Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Resident expert

Here's a new one. I just took a phone call from a guy who wanted to know what kind of permits he needed to skydive out of a plane and land on the public beach.

My current job is to administer a complicated and very detailed set of ordinances regarding one narrow function - events that take place on public property. I get calls from all kinds of people wondering if they need the kind of permit my office issues to do the things they want to do for fun; things that range from holding a beer garden on the beach (not allowed) to setting up a table in the park with a petition (allowed), to inviting a food truck onto their own property (no permit required).

I'd say about half the calls I get are from people whose business is not in my jurisdiction, but I try to help them anyway.

Yesterday I got a call from a woman who wants to stage an elaborate charade as part of a surprise marriage proposal, involving a mock film crew (with real cameras) and the Ferris Wheel on the Pier. Nope, you don't need one of my permits, I told her, but I referred her to the Film Permit office (film crews, even fake ones, need a Film Permit).

Other times I hear from people who want to do something that the ordinance clearly prohibits. Close down a major thoroughfare for a 10K run where the runners shoot at each other with paintballs? Sounds like fun, but not here, buddy.

This morning I got a guy who wanted to launch a hot air balloon from a public parking lot. Then this afternoon, the skydiver.

I hope I don't need to start learning about flight regulations!


Jen on the Edge said...

Your job sounds so fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a cheerful job, generally.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Some people come up with really interesting ideas. I can see why there is a law against a beer garden on a public beach, but I would love to have a beer garden at the beach!