James Hutchinson: Police should track down law-breaking snowbirds

Stop law-breaking snowbirds.
Arizona – and I believe every other state – has this law where on the day you go to work, the day your kids start school or after six months you are required to be a resident of the state. A lot of snowbirds work here in the winter time. They work in almost every type of job there is.
Many snowbirds stay way past the six months part-time residence law.
Snowbirds who stay less than six months and don’t work still burden us. They are not here for the census count, so Arizona doesn’t get $1,500 a year per person. The money goes for hospitals, roads, police, fire and schools.
Snowbirds overcrowd everything and it can take more than two weeks to get an appointment to see a doctor, they have the flu and don’t want to wait, so they call an ambulance to take them to the emergency room.
A lot of snowbirds are nice people like my relatives were. But there are a lot of them who are inconsiderate, rude, demanding and think we would not survive without them. After 9/11 businesses were crying that they were down 50 percent because those snowbirds stayed home and yet we survived. The jobs they create are mostly low-paying and temporary and the local employers try to lay them off after 5.5 months so they don’t have to pay them employment compensation.
The city council can direct the chief of police to set a program to track down law-breaking snowbirds; local residents can help by recording and reporting the arrival of snowbirds that they know stay over six months. They could call the police department and report them. The police could work with code enforcement and have them go and welcome them to Arizona and give them a copy of our laws. And if you know of a snowbird working, report them directly to the police department.
The snowbirds cause a lot of accidents in the winter time and again we locals pay the price with very high insurance premiums.
Because of the politicians and local businesses the police officers are probably told to just give the snowbirds warning tickets. This is wrong; if they deserve a ticket they should get one. We can use the money to fix the roads.
Tourists are different than snowbirds because they don’t stay that long and they spend more money on hotels, rental cars and eating out. Yes the snowbirds do bring in money and the business people profit. So if you do the math it actually puts a financial burden in the middle- and low-income residents of Apache Junction and Arizona.
We should have an appreciation day for year-round residents, for working the low-paying jobs and putting up with snowbirds in the winter and no jobs in the summer.
James Hutchinson
Apache Junction

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