*This article is written as something I call a "Newsitorial". It's a mix of current events and what I think about it.*

There has been an ongoing battle between a homeowner and the City of Vinton. For quite a while now, the city has been trying to work with the homeowners trying to get the family to clean up their property.

The city got out their pen and paper and wrote the homeowner a letter.

I have no idea how the letter read, but I bet it said something like this:

"Dear Dude and Ma'am,

Your yard is a mess, would you PLEASE clean it up?


The People Trying to Keep Everyone Happy

Anyway, the city began the process and went through the court to force the homeowner to take action.

There's now a dumpster blocking half the road by his house, because, well, the city just gave up and the court thought that apparently, the homeowner needed a hand.

Because of some debate about when the city can and can't go on the homeowner's property, the city again had to make sure that they have the legal right to move forward and begin clean up of the property.

In an interview with a local TV station, the homeowner said that "one man's trash is another man's treasure."

The ironic part is that if the homeowner lived outside of the city limits he could have as many treasures as he wanted and no one would care.

However, when you live within a few feet of your neighbor's house, it's only polite to keep the place neat and tidy.

If you decide to live in town, you have all kinds of rules to keep everyone happy. There are rules about when you can park your car if you live too close to downtown. There are rules about how long you can park your car in the street. There are even rules about propping your car up on blocks. There are rules about how tall your grass can be. There are rules about shoveling. There are rules about when you can mow. There is a guy in the city budget just to keep track of all of these rules and to advise the council of what they and other councils have made into laws.

I chuckle in situations like this because I have a very distinct memory of the City of Vinton bringing a front end loader to my house when I was a kid. We owned 2 lots on a corner and had a humongous yard. In the corner of the yard, next to the alley, my dad had tire rims stored in a pile.

Now I use the term "stored" loosely, they were thrown in a pile together. My dad was a car person. He worked on them, always had the pieces he needed to rig anything up that you needed. I have no idea why he stored his rims there but he did.

I remember vividly running into the house to tell my mom that some people were "taking daddy's stuff!" My mom, of course, went out and told them to leave, and back in the 70's they did.

I believe later my dad did get a letter from the city telling him to clean up the yard, and he did.

However, in my dad's defense, he said, "I don't know why they had a problem with that stuff, you couldn't even see it! The grass was covering it up!"

So while I should write this scathing article about how it's such a disgrace that the homeowner's yard is a mess, I have to chuckle.

I get it.

I don't necessarily agree with it, I've just been there, and understand a man and his trash, er, treasures sometimes have a hard time parting with each other.

However, I do hope that the homeowner realizes that when you live in the city, the city makes the rules.

Just play nice, you're going to lose. It's much easier to clean your own stuff up than to have strangers come in and do it for you. And face it, they don't want to clean your stuff up either, but they will.

Here's a simple explanation of how this works.

You pay property taxes.

Your property taxes cover expenses for example, like taking people to court to tell them to clean their yard when they won't.

And when they won't, your taxes pay for a dumpster.

If the people don't let the city in their yard to clean it up, your taxes pay to go to court again.

Now I'm not sure if your tax dollars pay the guys to clean up said messes, but if it does, well, the messy taxpayer is creating more debt for the rest of the taxpayers. The neighborly thing to do would be to hold a block party and thank the neighborhood for chipping in to clean up your yard.

Back in the day, my dad simply read the letter from the city, grumbled and growled and loaded up his truck with his tire rims and hauled them to the dump.

And then he mowed the lawn.

It's just an idea, but it's cheaper and hey, it's the neighborly thing to do.

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Comments (4)

Most towns are all alike. Anyone that doesn't fit the mold, is not very welcomed in the town. I'm biased. You see, I'm a metal recycler. People want you around, when they need you to do something, but when they don't. Your just another itch, that they can't scratch out of their lives. And, when you need something, one excuse after another. But, God tells us to love each other. Where is the love for each other, in these days? Do you respect your neighbors or just your wants? Just my opinion. God tells us, we will all give an account of how we live our lives. What will we say?
By: Ted Musgrove on May 4th 5:37am
First off the rules for leaving a comment should also purtain to the writer of the "opinion" article. In this case "Trash/Treasure. Im guessing the writer did not ask the home owners a single question to make sure the facts were correct. Anyway back to the "dude & ma'am". The city has made several mistakes and have been dishonest in certain areas. The dumpster left in front of the house was put there by the city. And the day the Vinton calgary went to the house to clean it up the court order had expired by several weeks. So the city attorney asked for an "emergency trial". So they left the dumpster in a high traffic area blocking views. It will sit there until tuesday may 7th. At "the tax payers expense" per the city. I ask you to drive around town and look at all the yards, council members property included, and let the citizens know your opinion on them. Thanks for your time.
By: Blake Benson on May 6th 5:43pm
That is not at all how this story unfolded. The city of vinton did not follow thier own procedures that outline how these matters are to be dealt with. Period. The writer of this article did not do his or her homework on this story. Instead speculation is used to paint a picture that is biased towards his or her opinion on such matters.
Ted Musgrove, I resemble your comment. Well put, sir.
By: James Gill on May 6th 5:53pm
My husband and I live at the property that your opinion/news article is about.
We have tried working with the City, we applied for a permit, paid for permit because we were told it was good, acquired the material to build a garage/storage, then we were denied, We would have moved everything there. So that material is now part of abatement. Most of material we bought from The Re-Store, so yes it is reclaimed, but still viable building material that should not end up in the dump. We tried having the City come and show us what exactly they were talking about, we were informed that our riding lawn mower, even though it ran and mowed was junk and has to go. Just because it wasn't pretty?! We knew at that point we could not come to an agreement.

You mentioned vehicles on blocks, 3rd St and C ave. Vehicle must move on its own power, 3rd and C. That was even hilighted in newspaper.

Grass/weeds must be cut, look along RR/7th St., C ave to 2nd ave, along Hinkle creek through the park. The freezers with lids attached behind the electric building next to river.
Thosee are either owned by the City or public right of way.

We will be charged for the dumpster and for court since we lost. The front of our house is not in abatement order, our flower gardens are not included. The City will be in the wrong if they remove those things, not included or ordered to not to enter those areas.

We are willing to show anyone that is interested the court orders, the ordinances and rules that were not followed by the City employees/officials, or anything else of interest pertaining to our ordeal.

The only thing that has been portrayed is the story The City wants you to know or see.

You know where to find us, the house where the dumpster was left, where there is no parking on that side of the street, just before the RR tracks. Thanks for taking the time to read.
By: Jane Osborn on May 6th 8:04pm

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