Monday, October 02, 2006

Fencing With Government Agencies ~ Hair Raising Experiences

Some days I'd just really like to go fishing, tarpon fishing if possible, but something or another is always is always getting in the way. My 84 year old friend Mary Poh, sitting behind me in the red dress, needed a ride to apply for some sort of grant to help her with her electric bill. Driving over there, waiting while paperwork got filled out and phone calls got made, then a stop at the supermarket on the way back to her place consumed the entire morning. Don't I look thrilled? Hey, she got the grant and the tarpon got a reprieve. I got bored.

On the Good News front I think that my problems with North Miami Code Enforcement, or lack there-of as it applies to my neighbor's illegal fence is finally coming to an end. Hooray! I called this morning to see if it was to be on this week's Code Enforcement Board agenda. Last month it was postponed because the city's attorney thought it had been charged under the wrong section of the code. She was to check with the City Attorney herself! I played telephone tag for days trying to find out if the two attornies had ever even met. Crap! They BOTH work for the city. What's the problem?

As expected, this morning I got shunted from the City Clerk's office to Building and Zoning and was finally told that Hans, the guy handling the case would "get back" to me. I left my cell number. A couple of hours later he called. Seems the City Attorney decided that the charge under whatever section of the code it was had been the correct one after all. They should have heard the case last month. A month wasted! More of my time, WASTED! Probably a few hundred tax dollars too.

In the meantime, Hans told me, the neighbor reactivated his fence permit and has until November to bring the fence into compliance. Today he was out there scrubbing his driveway again, a daily ritual. No work started on the fence. Dawn tells me that when she gets back from Tampa on Friday she's going to talk with the neighbor. She's an amazing woman but I'm not sure that'll do much good. What it will take is a proper hearing and imposing a $500 a day fine on Mr. and Mrs. Vicente Carvajal. This crap has been going on now for 34 months. This should have been over with two years ago, long before their contractor beat the shit out of me or their roosters woke me up at 4:45 every morning for weeks on end. The strangest thing is that I have a print out of the city's action against the Carvajals. From 03 / 18 / 04 to 08 / 10 / 06 nothing was being done, no entries at all. Yet I've been complaining the entire time. Mark Collins might be a decent enough Director of Public Works but he sure can't manage code enforcement. Let's see if he can get that fence into conformity with code before three years is up...LOL. In my book he's the one responsible for all those mornings the roosters woke me up. He's responsible for my complaining about that contractor working without a permit, the one who was part of the gang who beat the crap out of me. I'm still having dizzy spells from the beating my head took. I still wake up every morning with sore ribs. It's been nine months now, but every day I'm reminded of Mark's handling of this still unresolved situation. Thanks Mark. I'd really rather be tarpon fishing! Without sore ribs and dizziness!


Anonymous Paulbe said...

Hello Al--this is pretty serious! I really am enjoying your blog--I think you said before your lovely daughter is here in Atlanta? URG---CRS setting in--thanks and keep it up!!!
Paul in Atlanta

4:53 PM  

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