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Here’s The Scoop … Town Of LBTS Represented By The Short Straw? …

WAS IT RIGGED FOR THE “NEWBIE” TO GO? …

Dear Readers … This writer attended the December Code Hearing at 1:30 pm in Jarvis Hall today with Special Magistrate Gordon Linn…On the docket today were two items…The first was a hearing on a boat lift in the south end of town…It was the 3rd time after meeting  in October and November … and because the Town was so poorly represented by the newest employee in code enforcement,  it will be continued yet again to January!…

What an embarrassment for the Town…and a disservice to those residents impacted by this inexcusable decision to send in the ill-prepared “rookie”…while Development Director Jeff Bowman was “in meetings all day”…according to the code officer sent to deal with this case… (Didn’t we get rid of the Fire Marshall because there is nothing going on in our town?)…

The Judge told the code officer Cary Tullos after she could only produce a minimal amount of information to the judge, with no backup or explanation to even assist in its entry into evidence that she had not presented any evidence needed to show any impact of the side property lines …The judge had to lead her and coach her from that point on!…

The residents were sitting in the audience with their lawyers up alongside the code officer at the podium….The code officer “representing” our town finally said … it was not her case…that she had no further information and could not offer up anything else…and was asking for another continuance…

The judge asked the lawyers if they wanted to present and then forgo coming back yet again, recognizing there is a financial impact to the continuance…but added, he was going to continue it!..

BC- What attorney would advise their client to come back without them?…WOW!…

One attorney representing one of the neighbors did speak and after a short period of back and forth with the judge over the Town’s code…or lack thereof regarding “riparian lines” in comparison to other cities.. …The judge asked if the opposing attorney had anything to add…Before that attorney could respond the judge told him”You’d be better off not to”..Taking is cue… he did not…And with that the case was continued to Jan. 22, 2010…Let’s see if the Town can manage to send someone from the Development office? …Perhaps our Director can make it,if he’s done with his “meetings”!…

Next up was the ongoing case of Karen D’Uva-Bradley

Readers may recall that this one has been ongoing since 2008..( prev. posts)…. It had to do with a shed that was put up without a permit…Mrs. D’Uva- Bradley  and her late husband were cited for it…It was when we had the former head of development in charge…The chain of events went downhill quickly in this case…from the residents being disparaged by the Development department and the Town Manager at a commission meeting they were not present for…The D’Uva-Bradley’s also had to deal at the same time with the tragic illness Mr. Breadley’s succumbed to….After a period of time Mrs D’Uva-Bradley decided to try and get the shed and some other property improvements back on track and straightened out…She went “in good faith” according to attorney, to the Town and followed the process…It was  difficult, convoluted and time consuming…as well costly…but she persevered…despite changes in the commission…the development department and the Town boards… She was given conflicting information and endured it all from staff, town boards and even commissioners…What they asked for she complied with…and finally when she thought it was nearing completion, it “was all for naught” again, according to her attorney today in Jarvis Hall…

This writer agrees with his assessment…..In my opinion Mrs D’Uva-Bradley  made the ultimate mistake up at the podium on the day of  the commission vote to give her the green light or put the kabosh on her projects…She was honest and spoke of what the town staff did… OOPS!… True to form Vice Mayor McIntee in the throes of the Manager Review to come …was “protecting” the town employees…and shut it down…along with his BFF Commissioner Silverstone. The third vote against her items was from Mayor Minnet who stood her ground on this project. There was a difference in their decision to vote no…The Mayor’s had precedence, while for the BFF’s it was pure payback for her comments of Town staff….. Commissioner Dodd and Commissioner Clottey voted to yes to affirm the advice of the Board of Adjustment who were represented by two members backing the approval for the variances…

Mrs. D’Uva-Bradley  was “sent packing” and it was now the end of the line …She needed to take down the shed…which she did in October according to today’s information……She went in front of the Special Magistrate in November and was told she now had $40,000 + in fines to pay…on two separate items going back to March 2009 while she was involved in the process… Mrs. D’Uva-Bradly  said she nearly fainted…Again, she reiterates she was told by a development department employee  no longer employed in our town that she need not worry about any fines while going through the proper channels to rectify the situation…. She was to return today with her attorney…

She came back and found just as we all did that the Town did not send in the Development Director…She also was handed papers with charges for the two items and a change in plans for what the Town was seeking? ……Now the Town was seeking reimbursement for Town time…during the process…

The Town again was represented by the “newbie” Code Officer Cary Tullos…There was discussion on whether  the items should be dealt with together or separately …Code Officer Tullos said they went “hand in hand”…and the judge said he would take them separately and then divide them “50/50″….After that the attorney for Mrs. D’Uva-Bradley  did a quick review about how they got to this place…(as described above)…The judge asked code enforcement if she had  anything to add…she said “I have nothing your Honor.”…He asked Mrs. D’Uva-Bradley …and she answered as straightforward as she has since the beginning  of this ordeal… She said that she tried to follow the process as she was instructed and was “treated unfairly by the city” … The judge said he would “try to be fair” …He said she did put up a shed without a permit, and that he understood the difficulties she went through with the demise of her husband and the Board of Adjustment …He then ruled on both items separately…He “mitigated” each to $250 to be paid within 30 days. …If not, they would revert to the original amount….The attorney thanked the judge….

No matter what your opinion is on Mrs. D’Uva-Bradley  and her shed…There can be no argument that she was in fact treated poorly by the Town from the top on down…She was given inadequate and inaccurate information over a long period of time. She was met with substandard employees from the beginning all the way to today …and no taxpaying resident of any town should have to go through that!…

Unfortunately what happened in this case is not unusual, and it is not the exception, it is in fact the standard in LBTS….It will not change until we have a new commission and a new Town administration who will then hire highly qualified Department Heads to instruct the residents …represent the Town and answer the judge’s questions!…

more to come…

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