Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tallahassee vs Tallahassee

Posting today on a weird subject. I think it highlights how comedic and entertaining watching government operate is. I walk in my 40 year old NE Tallahassee neighborhood mostly every day. I have noted a vacant house of an acquaintance of mine and wonder about the disposition of the property. Today I noticed that there was some sort of a declarative poster on his door. So I wondered up to the front door to read it. The notice was from the division of compliance for the city. It said something to the effect that numerous attempts have been made to contact you about the code violations existent on your property. This notice serves as a summons and you are to appear at the hearing that is scheduled before the city commission on August 2, 2012.

The notice was printed on official City of Tallahassee letterhead and signed by an official's official. Mr. Herman VanSnoot, Esquire. The ending paragraph declared that failure to appear could result in one or more liens being placed on your property. Later on in the day I am going to call Mr. VanSnoot and ask him if he would, please, let me know if my friend appears at that hearing. That will be immensely newsworthy because, you see, I attended this man's funeral approximately 18 months ago.

Now, let's see, it makes you sort of wonder if the city's computers are networked at all. I would assume that there was a death certificate created when my friend passed away at 87 yoa. It would seem to me that there should have been some sort of data collision within the system when measures were taken to engage this property in code enforcement, allowing that the owner is all dead and stuff.

Sequel this out and you have to imagine that at some point, with the city not being able to collect property taxes on this residence, that perhaps the city would end up owning the property. In that case the city would have placed liens on property that they own. Thusly, the city would have to bring a legal action against itself at some point in the future

.Sort of reminds me of an Andy of Mayberry episode. Old Luke who lived just within the city limits had a dilapidated old house. The town condemned it and placed liens on it and property taxes were delinquent so Sheriff Taylor was given the directive to go down and evict old Luke. Whilst delivering the eviction notice Andy discovered that Luke was in possession of a war bond issued by the township 100 years prior. Andy did some quick math and determined that Mayberry owed Luke over one million dollars.

The town could not pay this debt. So they bartered themselves into the position of helping Luke fix up his house. The city commissioners, mayor, Andy and several locals happily worked replacing shutters and windows and painting up the old place. They did this shoulder to shoulder all the while picnicing and drinking Aunt Bee's famous lemonade having a wonderfully collegial time.

At the end of the episode someone determined that the bond was issued during the Civil War and was worthless as it was to paid in confederate currency. They all laughed it off and Luke was able to stay in his home and all was well.

Can you just imagine that happening today? Even in a small fry city like Tallahassee we are so paralyzed by law and regulation that there is no amount of compassion that could ever be transacted in most any business that comes before the commission.

What was it Mark Twain called it? " Man's inhumanity to man."