December 11, 2023

Overcoming Bureaucratic Red Tape

I got the following in my email box this morning that I thought a good way to begin a work week by sharing. It also reminded me of another true event that took place a few years back. But first the short story and picture about a man who wanted to build a shelter for his horses. Here’s how the story goes.

It seems a hobby farmer on the city’s outskirts sought council permission to erect a Horse Shelter. Permission was denied, leading to a typical protracted, one-sided, negotiation with Council.

Exasperated the property owner wrote, “I suppose you wouldn’t even allow me to put a table and chairs out there…”.

“Of course a table and chairs are permissible” replied council.


The story I recall was an event that happened in Maine and it is a true account. I have been witness to the item in question on many occasions.

A friend wanted to rebuild a dock to go in front of his cottage on a small pond in Maine. The old dock had been in the water for many, many seasons and it was time for a rebuild. The owner did the right thing and went to the town to get all the proper permissions, etc.

Upon arrival and expressing his desires, he was informed that he couldn’t replace his dock as the town had decided that man-made docks were a problem on the water. Thinking quickly, the man asked if it would be permissible to keep a boat at the shore tied to a tree or some kind of anchor. The official said that was acceptable.

He went home, rebuilt his dock, included the construction of a transom and mounted a small but old outboard motor on the transom. He registered his new “boat” and then took it for a short ride, returned to the shore and tied the “boat” up so it wouldn’t get away. He has enjoyed his “boat” for several years now.