Recently in Portland, Oregon, an 11-year old girl (Madison Root) wanted to help her father pay for her braces by gathering mistletoe from her uncle’s property and selling it at Portland’s Saturday Street Market. She chose an area away from the street vendors, but a Portland security guard swooped down and told her to stop selling the mistletoe because it was against city code. He said she could ‘beg’ for money, but couldn’t sell mistletoe to those who wanted to buy it from her. It appears since the city officials of Portland couldn’t get a ‘piece of the action’, they wanted to extinguish her entrepreneurial spirit.
It made me wonder what city officials in Naperville would do if the same situation presented itself and I didn’t have to wonder very long after remembering that just a few years ago a little girl, along with her older sister, had their lemonade stand shut-down for the same reason. And it wasn’t even in the downtown area; it was on a residential street.
Jump forward to this year when two women were handcuffed and arrested for protecting their families and homes from the actions of Naperville city officials (forced installation of so-called smart meters). It comes as no surprise that Naperville city officials oftentimes don’t take too kindly towards Naperville families and residents trying to do the right thing, whether or not it’s protecting health and property, or selling lemonade.
It’s ironic that this Tuesday’s Naperville city council meeting addressed the topics of drive-through windows for marijuana dispensing centers, and the merits of “cage-fighting” in conjunction with selling alcohol at those events, while the concept of shutting down kids selling lemonade hasn’t been addressed. However the Naperville city council did find time to overwhelmingly approve increasing city council member compensation.
As for mistletoe-selling’ Madison Root, once word got out to residents that the city thwarted her effort to earn money for her braces, her business began booming with orders for mistletoe. No word yet if Portland city officials have placed any mistletoe orders, but if they are anything like Naperville city officials, chances are good that most are not mistletoe-type people.