"Br'er Rabbit in Bear City"
CITY OF COLUMBIA PERSECUTES
INNOCENT SOUTH CAROLINA VICTIM
The 1996 letter below was written by a
relative of mine whose houses the City is still threatening to
demolish in 2001. Please help prevent others from being treated
as unjustly as he has been by writing:
Mayor Bob Coble
City of Columbia
PO Box 147,
Columbia, SC, 29217
June 20, 1996
Mr. Donny Phipps,
City Building Official
Director of Inspections
PO Box 147
Columbia, SC, 29217
Dear Mr. Donny Phipps,
"As you know, the City of Columbia Housing Division currently has a housing case" on your three houses and "if you do not contact this office immediately to resolve this matter we will proceed with demolition" you wrote me in your letter of June 12, 1996 (postmarked June 14). Had your letter not been addressed to my tenant's address, I might have answered sooner. I have no key to his mailbox; he travels and I seldom see him.
No, until your letter postmarked June 14, 1996 informed me, I did not know that the City of Columbia Housing Division had not closed its cases against my Catawba Avenue houses after I fully complied with the judges orders in 1994. You and the city attorney, etc. inspected both my Catawba Avenue houses thoroughly, and certainly know how well I complied with all that the judge's orders required me to do. Both houses were painted the color your office demanded, and the roof of one was entirely replaced, since your office did not want it patched.
Nor did I know that you had not closed your case against my Harden Street house after I fully complied with all the demands of your office about 4 years ago. I remember how pleased Inspector Strange looked to be done with me.
Although Inspector Strange gave me a hard time too, I think Inspector Strange has a civilized conscience, and understood that the City has a vendetta against me. Is that why your office sent a different Inspector this last visit to my Harden Street house?
Most civil people can do just so much for a dollar, before they get sick at heart and eventually quit rather than violate their consciences. "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" the Bible says Jesus said.
One ex-employee of your office told me he had quit in disgust because the City uses laws like the Standard Housing Code punitively against people like me who differ politically, etc. and for other unfair purposes. But even if the city is doing so, who could ever prove it, or get anyone to prosecute the City, or afford to do so?
It has been difficult for me to find an attorney who would even defend me against the City. Attorneys tell me they fear losing the City's legal business, etc. Another problem is that an attorney would charge me more than my houses are worth.
During the last 15 years, your office has never informed me it had closed any case against me, or even acknowledged any compliance whatsoever on my part with the demands of your office. The only contact your office has had with me since that last inspection of my Catawba houses by you about two years ago has been the two letters I have received from your office since March 27, 1996, less than 2 months ago.
Over the last 15 years, why is it that no matter how much of the work your office demands I do is done, letters from your office have only stated "It is obvious that little or no work has been done"? Has your office ever sent anyone a letter acknowledging anyone's progress? I remember the hard look the City Attorney gave Inspector Strange after Mr. Strange made a favorable statement about my performance in court. Did Mr. Strange get fired for that?
And as soon as I finish doing everything listed on one INSPECTION REPORT, your office presents me with another list of things to do, often containing items that are not required by the Code, or which are entirely fictitious. Is this what has to be done for the City to keep its 15 year long case against me from ever closing, or to impress a Judge with how patient for so long your office has been with me?
I received a letter from your office dated March 27, 1996 that I must do more work on my Harden Street house. Did you receive my response? I intend to do everything I can EXCEPT DIE to save my Harden Street house, since it will soon be the only place I have left to live. At my age, and in my health, I can not predict exactly when and how much work I can do.
For about the past ten years Mr. Olu Olufemu from Nigeria has been working on a house behind mine at 1009 Pine Street which has been in a dilapidated state for about 20 years or longer, a house I used to include on lists of houses near mine that your office nad NEVER had a case against, even though these houses had always been in far worse condition than my own houses. Has your office yet had a case against his, or Jackie's house on the corner of Pendleton and Harden Street, which has had a hole in the front porch roof big enough for a man to crawl through for many years? Please be as patient with me, whose efforts to meet the demands of your office have turned into a sick old man, as you are with those strong young bucks.
Before requiring me to do what you want me to do to my Harden Street house, may I have more time to finish moving my belongings from my Catawba Avenue houses to my Harden Street house? Mrs. Ginn has agreed to buy my Catawba Avenue houses as soon as I move out. May I continue moving out, before she changes her mind? Once I receive payment from Mrs. Ginn I can hire people to work on my Harden Street house. Otherwise I will need to borrow money.
