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Author Topic: Fixin to make someone's job miserable...  (Read 4544 times)
gumpy
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« on: November 16, 2006, 05:42:20 AM »

Got another F&*^ing letter from the city yesterday.

There's someone in the neighborhood who's figured out they can harass me annonymously through the city codes by reporting me every time they think I'm violating one of their precious ordinances. They started out by calling about the bus about 2 years ago. Turns out there wasn't anything wrong with it  Cheesy but while they were investigating the complaint, they did find that my old truck was parked on the grass in the back yard and I had some scrap metal out back that wasn't screened.

This has been going on now for a couple years. Every 6 months or so I get another letter saying someone complained and listing the stuff I'm not in compliance with. They've bitched about the stacks of landscaping bricks and rocks I've had back there and I told them it was an ongoing project. They bitched about my garden compost pile (now she tells me they have a new law against that!) This time, they bitched about my backhoe. I told them it was being used for my landscaping, but she's not buying it, so I told her it's none of her damn business what I do on my private property.

She told me in an earlier conversation that she only checks for violations if someone complains, and also that the mayor had told her not to actively look for violations. However, state law prevents them from telling me who it is that's complaining, so they're enabling this person to harass me annonymously. I told her it's illegal to selectively enforce the codes and if they're not writing up everyone else in the city for the same violations, then they can't single me out. She didn't have much of a comeback on that one.

So, I think I'm going to start helping her out with her job. I've located the addresses of the mayor and council members, and will shortly be taking drives by their place to look for code violations. I'm sure I'll find something. Then I'm going to start working out to their family and neighbors, making 5 to 10 reports a day of violations scattered around the city. She has to check out each and every one of them, and if a violation exists, she has to write a letter to the homeowner and follow up on it. This is going to be easy because, as it turns out, it's a violation to have your garbage can visible from the curb, and 90% of the people in the city keep them in front of the garage. So I'm going to start with that, and throw in the odd boat or trailer parked on the grass, weeds, derelict car, junk pile, etc.

When I told her the complainer wasn't one of my direct neighbors and therefore shouldn't have any say in how I keep my propety, she said it doesn't matter. She told me they don't even have to live in the city to complain. They could just be driving by. From the sounds of it, anyone looking at a satellite photo of my property could complain if they didn't like something I have in the back yard behind my shed.

So, I'm thinking of posting the city's phone number online and having everyone call and complain about my property. I figure it might be kind of fun to have this get out on the internet and become an urban legand, kind of like the Craig Shergold cancer wish story. They have an email address, too, so I suppose you could just email the complaints in. I figure if everyone in the country (world) starts complaining about something on my property it'll really give them something to do. Doesn't even have to be a legitimate complaint, they still have to check it out.

Oh, and I asked her about all the boats, snowmobiles, camper trailers, and 4-wheelers I see in the yards and driveways of literally everyone around me. She said the code allowed for 2 recreational vehicles (She didn't buy my argument that my backhoe is a toy just like the neighbors boat).  So, looks like I'm in the market for another RV!  Thinking maybe a 45 footer this time. I think I can squeeze it in behind the MC9  Shocked

Wish I hadn't sold all the scrap I tore out of the bus. I'd really like to do an art sculpture on the front lawn this fall!  Maybe a big middle finger made out of brake drums!  Roll Eyes

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2006, 06:16:08 AM »

Someone told me once that "The more you play with sh*t, the more you smell like it"
Nope said
JimH
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Jeremy
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2006, 06:28:32 AM »

I have a neighbour who complains to the council every time I have a fire in my garden to dispose of garden waste. It happens maybe once or twice a year, and I get a standard letter from the council each time, which I immediately file in the round filing cabinet. Fortunately they don't actually send people to knock on your door here (at least not for minor violations), but it still bugs me that my tax dollars are paying for the council department that has to respond to nuisance and malicious complaints of this type.

Granted, my garden has been a bit of a mess for a while, but I am slowly improving it. I tided up quite a large area last winter, built a wall and laid a lot of paving. I worked hard on it, and it looked very smart when I had finished - so much so that the neighbour in question actually made a point of telling me how nice it looked. What she didn't realise until a week later was that it was done so I could park a bus there. She hasn't spoken to me since.

Jeremy
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2006, 06:37:57 AM »

What you ought to try to find is "HER" home address, and file complaints about violations on her own property, too!  Grin

But starting w/ the mayor and council sounds like a good idea to me.

