Fresno is undergoing budget cuts, as are cities around the country. But something rather extraordinary has happened recently. Last week notices went out to members of the neighborhood. The letter I received informed me that my yard was a potential blight. That if I did not correct the noted measures I would be in violation and would be slapped with a $447.00 fine. This obviously got my attention, so I read on. It seems that my shrubbery was overgrown. This needed to be addressed immediately. Secondly, my grass/ weeds were or potentially would be turning brown.
Fist, who the hell this person is telling me that my property is blight? That my property is having a negative impact on property values. Since when does a local government have the right to tell me how much I must water my property? Now before we get far afield, is it my property or not? I do not belong to any housing associations, so where does the city get off telling me to water.
This year the Pacific Utilities Commission Okayed the installation of water meters. They did not ask me if I wanted one. The city has been running ads challenging the public to save 20 gallons of water a day. So, I cut back on my watering. Now the city says my grass might be turning brown. So, now they want me to use more.
I wonder will I get a bill for excessive use. I thought that this over-reach by my local government was a onetime occurrence. I discovered that the behavior is rampant. They are accountable to no one, like Obama’s tsars. They can threaten, fine, punish all by themselves, and make no mistake about it; the letter I received was not a request. It was a threat.
Down the street from me is a woman who supports herself doing child-care, and she went through the city to see if she could build a child friendly tree house. With the cooperation and verbal agreement from the city she built it. It has been a mainstay of the neighborhood. There has never been any trouble. Today, almost 15 years later, I learned that the city of Fresno, specifically Randi Manouel has demanded she remove it as a public eye-sore. Her threatened fine was over $500 I she did not comply.
Think this was stupid…the woman, an Asian across the street received a similar letter. She was a refugee from an authoritarian country. The letter had her frightened. That night she and her husband were out in the yard with a shovel, flashlight and hoe at 10 pm hand cutting the edge of the grass along the sidewalk. But what was worse, they were warned to correct a problem with the yard. It was brown and little grass was growing. The wife was very nervous. I asked what the problem was, we just dug up all the grass and put in new dirt and planted new seed to make a prettier yard.
Randi Manoeul does not ned a talking to, she neds to be fired and her department disbanded. Maybe the folks in Fresno can get some real work out of this woman…say picking up trash along the freeway.
My name is David Olson, thanks for listening