Because I own some real estate, I am not eligible to receive welfare, government checks, or financial assistance from anybody. I have to pay your office and the rest of the City, etc. property taxes (between $1,000.00 and $2,000.00 per year), which leaves little of my less than $300 per month income for anything else. For years I have survived by living only on the barest essentials and growing my own food.
I have not had the strength to grow a garden for the last two years. I still have food I canned from years ago, and get figs, etc. from my trees and vines, but it does not look like I am going to be able to harvest them this year, if the City has its way.
The worker who contracted with me to do the work you want done on my Harden Street house has kept putting it off. He contacted me again yesterday. It has been hard to get any work out of him, or my money. My health prevents me from doing the work, as fast as you want it done, myself.
After having unpleasant heart pains for many months, I went to a doctor, who had me have an EKG and other tests. He told me I am anemic and borderline for a pace- maker, and had a blood pressure of 82/46. Other results have been below or above normal, but I do not know much about what they mean.
Most of the time I can not stand upright very long without my head aching, and dizzy spells. I have to lie down every hour or so even when I can work. If I overwork, I get run down or break down, and can not work at all. Most of last winter I was sick with bronchitis and influenza, coughing and sneezing too much to sleep well.
I had all those health problems before I received the March 27 letter from your office. I have thought and worried so much about that letter that I have had difficulty sleeping at night since I received it. I knew I could not survive another bout with your office, but I did not wonder if a mere letter from your office could kill me until I received one.
Also the people at the American Legion Post have relocated their big trash dumpster next to my back fence, and refuse to move it back where it was, even though I told them it bangs loudly and wakes me up ever time the noisy truck comes to empty the dumpster in the middle of the night.
My doctor asked me if I was depressed. I told him that since I received the March 27, 1996 letter from your office, I have been unhappy and worried the City is going to demolish my houses. He wants me to see another doctor about that, but I think you are not going to allow me any more time to visit doctors. Before I received the March 27 letter from your office, I was very happy despite my poor health. The longer your office left me alone, the happier I got.
Perhaps your office might want to avoid traumatizing other citizens, or a law could be passed to protect citizens from being discriminated against and victimized by the City as I have been, if I explain the biggest reason why my situation seems hopeless.
Having to stop what I need to do to sell my Catawba Avenue houses, and to start doing the things listed on the 3/26/96 INSPECTION REPORT is upsetting enough, but not nearly as much as the evidence which suggests the City is still "out to get me".
After I received the March 12, 1995 letter from the City less than two months ago, I wondered if any of my neighbors had also received similar letters from your office, since their houses, etc. violate the Housing Code much more than mine. For example, almost all the paint has peeled off the back of the house next door to mine. Almost all the paint has also peeled off the woodwork of the house behind mine, on the corner of Walnut and Pendleton Streets. There is a big gaping hole in the front porch of the house two doors down on the corner of Harden and Pendleton Streets. These, as well as several houses on the 1000 block of Pine Street, etc. have been "in violation of the Standard Housing Code of the City of Columbia, South Carolina" for several decades, etc. One has been boarded up for many years. Of all the houses around me that are in violation of the "Standard Housing Code", why is mine the only one your office has a case against? And not just one of MY houses, but ALL of my houses. In this "low-income, run-down, substandard housing" neighborhood, why just ME, and only me, over and over, for over 15 years?
When I ask myself WHY during the last 15 years your office has not been as concerned with my neighbor's houses as much as with mine, I wonder if the City is concerned at all with justice, with enforcing its laws against all citizens equally, in a reasonable, fair and honest way. If the City is not, what hope have I that I will not continue to be sued and prosecuted to death?
The City may not respect my property, but it is all I have to make a living, so I have tried to hang on to it even though it is of no value in the eyes of the City. How can anyone prosper without security and respectful neighbors and government?
Why has the City been so obsessed for over 15 years with demolishing my houses, even though they violate the "Standard Housing Code" least of any in their neighborhoods? Why has your office never taken violations in my neighbor's houses seriously?
For example, for many years an abandoned two story house stood next to my Harden Street house, wide open and unsafe, full of needles from homeless vagrants and dope addicts. Your office never took any action to demolish it or make the owner repair it. When it finally was demolished, Law Enforcement had it done, not your office.
