O.K. gang, I have just witnessed the deliberative mechanics of the state as it ponderously attempts to discern what constitutes an eyesore. We are at its most basic level, local gubmint, so we are able to witness its naked incompetence without the fog of byzantine political machinations, although some less complex politics are surely at play. In any event, a resident of a mid-sized Southern city has allowed the vegetative growth in his yard to go wild, literally unattended, to the point that it completely obscures view of the house, even if one is standing 10 feet away. (Indeed, I drive by it every day, so I know. If I also knew how to upload a picture from my phone to RS, I would show you too, gentle reader.)
In any event, it is an eyesore by any stretch of the definition. The city has received no fewer that 37 complaints from the man’s neighbors. Since 2008, the city has repeatedly attempted some kind of resolution with the owner. Numerous city council meetings have addressed the issue. The state has been consulted. The city arborist has testified. Last night, during the public discussion session prior to the vote, the man had his lawyer “explaining” to the city council that one man’s eyesore was another man’s treasure. Many citizens testified as to their idea of an eyesore. The man’s lawyer pleaded with the city’s nuisance abatement manager to consult with the homeowner (if the vote went against him) as to what vegetation to prune and to what degree. The astonished city employee inadvertently stated the obvious by saying, “We’ve tried to ‘consult’ with him for five years.”
Alas, lo and behold, the wheels of gubmint finally turned and it was over in a second. The council president called for a motion to vote on the matter, a motion was made, it was seconded, and all yea’s (and no ney’s) were heard in the chamber to declare the property a public nuisance and to order the city in to cut it down. Five years, thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, scores of pages of testimony and a dozen lawyers later, the city determines an eyesore is present and gives the O.K. to cut back the growth from a house which is invisible from ten feet away because the owner refused to do yard maintenance.
This is the process coming to a medical office, clinic or hospital near you. Hope you’re not in a hurry to find out if you have fatal kidney disease or just an overactive bladder.