopped back into his truck and headed off to help out. The Urban Homeworks sent along a couple volunteers with him, too.

Mr. Haege should be commended for his willingness to head over to a disaster stricken area and offer his skills to help out instead he is being punished for his actions because he lacked the proper license from the city:

Tree trimmers who work in Minneapolis need to be licensed with the city. It’s a regulation in place throughout many cities, and something Haege knows all about. He’s licensed in Hastings and several area cities. Since he doesn’t work in Minneapolis, he isn’t licensed there.

Because he didn’t pay his extortion fee to the city of Minneapolis Haege is being punished for being a good neighbor and helping out those in need. This is how the state creates dependence, they punish anybody who attempts to help people in need. If nobody but the state can help you then you become dependent on them and thus their continued existence is ensured. It’s sick and honestly the people of North Minneapolis should be up in arms over the fact that some people who have come to help them have been not only harassed by the police but also fined:

Officers told him to leave. They told him he was going to receive a “hefty fine” in the mail, and that if he stopped on the way out, the fine would be doubled.

Much of this exchange can be heard on a cell phone video that Haege took.

Finally, Haege was cleared to leave. He went to the volunteer hub, checked out and went home. Last he knew, he was going to receive a citation in the mail for trimming trees without a license in Minneapolis, which he heard was a $400 fine.

Of course the city was magnanimous and decided not to fine him the full $400.00:

Haege got more bad news in the mail Wednesday afternoon. He received a $275 fine from the City of Minneapolis.

That’s right the cost of trying to help people in a disaster stricken area is $275. That’s $275 for trying to do the right thing and helping those in need. What the fuck is the sense in that? The city should be paying Mr. Haege for volunteering his services to help out those the city hasn’t gotten to yet (and probably won’t anytime soon).

If you live in North Minneapolis you should be calling your “representatives” and demand the city inspector be fined and that Mr. Haege’s fine be removed.

2 thoughts on “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”

  1. When I saw the video of the area on the news after the storm hit my first thought was that I’ve got a chainsaw I know how to use it, I could help clear the roads to allow fire and EMS to get into the area. My second thought was that the Minneapolis police would arrest my if I went there to help. I stayed home.

    1. Yeah if there is a disaster and thus people in need it would be nice to offer what help that you could. Unfortunately local governments often do their damnedest to ensure that the only help people in stricken areas receive includes a government stamp of approval. It sickens me that people can’t even help one another out anymore without having to worry about the government coming in and either fining or arresting those who are trying to help.

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