How am I different from my neighbors? Why is your office so obsessed with demolishing just my houses instead of several abandoned houses are still near mine, houses which really need to be demolished, no matter how much the whole neighborhood has been begging you to demolish these abandoned houses?
My experience with your office has been that no matter how fully I comply with its demands, no compliance has ever been acknowledged. Whatever I do, nothing is ever perfect enough, and new items will always be added to the list of the things your office demands I do. Many of the violations on the list are so fictitious that it is sometimes hard to believe that your office has not confused my house with someone else's house. If you want an example of a fictitious item on the most recent INSPECTION REPORT from your office, please read "Install front stairs" on the "INSPECTION REPORT" enclosed in the March 27, 1996 letter from your office.
The concrete and brick steps in front of my house have been there since my Harden Street house was built about 100 years ago, and are still in as good condition today as they have ever been. If my steps had ever violated the City Code, would your office not have listed them in a previous INSPECTION REPORT? Why does the "INSPECTION REPORT" enclosed in your March 27, 1996 letter say "Install front stairs", as though I have no steps, instead of "Repair front stairs", if your office has found some imperfection in my front steps?
Long ago Inspectors from your office explained to me that my front steps had been built according to the Code that existed when my steps were built, so my steps are still legal, and therefore your office can not require me to install a hand rail, etc. If your office wants to make me install a hand rail anyway, why not just say "Install hand rail" instead of "Install steps"?
Why would your office send me an INSPECTION REPORT which misrepresented the condition of my property? Why would a fictitious item, like "Install steps" be put on the March 26, 1996 "Inspection Report" I was sent? An accident, sloppy thinking, or to include an item that qualifies as "Dangerous and Unsafe for Human Occupation" in order to justify demolishing my houses, in case a judge requires the City to have one on paper?
Without "Install Steps" what is left? A few minor repairs and painting to the eaves and windows of my BRICK (not wood siding) home? Your office made me do all that a few years ago.
After I have sold my Catawba Avenue houses, I plan to start trying to sell my Harden Street property. The buyer of my Harden Street lot will certainly use it for business and probably have to excavate it down to street level, which is why my lot is worth so little. Any investment the City requires me to make in my Harden Street house will be wasted money therefore, just like the over $10,000 the City made me waste painting, etc. my Catawba Avenue houses, which the new owner will either demolish or completely remodel. But what does a "ten-story tall bear" like the City care about the greens of a "tiny little rabbit" like me?
Can any citizen feel secure and happy if his government is treating him in an arbitrary and dishonest manner? I realize how little strength I have left, and that I can no longer withstand a government which is "out to get me". Can you understand why your letter has left me feeling so hopeless? If such mistreatment made me happy instead of unhappy, would I not need a psychiatrist? How can anyone whose security and even life is threatened, as mine is by the demands of your office, be happy or not worry about it?
But who would believe the City would treat anyone as it has me? After all, if the City were persecuting me, would your office have left me alone for the past two years? Or has the City just been waiting for some paint on my recently painted houses to start peeling again? How could anyone but a lunatic imagine that the City was "out to get" him? We hear about the government in Washington, DC, doing such things, but here too? I have an incorrigible tendency to think everyone is as honest and principled as I am.
After a couple years of being left alone by your office, I had begun to feel more secure and happy, and even imagine that the City was going to let me sell my property and leave town peacefully. Was I "in denial" (like most of my fellow citizens)?
I was not really too upset by the March 27 letter from your office UNTIL I asked my neighbors whether they also had received any letters from your office about the paint peeling from the rotted boards on their houses, etc. None has, just like before. THAT is what really upsets me, the idea that I am still being targeted because of my political views, selectively prosecuted because someone of influence in City government hates me, or has singled me out because of my religion, race or political statements. If I am not being selectively prosecuted, WHY have my neighbors not gotten similar letters from your office?
I realize it would kill me to have another bout with your office and the City attorney. That is why I decided years ago to try to save my life by selling all my property and leaving Columbia as soon as I could. I am beginning to wonder if the City is going to let me make it out of town alive.
Hoping to avoid being financially ruined by law suits and the destruction of my property, I was always able to do whatever your office ordered me to do, just in the nick of time, thanks to the extra time the courts allowed me. But I am no longer the super-strong person you first met. Now my body is my master, not you or I, no matter how quickly and how much I still want to do whatever and whenever your office requires. More than anything else, the years of stress satisfying the demands of your office have almost completely disabled me.
