Valley Viewpoints: Nobody home

by Frank Castiglia of Fulton

I’m going to give you all the Reader’s Digest version of what happened this past week in my neighborhood.

It all started Thursday morning with a call from my neighbor who had just had buried her husband of 61 years the day before. I thought it must be a real emergency or she wouldn’t be calling at 6 a.m. She was very upset because she had found more cockroaches in her driveway the night before and she was crying and wanted the number of our common councilor.

She said she couldn’t take it anymore. The problem roaches were coming from the rental property next door to her.

Later Thursday, I saw her outside her house and she said she had called our councilor and also the mayor. I told her that I would call both of them myself. I also called the code enforcement office.

When talking to the mayor’s office, I was told that the problem was going to be taken care of. When I got back from work Thursday, I was told by my neighbor that the councilor had been there earlier in the day and made sure all the trash was picked up.

I asked if the mayor had called or been there and she said, “No.” She was told he would call her of Friday.

The code-enforcement officer had been there but did not go in the apartment house at all. I asked her why not and she didn’t know. We then talked to the councilor and found out that the code-enforcement officer that takes care of these problems is out of town for a least a week. I said, “Well, our mayor has said more then a few times how he is a code enforcement officer, why doesn’t he come up here?” She didn’t know why.

Friday came and went and there was no visit from the mayor and no one came to treat the apartment house for the roach problem. The only visitors were the roaches that were passing through the driveway. The neighbor said that the mayor’s office said he would call on Monday.

Over the weekend, the landlord came and spot sprayed for the roach problem. Meanwhile, my neighbor had many people come and treat both her house and lawn and also half way around the apartment building.

Monday came and by 9:30 a.m. no call from the mayor to my neighbor. She called him again. This time she was put on hold and then got to talk to him.

In the conversation, she said that the mayor knew the landlord and they had dealt with her before and they would take care of it (That means he will call her and ask her if she has taken care of the problem: at least that is what has happened in the past).

He also tried to smooth things over with telling her that anything she puts out for collection will be picked up.

I didn’t bother calling the mayor again because once I’ve heard a bad song, I don’t care to hear it again.

Now the point is that nobody from codes office has been inside the apartment house to see for themselves. So I guess nobody is at home.

When you call the cable company they give you a four-hour window for when they will show up to fix the problem. I guess that when you call the city (not the councilor) they give you a five-day or two-week window or don’t show up at all.

Now I would have taken this to the common council meeting Tuesday night but the council has forbid anyone from saying anything negative about any city workers and that includes the mayor. Just another way of “Silencing the Lambs.”

I would like to say thank you to our fine Fourth Ward councilor. She was right up here and did all she could.

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