Suggest you not drive buy in your bus, tho. . . LOL

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2006, 06:49:21 AM »

You may want to rethink that counter attack.

There is a guy here in Central Florida that has gone to jail and even prison for " Yard Art " violations. He gets out and redecorates his yard each time. He has been fighting a losing battle with the code enforcement for over 10 years and their answer is to arrest him for violating judges orders to clean his yard. Then the county cleans it up. he goes to jail, does his time and gets out only to do it all again.

His name is " Alan Davis " and has been on national news a couple of times.

Around here the Code Enforcement is enforced by the Sheriff's department after the county send a complaint. People have lost their property in a number of places because code enforcement levies fines of $250 a day or more which is retroactive to the first complaints.
so seeing a $400,000 tax fine against the property is not uncommon. ( problem is that they don't have to tell you they are fining you until after the fines are in place.) ( Never mind that they send the swat team to make the point and remove your dead body.)

Don't become a target... Making waves just makes a bigger target to the pee-ons that have nothing better to do....

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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2006, 06:52:06 AM »

As satisfying and as funny as that will be, I think JImH said it accurately.  What will be the end result?  You will have some revenge, but the city people if they weren't aggravated with you before, will be like a nest of hornets after.  Kind of like pissing into the wind, its the aftermath that you might not like.  If having one person out to get you (the idiot that keeps calling in the comlaints), imagine how it will be to have the entire city fathers and the families angry with you too.  I dont believe they won't be able to find out who is complaining.

Maybe I'm a wimp, but something to consider..
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Jim Stewart
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gumpy
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2006, 07:10:10 AM »

What you ought to try to find is "HER" home address, and file complaints about violations on her own property, too!  Grin

Already did that.  She didn't have ANY violations that I could find!! But then again, I haven't read the entire set of codes. It's a huge list of crap! They don't even host it on their own website. It's located on some legal website.

Quote
But starting w/ the mayor and council sounds like a good idea to me.

Suggest you not drive buy in your bus, tho. . . LOL

 Wink

Actually, she said the caller didn't complain about the bus this time. This all started about the bus, but there weren't any violations with that.

I thought I'd start with the easy and really trivial things, like garbage cans. Start with the council and mayor and then move to their direct neighbors next week, and work my way out from there, and then in a month or so go back and find the next violation on the mayor and councilmembers, etc.

She said they don't collect names or verify if the complainer is legit, so technically I could do it all annonymously and by law, she can't reveal my name to the mayor or council members (like I believe that won't happen).

I'm just blowing off some steam to my real friends here, and I appreciate you guys being around. I know some of you have gone through similar bs with your bus projects and can understand. In reality, I probably won't do a whole lot. Might just make sure she's aware I have the capability to make her job miserable, legally. I am going to erect a fence though, since I have to screen in the stuff behind my shed (neat and orderly, but still visible!!). I've decide to make a steel or wood frame around the stuff, and cove it with poly tarps from Home Depot. Blues, greens, browns. It'll look nice for awhile. Then the sun will turn that stuff to crap! Should be good for a few chuckles.


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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2006, 07:17:33 AM »

Gumpy,

A couple of ideas and thoughts.

I know you are venting to friends, good idea, as I think the retribution route would backfire Bigtime.

Remember that the Code officer and Mayor, Council people are just following the established codes.  Right or wrong in our opinions they are the law in your community.

I say this from the perpective of someone who was the Vice-chairman of my Countys code board for many years.

Don't shoot the messenger, but work to change the code you dont like.

Most code agencys dont look for violations, they can barely keep up with the calls they receive.

It may appear to be selective enforcement, but it is not.

Almost all complaints are from neighbors who have never discussed the problem or perceived problem with each other.

My advice to you would be to get a copy of the code, make sure you are in compliance, invite the code officer out and discuss that you have went through the code and see no violations, ask them if they see any, if not, a good code officer will start a nusiance complaint against whoever is filing the complaints against you.

Second, work to change any codes you deem unfair.

Best of Luck,

Cliff

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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2006, 07:18:13 AM »

Craig, If ya ever feel the need to move to heat and humidity, I might be able to arrange a land swap between you and my neighbor...   Grin  We live in the city limits and he has no less than 5 boats, a camper, trailer, utility trailer , cargo trailer and his "Daily Driver"  LOL  Maybe you could just visit and park your "9" next to his wifes school bus.  I Guess that code enforcement just gave up with him....funny how things are different in different locales...

