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Code Enforcement issue 1 – Tall grass

September 11, 2012

When I first moved to Watauga, I had been doing contract work for a company out of Irving. The job was located south of Fort Worth and the drive from Plano to south of Fort Worth was taking a heavy toll on me and my time with the family. My wife and I had some very real incentives to get out of Plano, so we were glad to do so.

After I made the move out here (Watauga), having spent almost every penny to do so, the relationship with my contractor did not continue. That left me high and dry with no income and broke. We managed to stay afloat during that time by me taking contract work, most of which was in downtown Dallas. It was not uncommon for me to leave at 5am and not be back until well after 7 or 8 pm, depending on the needs of the client and how long it took me to accomplish the tasks I’d been assigned.

I didn’t care about my yard as I had far more pressing things to do. At the time, it was not uncommon for the grass to be quite high. My lawn mower was not working and I didn’t have the money to fix it. When I wasn’t doing contract work, I was out trying to get clients of my own in Watauga and the surrounding area.

When I got my first citation for tall grass, I was livid. I was shocked and amazed to discover that my taxes paid some jerk to ride around writing citations for tall grass. Think about the expense that is. Let’s say $30,000 for a truck, another $40,000 for the pay and benefits and gas at $4/bucks per gallon. The stupidity of that just infuriated me. It still does.

Supposedly, the justification for this level of intrusive code is that it maintains a clean city and it’s easier to buy and sell a home or have a business come in. Dr. Neils and I have argued the logic of this on many occasions and neither has been able to convince the other of the validity of their argument. We’ve agreed to disagree. Respectfully and courteously, I might add. I’ve got a lot of respect for him.

I don’t believe there is any need to have such enforcement and I resent that my taxes are spent on such a frivolous bit of nannying as this. If my neighbor doesn’t like my property and wants to impose his will on my property, he should be forced to negotiate with me a contract or other arrangement that will cover the cost of having the lawn mowed and my loss of freedom. If it is so valuable to my neighbors that my yard be mowed, then they may feel free to pay for the costs associated with that preference. Otherwise, they should take their opinion and shove it somewhere where it would be of no concern to me at all.

On top of that, that Code Enforcement guy was such an [explicative removed] about the whole thing, I was actually tempted to drag him from his vehicle and beat some courtesy into him. I understand that individual is no longer with the city, and it doesn’t seem worth it to dredge up such garbage, so I’ll drop it.

I’ll leave it at that and suggest that the city should mind their own business when it comes to such things. Unless there is imminent danger to the public from my tall grass, they should butt out.

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