Threatens to sue a man for cleaning up 40 tons of garbage from an abandoned lot. It was city property, see, and the city not only refused to do it themselves, but refused when he asked for permission to do it himself. So the city wants him to put it back.
But the Daily News reports that Feibush went ahead with his plans anyway, reportedly spending more than $20,000 of his own money not only to remove the trash but also to level the soil; add cherry trees, fencing and park benches; and repave the sidewalk.
However, the city agency was less excited, demanding that Feibush return the vacant lot to its previous condition and saying it is considering legal action against him.
Why would the city do this? After all, they got a free cleanup and significant improvements to city property, right?
“Like any property owner, [the authority] does not permit unauthorized access to or alteration of its property,” Paul D. Chrystie, director of communications at the Office of Housing and Community Development told the paper. “This is both on principle (no property owner knowingly allows trespassing) and to limit taxpayer liability.”
Hmmm. I smell bovine excrement in that answer. I bet the real answer is that he either made someone look bad, or that there was some backroom deal that he inadvertently interfered with. In the eyes of city hall, either one is an unforgivable offense that must be punished.
The “unauthorized alteration” of city property may be a legitimate issue, but it’s certainly a threadbare one. That trash-filled empty lot was very probably hurting his business. But, technically, the “proper” way for him to address that problem would be to spend thousands of dollars to take the city to court (costing the city money at the same time), suing them for the damage to his business, and tying the whole issue up in the courts for the next couple of years while trying to define the nebulous amount of any damages his business was suffering because of the city’s failure to properly maintain its property, with little to no chance of success.
Every city employee involved in this fiasco needs to be fired, publicly humiliated, permanently barred from public employment and office, and run out of town on a rail. Tar and feathers optional, but strongly encouraged.
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[Source: Yahoo! News article, retrieved 9/20/12]