An incensed reader made the following  comments that cannot be ignored, especially with this very important election underway:

  •  I was told the front of your house was a pit and when you took you case to court YOU LOST!

Someone asked me if the Farmers Branch Municipal Court was a “Real” Court, or a “Kangaroo” Court. At the time I was not familiar with that term. Now I am. I’m not going to say, but I did get a chance to sneak a photograph of the judge and the city’s attorney. It turned out like this:

Now, it is true that I took my case to court and I lost. I lost big time. If anyone has ever tried to defend himself in Farmers Branch municipal court he knows that the cards are stacked against him. If you cannot afford a lawyer (as I cannot) you get to sit there and listen to all kinds of misinformation and allegations and opinions and accusations directed toward you. And there’s very little, if anything, you can do about it.

 But – that is my burden: I tried – I failed. I thought that 6 citizens of Farmers Branch would realize how Code Enforcement, and the Farmers Branch Municipal Court, treats people, and they would sympathize. I was wrong.

What really bothers me about Beverly’s statement is that there were only a very few people who knew about the details that she “heard”. Even the jury did not know all the details that Beverly knew. In fact, the only people who would have a vested interest were two guys who wanted my support for a city council election. I told them I was not interested in helping them to continue the harassment and shoddy treatment of decent citizens.

Either way, Beverly doesn’t know me, and as far as I know she has never even driven by my home. So, for her edification I will later publish a post complete with a tour and photographs of  “The Pit”. That will come later in another post, as I have a lot more to talk about in this one.

Oh – Beverly has not one, but two, candidate signs in her front yard. If you’re wondering what that has to do with anything – consider Beverly’s next statement:

  • I heard Brenda Broderick has had 20 code violations on her 17 houses, if so I don’t see that she is setting a good example for other citizens.

Brenda has owned rental homes for several years. I don’t know how long, and how many. I hear 17 homes, and 20 violations so I’m going to run with that. I did look up the Code Violation records for the past 18 months, and found that Brenda had 2 violations in that time period. One was for a Real Estate sign that was too close to the curb, and one was for trash that was placed out too early – by hours, not days. So, for 18 months Brenda’s homes were in compliance. All 17 of them.  No complaints, even though homes around hers received violation notices (Code Enforcement loves to troll those neighborhoods).

Then, suddenly, in the last days before the City Council election, but just in time for her opponent’s supporters to compose a campaign mailer, get it printed, and send it out, she was slapped with not 1, but 20 Violations: spread out among 17 properties. She won’t divulge a lot of detail except to say that they were all very minor, and as soon as she was notified she had them remedied. In fact, it’s probably fair to say that most were addressed before the citizens even got the nasty mailer. The fact is: not one of those violations compromised anyone’s health, safety, welfare, or property values.

I’m not going to guess who complained about her homes, or if Code Enforcement just “happened upon them” during one of their neighborhood blitzes. I could probably look up the data and make an educated guess, but that is not the point.

So – who is setting a good example for other citizens …. the guy who takes advantage of someone else’s misfortune, or the person who remedies a problem immediately – even knowing full-well that that problem was most likely politically motivated and unfair.

  • If the city does not have code enforcement and enforce those laws, property values will decline.

You don’t want to get me started here. The truth of the matter is that even though Code Enforcement has been “aggressively enforcing strict compliance” for several years the property values in Farmers Branch have declined … and declined, and declined. This year we set the record for Dallas county and the surrounding areas. For those citizens who don’t bother to read the news: The record for decline in property values for this year alone is held by Farmers Branch, with 11% DECLINE. That is this year alone. I expect more will come. And I expect that a lot of that decline will be due to the fact that The Word is getting out about Farmers Branch.

Anyone with even half a brain can look at that data and know there is no correlation between grass in driveway cracks and property values. The only thing that the City is getting from terrorising decent citizens is the money they generate from fines.

If you want to live in a community that is governed by an HOA that is your business, because you know the rules when you move in. Farmers Branch continues to restrict every single thing the residents can do – and surprises us with new rules after we are already here. That is much worse than any Homeowners Association.

  • I own a home here and I don’t want trashy homes in my neighborhood. I don’t like looking at eyesores.

Trashy Homes – right. There are very few, if any, trashy homes in Farmers Branch. I can’t think of one off-hand. There are some people who are a little more creative with the yard decorations than suit my taste, but that is really none of my business. Besides: who cares … to me an eyesore is rows upon rows of sterile homes that look like no one lives there. Or at least if they do they don’t go outside much. I guess they’re afraid of mussing their pristine yards. God forbid your own home would look lived-in.

I was reading a Home and Garden magazine that had pictures of some homes that Beverly would probably consider “trashy”, as they had some areas with some very creative yard art. The caption stated that those homes made you want to stop and meet the owners, that they were probably very interesting people.

I agree. When you drive by the sterile McMansions in Frisco, or Colleyville, or Plano do any of those grab you – do any of them say “Hey – I’m fun, I’m quirky, I’m interesting”? Or do you just drive by. Ho Hum.

Beverly doesn’t like looking at whatever she thinks are eyesores: I don’t like looking at boring homes.

  • If you cannot maintain your home properly, then you should not be a home owner. 

Maintain your home Properly? What does that mean? According to the standards of someone you don’t even know? Someone who you probably wouldn’t even want to know? Does proper home maintainance mean you can’t enjoy being outside? Is it improper to store a pitchfork by your compost pile? Is it improper to have 6 decorative items in your front yard? Is it improper to have whatever furniture you want on your own covered front porch?

I’ll tell you what’s improper – it’s judging others by your own ignorant standards. If you want your home to be truly pristine there are plenty of communities with Home Owners’ Associations. Go live there. Leave the rest of us alone to enjoy our privacy.

But – don’t worry – The City will keep an eye on you; especially if you get old, or sick, or lose your job. They will watch and watch, and when you are not able to “maintain” your home to their ever-more restrictive standards they will take care of you. They will help you to move into a nice little “affordable living” compound. There, isn’t that much nicer than the home you lived in all those years – the big house with the nice big yard? Hey – we’ll take care of the old homestead for you. We’ll  bulldoze it to put in a park or make room for a McMansion in the hopes that someone more upscale and desirable than you will want to move to the City in the Park someday. At least you don’t have to worry your little old sick poor head about it, right? What a relief.

  •  I manage to keep my yard and home in pristine condition. 

I’ll not dwell on this, as you all have seen my response earlier. The fact is, there is absolutely no way anyone can maintain their homes to Farmers Branch Code Enforcement standards. Especially if you disagree with the Code Enforcement person’s OPINION of what is right and what is wrong. Yes – I said OPINION. If the Code Enforcement person doesn’t LIKE what you have, then it is wrong. And there is nothing you can do about it, except roll over and submit like a good little Sheepizen.

Or – wait – maybe you can do something. You can vote for Brenda Brodrick. We have to get the loonies who are tearing our city down OUT of office. When they go all their hangers-on will go too. The folks who troll the streets looking for minor violations. The folks who will never be happy – no matter what the situation. The folks who are preying on the decent citizens of Farmers Branch.

Your vote for Brenda is the right start. Stand up for yourself.