BY LYN HANRAHAN
We were having a sock fight in the dining room today when I yelled “Stop!” and we smiled for the camera out the window. It reminded me of last summer when we were having a grocery bag battle out in the front yard and even though the neighborhood was dead still a police car mysteriously cruised past.
I had the feeling someone was watching me for some time. I am, as far as I know, sane. We simply have the misfortune of having one of those neighbors who have no lives, no hobbies, no friends, and nothing going on. Well nothing going on other than using Code Enforcement to share their misery. We are far from alone.
The summer when the county was beginning what was to become the NOV disaster I was waiting in line at the Farmer’s Market on a lovely soft summer morning next to where the County Council had its booth when I couldn’t help but overhear a couple of people describe how awful their neighborhood was. I looked over and guess what — they looked familiar.
Soon after some NOVs arrived. I went downtown to discuss this with the officer who had issued them and he actually apologized. He said my yard was lovely but a certain councilor had been in the car with him and he had no choice.
The nonsense has never stopped. Our neighborhood, which I still love in spite of it all, now rivals the old DDR for having some long time residents serve as double agents when a certain someone circulates petitions. I have been threatened, grabbed/hugged, my daughters regularly have to detour while running to avoid a certain neighbor, my trees have been mysteriously groomed while we travel, and the list goes on.
Just last week as I was walking from the garage a county vehicle was trolling past my front yard. I have spoken with almost every councilor about this. I have spoken with the police and most of the code enforcement agents. Nobody has an answer. Proving harassment is quite challenging legally so neighbors who are bullies tend to get away with it. Getting an audience with the county manager or director of development has proven impossible.
So what’s to be done? I would like to see the Development Department closed. It is far to rotten to reform. They refuse to listen to their advisory board which is sad. The recent survey with its crude pictures mocking peoples home is a disgrace. Shame on you County Council for allowing this. One party rule — almost — of the county serves us poorly. I say this as a member of the Democratic party.
Anyhow as the spring garden catalogues start piling up my dream for the coming year would be to finally be able to throw out all the broken garden tools I have hidden around our big corner lot — simply to feel safe in my own front yard. Is this asking too much?
Happy New Year!