Ganging Up

Over the weekend, we met some of the neighbors that live in the four-plex next door. They have done a great job keeping up the yard and such, and we offered them some of our left over compost for their gardens.

They started asking us what we thought of the neighbor closest to us – you know, the one with all of the cars. In true Emmy fashion, I told them exactly what I thought of his yard, the cars, and his perpetual garage sale. They both laughed and said they were relieved to hear it.
They also shared with us the fact the people in all three of the units had complained to the owner of the property, but their complaints fall on deaf ears. George, the man with the cars and such, is an older black man – and they suspect, based on the owner’s comments, that he is suffering from “white man’s guilt” – so he won’t enforce the rules. He continually makes excuses for the man.
I should mention that everyone who has lived in that place has had a problem with George regardless of their race and sex. George is a difficult man to deal with; he runs very hot or very cold. When you talk to him, you never know if you are going to get the nice guy or the raging asshole. Regardless of his mood, he likes to blame everyone for stuff that he has a pretty large hand in himself. For example, the time he blamed us for being responsible for the mud in his house. We had had dirt delivered, it was pouring down rain (the weather people were wrong again!), and instead of walking behind his car – he was walking thru the dirt and mud. Again, his choice was our fault. Go figure. This example is par for the course from the stories we have heard over the years.
This couple is done with the garage sale business he has started. I guess their car has been getting tagged by graffiti. And, the four-plex garages were suddenly targets of graffiti as well. George put up a tent outside of one of the garages, and they have chased people out of it at night. People who are doing “transactions” if you will because they are sheltered from the streets.
We had a HUGE problem with a drug dealing in our neighborhood about 5 years ago. Garbanzo and I played a large role in getting the dealers evicted and making it difficult to do business. We do not want this back in our neighborhood.
Last summer, we had someone run through our yard to escape the police (the joys of living in the city). They hid in George’s yard behind his tent. Since they ran under our bedroom window & I heard them, Garbanzo went outside in his kilt at 3am – and pointed this guy out to he police. According to the neighbors, this occurred soon after George’s unit was broken into. So, this became another catalyst.
These guys were at a loss of what to do next.
Garbanzo has a friend. A friend who works for the city. A friend who happens to work for the development office in the city – the office that handles zoning, complaints, permits, etc. A friend who told us exactly how to file a complaint. And exactly which city ordinances and zoning laws George is violating….gave us the exact numbers and everything. He even gave us key phrases to use when filing the complaint. We filed the complaint, a case worker has been assigned, and now we wait.
While confirming the address, I went online to the city’s property map feature. Type in the address and it will tell you everything about that property including prior complaints, taxes over the past several years, last time the house sold, etc. It’s a great site. Turns out, there have been two prior complaints filed against George over the last 9 months. All resulted in the owner getting letters of warning. This complaint should be interesting given the fact he is in greater violation than he was the last two times.
We gave all of the info to the neighbors who are going to file a complaint. They are going to give it to the other neighbors in the four-plex too.
It may seem like we are all being bastards about this situation, but crime is our main issue here. We feel this crap is inviting it back into the neighborhood. With all of our kids being outside and playing, the last thing we want is some meth-heads coming into the neighborhood. Like I said, we live in the city.
So, we will get to experience our city government in action! Let’s hope it doesn’t let me down. Garbanzo’s friend’s advice: Sit back and let the magic happen.
Oh, I hope it does!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Dana says:

    Good luck with this! I don’t think it seems petty in the least – this is YOUR neighborhood too and when neighborly options fail, you must bring in the big guns!

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