Your office has not been the only Department the City has used against me in a discriminatory and selective manner. Until I killed all my grass, the Environmental "Health Department" used to send me notices to cut my grass every few weeks. The same department would ask others to cut their weeds only once a year of less, even after I sent Mr. Watts, the head of that department, long lists of lots that were violating the City's laws without their owners being subjected to the kind of treatment I was receiving. As far as I know, neither your office nor Mr. Watt's has ever used any of those lists to help enforce compliance with the laws of the City.
Do you remember that years ago I used to also bring evidence of discriminatory, selective and unreasonable enforcement of City laws against me to the attention of your office and the City, by compiling long lists of other houses in violation of the City's Standard Housing Code in the vicinity of my houses? But no action has ever been taken against any that I know of until this day. Your office did get "mad as hell", they say.
After a house in my neighborhood has been torn down, I often ask the owner if your office made him do it.. They have all said your office had nothing to do with the demolition of their abandoned houses. If your office is so obsessed with demolishing my houses, for what reason? If your reason for wanting to demolish my houses is the enforce the "Standard Housing Code", why has your office never had a case against any of these abandoned houses in my neighborhood?
Can you understand how insecure I feel to have such confirmation that the City enforces its laws selectively against me, or treats anyone as it has me? Is the law a weapon for terrorists? If you had been treated as I have, would you feel upset, insecure, and unhappy about it?
Has the City ever responded to any complaint I have ever made, except to punish me? Or has the City's response been to ignore whatever lists of violations I have given the City, except when your office has had opportunities to show these lists to my neighbors at their homes, or when they come into your office, etc.? One of my neighbors told me that when he stopped by your office, you took a list I had made out of your desk drawer and showed him his name on it. Another neighbor told me an Inspector came by his house and showed him his name on a list I had made. Some of my neighbors are still angry at me, even though they know I am a good neighbor. Is that what your office intended? I tried to explain to my neighbors that I never thought that your office would take any action because of any list I made, and that I was just trying to help your office and the City understand that I have been singled out and treated unjustly (intentionally or not).
No matter what the consequences, the most civilized people have in their instincts and blood a remarkable commitment to truth, civilized principles, and justice, which people who are savage by nature rarely comprehend emotionally, no matter how much they are schooled ( Romans 2.14).
I am proud of my own nature, not because of what material advantages it has brought me, for as most of us have seen, in today's world such instincts more often than not require self-sacrifice, particularly when civilization is ruled by a government which is of a less civilized nature than its subjects. But civilization can exist only because of such instincts.
The biggest danger I am to myself is that it is so difficult for me to accept that the same emotions I have do not also move in the hearts of savages. For example, why would they crucify a self-sacrificing half-Jew called Christ?
Why has the City used your office to make my life so difficult for about 15 years? Has my asking for justice and equal treatment under the laws of the City of Columbia been so irritating to your office and the City?
Across Catawba Avenue from my houses, there stood a house, # 1615, that was left wide open and abandoned for over ten years, full of trash, and rotting down until a new owner chose to tear it down in order to sell the lot for a $20,000.00 gain. Both he and the previous owners told me your office had never taken any action to make them demolish it or correct any of its violations of the City's "Standard Housing Code".
If any house had defective plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. and was "dangerous and unfit for human habitation", #1615 definitely fit the description. Criminals, etc. used it from time to time. A house in the same condition next door to #1615 burnt down a few years ago. Your office would not even require the owners to board these houses up.
All your office did in response to my and my friend's complaints was to tack a "Condemned" sign on them, and for many years your office would not even do that. These houses stood in shambles in front of my houses for about ten years, making it more difficult for me to rent my own houses at market value.
The house at 1615 Catawba Avenue was just one of several like it in the 1600 block that your office did nothing to have demolished or repaired. Eventually most of these abandoned houses were sold to new owners who demolished them, without ever having heard from your office, and only whenever they chose to build on them a few years ago. One of these dilapidated houses (behind Mr. Jenkin's house) was torn down only a few months ago, without the owner ever having been contacted by your office about any violations, according to the family. There is another dilapidated house right across Pickens Street from my house, the house with bright yellow paint peeling off it, next to the old Benson School playground. Although it is plainly visible from Pickens Street and the Benson School play ground, and I put it on several of the lists I used to give to your office, your office said it "could not find it".
