Monday, June 15, 2009

The City of Milwaukee is extorting me Part 3

Accepting defeat when you are pretty damn sure you are right is hard. I am not sure whether I am finished with this fight or whether to take it in a new direction. Time isn’t on my side but stubbornness is. In the end, my curiosity about the way people react to situation may just win out and I press forward.

I left this story off on Thursday with a call to my alderman. I had a couple simple questions. Why do the people running the city feel they have the right to charge people to put a notice on their door? Does he believe this is a fair process and if so, why?

Do you know the ordinances in your city? How am I to know whether I am in violation of long grass or noise or any other issues concerning my property? The City of Milwaukee has not supplied me with nor has asked me to acknowledge said ordinances. I am pretty damn sure when I pay my taxes that there isn't a notice saying that by paying them I will follow all said rules the city wishes to enforce. If I am in violation you need to let me know. I will correct the problem if I consider it sensible. If not, I will fight. But I cannot do anything until I have been notified.

I didn’t get a response until later in the day. Somehow it happened in the time it takes me to walk out of the building and through the underground parking to my car. A zone where I have no signal whatsoever. If it wasn’t the little beep telling me I had voice mail, I wouldn’t have even known there was a call. Then again, I may not have answered the call because the number was listed as unknown.

The “unknown” number was from the alderman, Tony Zielinski. No, it wasn’t the aldermen, but a lackey doing his bidding. Probably a family member or an intern as they person sounded young and didn’t sound comfortable making the call. The person told me they do not cancel out tickets like this but suggested I call the department listed on the notice to possibly rectify the situation. I didn’t call to have the fee dropped. I called for an explanation of why they changed the process to collect money up front and whether he thought it was a fair process. Neither of which were answered. And why are they calling from an "unknown" number? Is Alderman Zielinski hiding from the people in his district?

I am disappointed that Alderman Zielinski did not call me back himself. You would think that a constituent calling you for the first time is a good way to connect to the people and get support going forward. But Mr. Zielinski doesn’t see it that way. To not answer my questions is even more disappointing. You give me no reason to vote for you the next time you run for office. In fact, you give me reason to help your opposition.

I realize that there is no way this fee will be waived. They City of Milwaukee, in their desperate attempts to generate revenue- have decided to go after their citizens in a guilty because we say you are not innocent method. It says so on their website. You have to pay to appeal any infractions. They state the chance of you winning is slim (boasting of an 82% win factor) because their documentation is so good. I would bet dollars to donuts that if I request a copy of these documents that I will be denied. To spend $25 to claim my innocence before deaf ears seems fruitless. I may just pay the fee and go on, hoping that they don’t come after me again. That reminds me, I do need gas for the trimmer as well as some new line. Better get that done this week before my Nazi neighbor comes looking for trouble again.

I am not done with Alderman Zielinski either. I will write him an email explaining my phone call and how he failed to answer me. I may take this up with some other avenues as well. Local TV stations may find the story of interest as those in the print might *cough cough Gambino cough cough*. It is beyond the money at this point. It is the principal. Alderman Zielinski is my elected official. He has a responsibility to answer my questions. And I am holding him to it.


Hey Jo said...

Did you vote for him in the last election? I would let him know that if he does not satisfactorily solve your issue that you may not vote for him in the future.

On the other hand, most cities have ordinances about keeping your lawn maintained. Check online to see what it says. I'm sure they are posted somewhere.

StB said...

Do you look online to check out your local ordinances each season? I doubt it. Yes, some of these things are common sense but when you run astray of them, is a fine the most logical reaction for people that don't know what they are? If that is the case, they need to be more proactive in letting people know what they are. I sign affidavits each year acknowledging I know the rules and will abide. If the city expects me to follow their rules, they needs to make sure I understand them before I agree.

Hey Jo said...

I'm saying that you should look it up to see what it says and arm yourself with that knowledge. Your alderman may not be expecting you to actually know what the ordinance is. This knowledge may be your best defense.