I often hear people saying they don't like something about their community and then follow it up by saying there is nothing they can do about it, their city council members and city hall are going to do whatever they want anyway. I disagree. There are many things we can do and as we have learned in recent times, democracy is not a spectator sport. So where to start? Let's take a quick look at local rules.
I am a member of the American Planning Association book club and we recently read City Rules by Emily Talen. The subheading of her book is "How Regulations Affect Urban Form". While this may not sound very interesting to many, most municipalities are regulated through their city codes and if you don't like something about the way your municipality is operating, most likely it is the city code that you will want to change.
City codes have been used for good and for not so good. Some were put in place to protect the wealthy, others have been put in place to protect health and well being, still others to protect the vulnerable. They affect the urban pattern - subdivisions, street width, layout, housing, and the spatial arrangement of zoning districts. They affect how land can be used and what use is located where. And they affect form - building lines, setbacks, lot coverage. Form essentially defines space.
A city's code also defines rules for all kinds of things ranging from parking, cemeteries and the sale of Christmas trees.
For example New Rochelle's city code has a section specifically related to the Salvation Army and when it can solicit contributions in December of each year. City codes are updated regularly as the need or desire arises. Some rules, however, are of long standing. For example New Rochelle under Chapter 231 Peace and Good Order was first adopted in 1965 and includes Article 1 Missiles, Beanshooters and Skateboards that states:
"No bean shooter or other instrument for throwing bullets, stones or beans shall be sold or offered for sale; nor shall any bean shooter or other such instrument be used by any person for throwing bullets, stones or other missiles nor be carried by any person; nor shall any person throw or cast any stone, stick or other missile in, from or to any street or public place.
No person shall use or operate a skateboard in any of the public streets, sidewalks or public places within the City.
§ 231-2Penalties for offenses. 
An offense against the provisions of this article shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both.
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code."
I recommend taking a look at your municipality's code, parts will make good sense, parts are probably outdated, and some parts you may want to change. Codes are living documents that affect our day to day lives and as times change, so too should the code. So while you are enjoying some time off over the holiday period, go on line and check out your local rules. Leave me a message if you find one you think is either excellent, superfluous, or just downright odd.