During the entire 18 years I have owned my Catawba Avenue houses, houses similar to the one at 1615 Catawba Avenue have been falling apart all around my houses.
I have often wondered how Inspectors from your office could completely ignore, and drive right past, such houses all around me, to scrutinize my houses, in order to search for a bit of peeling paint, a crack in a window pane, a tiny hole in a screen some tenant has poked so he could unlatch it to climb through a window, or any imperfection whatsoever, and then, unable to find enough such imperfections, invent defects and violations. So as to build a paper case to justify a financially devastating lawsuit against me, or even better, a victory in court because I could not afford a lawyer, or find one willing to incur the wrath of the City?
Even though your office has never been able to find any defective plumbing or electrical wiring, a missing window pane, or anything whatsoever that made my property "dangerous and unsafe for human occupation", the City has on those grounds brought lawsuits against me. Was the City hoping that a careless, obliging and politically solicitous Judge would be overbearing enough to overlook reality and justice, and concern himself only with the legal technicalities of court documents?
Although there are such Judges, I thank the God of Life that Judge Pleicones had a more civilized conscience than that, and actually came out to see my houses before signing the order demanded by the City Attorney. I am afraid I will not be so lucky next time.
City Attorney Meggs was in Judge Pleicones' office one day trying to get Judge Pleicones to sign an order so the City could demolish my Catawba Avenue houses right away, even before an appeal could be heard. Without thinking, I blurted out "Why is the City so obsessed with tearing down my houses?" Eloquent Dr. Meggs' face turned red with embarrassment as he silently lowered his head in shame, and with a serious and concerned countenance, Judge Pleicones asked, as he looked up from his papers: "Yes, why is that?", before he could catch his tongue.
I have asked your office why its Inspectors are sent past all those dilapidated houses to search for something wrong with mine. The answer has always been that "someone has complained" specifically about my property, and about mine only. Your office has never told me the source of any complaint against me. I wonder who one has to be in order to have his complaint about a violation of the "Standard Housing Code" taken seriously and acted upon by the City.
Just to test whether indeed complaints from ordinary citizens could motivate your office to enforce in my neighborhood any provisions of the "Standard Housing Code" against anyone other than myself, my friends and I made complaints about my neighbor's flagrant violations, yet as far as we know, we have never gotten ANY results, no matter how much we complained, not even after I put these complaints into writing as your office requested.
If your office would not act on our complaints, and even those of entire neighborhoods, how could other ordinary citizens complain against me and get such terrifying results?
When I dared to complain about any of my neighbors' violations, instead of the City taking any action against the violators, I became the target of the City's action, and excessively so at that.
And why has your office told my neighbors I have complained about their violations, even though your office took no action against them, and then refuse to tell me who complained about my property? Is what is "good for the goose not good for the gander", or do civilized people just think so?
Even if it is too late to help me, someday I hope the State of South Carolina will pass a law which makes it illegal for any government official to discriminate against any citizen in the enforcement of its laws, not just because of race or religion, but for ANY reason. And I hope that law is enforced as strictly as the Federal Government has enforced other "civil rights" laws. I would love to know the real reason the City and your office have so persistently and obsessively discriminated against me since I bought my houses.
No one in city government has ever told me why the City is obsessed with tearing down my houses, etc. except Mr. Watts, the retired head of the Environmental "Health" Department. A few years ago Mr. Watts drove past my Catawba Avenue houses to see whether the City had yet driven me off my property, he said. Mr. Watts stopped his car and spoke when he saw me, and asked me if the City were still after me. He told me he knew that some "higher-ups" in the City were out to get me. That is the last I saw of Mr. Watts.
Why is it that no matter who we have voted in or out of our City government, the politicians we elect never seem to want to rock the boat, interfere, or even care whether "higher-ups" in city government treat citizens like me honestly and justly or not?
I wonder what any sane person would have against me. I have always dealt with everyone fairly, although people who have an insane hatred of themselves and everyone else in the world never think so. I have never committed or been convicted of any crimes, always respected others and their property, etc. I try to avoid doctors, lawyers, and criminals, since I can rarely afford them, and do my part in support of any cause I believe is in the best interest of humanity. If telling the truth and having principles is enough of a reason to persecute someone, I am as responsible as anyone that was ever crucified for doing so.
