Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A dim bulb comes on - and flickers

I heard nothing from anyone at the city about the Deputy City Manager’s so-called “report.” I am sorry to say that I had come to expect such sorry treatment at the hands of city leaders and employees. As the July 21st city council meeting approached, I prepared and delivered theser emarks:

Public statement at Council Meeting, City of Manteca, July 21, 2008

Mr. Mayor and Councilmen,

Seven invitations to a slumber party at my house were delivered today. Unfortunately, Mr. Nowak will not be joining us, but Mr. Pinkerton is welcome to an open invitation. Besides, each of you can also bring one or two of your closest coworkers. Our principal entertainment that night will be the Follett icemaker. Bring your own sound level meters - I’ve already got mine.

In the eighty-four (84) nights following an April 28th site visit by code enforcement personnel, there have been only fifteen (15) fully quiet nights. One full week of those was because the machine was broken, awaiting repair. Heaven (not Manteca!) intervened to remove the disturbance during the visit of my daughter, son-in-law, and two-year-old granddaughter last month.

Still, four times this last week I have again been forced to evacuate my bedroom and retreat to the living room to sleep. My neighbors continue to operate merrily along, just as they always have, disregarding neighbors, police visits, noise ordinance, and Manteca officials. I daresay no person at City Hall would put up with such insult and assault in their own home.

I understand there is a report being prepared regarding my public complaint. Is it confidential? May I obtain a copy of it?

California’s law prohibiting “annexation islands” hand TLC Catering a huge gift – jurisdictional uncertainty. Manteca is tip-toeing around TLC Catering as if it was a sacred cow wandering the streets of Delhi, India. Ignoring my right to at least ten hours of nighttime silence, you keep acquiescing to the “grandfathered from San Joaquin County” mantra of the owners as their defense. Fine! Using that same rulebook, look up San Joaquin County Code 9-839.5 (a), items 1 and 8, regarding Home Occupation Permits. The home occupation (read: icemaker) is not confined within a building (#8) and it emits sounds, noise, and vibrations (#1). Perhaps Manteca could pull their home occupation permit?

Get my drift? Manteca staffers should know these codes better than anyone. Figure it out – and quickly!

That last part – the suggestion that the city pull (void) the business owners' Home Occupation permit - was when I finally got on the right track, but I didn't realize it yet. After the meeting, the Police Chief verbally tossed me a few more tidbits of information (all red herrings) and suggested I sue my neighbors directly.

The public appearance – and another email reminder - prodded the Chief of Police to send ME a copy of his summary he sent earlier to the councilman. Still another email reminder went to the City Clerk, who had to track down that sorriest excuse of a “report” in order to send it to me.

Mistakenly believing the Police Chief and the futility of pursuing the city further, I made an abortive foray into the court system, which sidetracked me temporarily.

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