March Sadness: Your Tax Dollars at Work

There's some funny business going on in Delaware, and it's not the kind that makes you laugh.


Apparently someone complained about several portable basketball poles people had along the curb in Claymont. So the Delaware Department of Transportationtook them all away.

One of the encounters was caught on tapeby Delaware Online. The website also posted photos of one resident, identified as Melissa McCafferty, sitting on top of the basketball pole to keep it from being hauled away. When her visibly agitated husband, John, argues with the DelDOT crew, a city official tells him, "I do not want to arrest you or your wife, but that is where this is going."

It appears the basketball hoop is on a cul-de-sac, which is where one might usually want to play basketball. Also, McCafferty claims not everyone's hoop was taken, just eight selected households. Best part of the video is when the city official tells McCafferty they will dump his pole in his front yard if he wants to keep it...and then denies promising that.

Now, I can imagine it might be irritating — I guess — to see a lot of basketball hoops along the curb, but it's not as irritating as people leaving their garage doors open to reveal decades of garbage they can't let go of. That's not illegal, but these poles in Delaware are considered a violation of the state's Clear Zone law, "which prohibits hoops, trees, shrubs and other objects from being within seven feet of the pavement's edge in subdivisions." And you need that area clear, need it clear so don't really know.

The McCaffertys are something to behold. It appears they don't actually use the hoop themselves. McCafferty told WDEL today that he lets the neighborhood kids use it. "I want the old pole, the blue pole they stole from me, I want my property back!" he said on air. McCafferty and his wife maybe aren't the greatest neighbors, if this is how they usually act. Or maybe they're normally easy going but got understandably upset because the government showed up with heavy equipment.

In an era when city governments are struggling to find money to pay teachers and firefighters, policemen and paramedics, when there isn't enough money to patch potholes or keep libraries open, is this really the best use of tax dollars? It appears DelDOT scored a slam dunk for government run amok during March Madness. "March Sadness!" John McCafferty shouted as took away his pole and his pride.

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