Jim

« Last Edit: November 16, 2006, 07:20:25 AM by eglluvr » Logged
gumpy
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2006, 07:20:16 AM »

As satisfying and as funny as that will be, I think JImH said it accurately.  What will be the end result?  You will have some revenge, but the city people if they weren't aggravated with you before, will be like a nest of hornets after.

Yeah, I'm considering that. I think we're heading back to the whole idea of building a new home and shop on some land we own in the neighboring city. We were heading that way last year (hence the backhoe), but decided to put it off in favor of traveling with the kids while they are still at home. I think this is pushing me back that way. I'll probaby do what I can to just get by here and push a few buttons and then move out and tell them all to go do you know what to themselves.

I think I heard about the guy in FL. Seems to me he took some 55 gallon drums and stacked them on his roof in the shape of a middle finger.

Anybody know a way to color your grass purple? I experimented with selective application of fertilizer a couple years ago. It was pretty cool. I might think about doing some irritating, though perfectly legal and non-offensive, lawn grooming.


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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2006, 07:29:33 AM »

'Course you could always show your displeasure another way...with a custom cactus vent system    Cool




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(Resized image to conserve bits)


Jim

« Last Edit: November 16, 2006, 10:12:20 AM by eglluvr » Logged
gumpy
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2006, 07:32:45 AM »

Remember that the Code officer and Mayor, Council people are just following the established codes.  Right or wrong in our opinions they are the law in your community.

And who do you think installed these codes? See why they are going to be my first targets?

Quote
Don't shoot the messenger, but work to change the code you dont like.

From my experience,  you can't change this crap once these liberal pinheads get it passed into law. Idiots like this think it's good for our society to regulate people and take away their rights, rather than encourage them to be neighborly. They have no regard for the constitutional rights of property owners. To them, they believe they should be able to control our lives, and you're just a revenue stream to line their pockets. They've lost sight of the fact that they are supposed to be in office to serve the people, not the other way around. Many of us feel this is no different than communism or dictatorship. Certainly not the values this country was founded upon.

Quote
It may appear to be selective enforcement, but it is not.

When the code enforcement person tells me that she only investigates a violation when someone complains, that's selective enforcement. When I get a letter complaining about my compost pile, and the neighbor across the fence with a compost pile within 10 feet of mine doesn't get one, that's selective enforcement. When I drive down the road and see 14 houses with the exact same violations as I have, and not one of them has received a letter, it's selective enforcement.

It's also harassment. And people who allow the government to do this to them, deserve what they get!

« Last Edit: November 16, 2006, 07:34:56 AM by gumpy » Logged

Craig Shepard
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2006, 07:56:04 AM »

Craig,

You should move to the Interior of Alaska.  There are two factions constantly at each others throat up here.  Those who love their "junk yards" and those who don't love their junk yards.  I think we are about 40 years behind you.  Right now it isn't hard to find a Tyvek wrapped shack with 20 dead Subaru's, a dozer from the 30's, piles of wood, and of course the blue tarp covering the valuables in the front yard next to a $300k house with a golf course for a front yard.  When this subject comes up at the borough assembly meetings you can count on a packed house.  For the most part we just let each other live their own lives up here.  There are those who would legislate everything.  Too many people with opposing rights.  And as more people move up here from America our laws are getting tighter.  I guess it is the natural progression.

So come on up, I've got a place for you to park, at least while it is still legal.

Dave T
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gumpy
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2006, 08:10:59 AM »

You should move to the Interior of Alaska. 

I can't tell you how many times I've thought about doing exactly that. After our trip up there last year, I've thought about it even more.

A few years ago I saw a program on PBS about a family up there who had a couple young girls with a progressive crippling disease. He and his buddy built some radical motorized wheel chairs for them that pretty much gave them full mobility. It was awesome. And their house appeared to be basically an open stall with plastic on the front of it and ramps inside for the girls. At the end of the program, he came driving up in an RTS that he planned on converting to an RV so they could take the girls traveling while they still could. I thought, man, this is my kind of people. Why can't I have someone like that for a neighbor?

Right now, I'm looking for a piece of land in the mountains of southern WY where I can build my retirement home and shop. The ideal would be a place where I have to use a snowcat to get in and out of in the winter time.

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2006, 08:32:12 AM »

"Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws--always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of the trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: "Please pass this so that I won't be able to do something I know I should stop." Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them "for their own good"--not because speaker claimed to be harmed by it."

Robert A. Heinlein
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