One Friday evening about ten years ago a policeman came to my door, handed me a warrant, and told me I had to be in criminal court by 8 a.m. Monday morning. I called you to find out why your office had signed a warrant against me, and asked you what I could do to keep from being prosecuted. Do you remember telling me that I had to demolish a huge shed behind my Catawba Avenue home by 8 a.m. Monday morning in order to avoid your office prosecuting me in criminal court? I remember your having pointed at that shed months before, and asking me "What is that?" and I answered "A shed", and nothing more was said to me about that shed until that warrant was put in my hands. Until that Friday evening I did not even know that you wanted my shed torn down.
I worked all day and night the whole weekend and called you early that Monday morning to tell you I had finished tearing the shed down in time, so you would not prosecute me. You came out to see if I had really demolished the shed (even though I have never lied to you), then told me that you were going to prosecute me anyway, even though I had torn the shed down, since I had not yet thrown the contents of my shed on the street too. I remember you and Mr. Strange, and your boss sitting in court that morning, and thinking "what a wasteful way to abuse the taxpayer's money". By asking for a jury trial, I gained the time I needed to do what you demanded.
I believe that such constant threats, prosecution and law suits from the City, worrying and being forced by your office to work all night and day, even in the rain and no matter how cold, and even when I was too ill to be out of bed, for weeks on end for about 15 years has cost me my youth and health. I have just been getting weaker and weaker every year.
During those years the head of the laboratory at Richland Memorial Hospital told me they had never measured a vitamin B-12 level as low as mine. I have aged so much you probably would not even recognize me. When I show people photographs of me from about 8 years ago, they can not believe anyone could age so fast. Can you imagine how difficult it was for me to work or even think, trying to defend myself without a lawyer against City lawsuits? And all the City had to do was send me legal papers.
My trailer broke down while I was moving from my Catawba Avenue house to my Harden Street house. I have been trying to rebuild my trailer so I can start back to moving again.
I have also been building shelves inside my Harden Street house so I can store my belongings in an orderly way as I move in there. The lumber stored on the lumber rack hidden in the cedar trees I planted in front of my house is being used to build my shelves. I used that same lumber rack over at Catawba Avenue for many years without any complaint from your office. I built my lumber rack because your office told me I had to store my lumber 18" above the ground: do you remember telling me that? (I wonder why I have never seen any other builder required to do so).
Your office's last"INSPECTION REPORT" says I must "Remove shed from in front of house". By "shed" does your office mean my lumber rack? May I locate my lumber rack behind my house, or must I demolish it? Please allow me to keep my lumber rack and lumber at Harden Street until I finish building my shelves there. I do not have room for my lumber inside my house since I need all the room I can get to move my belongings inside my Harden Street house. Other people are allowed to have lumber outdoors to build things. Why am I treated differently from my neighbors?
Shall I keep trying to carry out my plan to move out of my Catawba Avenue houses and into my Harden Street house even though it seems the City is putting me in a hopeless situation by threatening to demolish all my houses? What else can I do?
A private company said they would demolish my houses for $15,000.00. I have been told the City charges two or three times more than a private wrecking company would.
Allowing for inflation, I have already agreed to sell my houses for less than I paid for them 18 years ago. Mrs. Ginn has made it clear she is not interested in buying my lots if my houses are destroyed.
I have worked and sacrificed my health and too much else for the equity in my houses not to try to avoid such a financial disaster, if the City will give me a chance.
If I end up with any money to spare, I hope to spend it on socially constructive causes, not to waste it fighting the City over my property.
I am getting old and weak, and must die sooner or later, as every living thing must. I want to live as long as I can because I hope to contribute more towards making this world a better place. You and Mr. Strange have sat on my porch for many hours questioning me about my religious and political ideals, so you know what causes I live for.
Did you see me on television at the State House expressing my support for Representative Hunter Limbaugh's bill outlawing preferential hiring and discrimination on the basis of race, a couple weeks before I received the March 27 letter from your office? I was on the local news on all the television stations, some several times, and lots of people mentioned seeing me on TV. A few assured me I was going to get in trouble with the City again because of my political statements. Do you think the City has ordered your office to resume its 15 year long "case" against me a couple weeks after I spoke at that hearing, because of the political views I expressed?
I wonder what kind old Mr. Watts would say.