Author Topic: A Florida Retiree's Uncut Lawn May Cost Him His House  (Read 457 times)

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Offline OfTheCross

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A Florida Retiree's Uncut Lawn May Cost Him His House
« on: October 03, 2019, 07:49:48 AM »
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The city of Dunedin, Florida, really wants Jim Ficken's house. Last year, the 69-year-old retiree left town to attend to his dying mother and then to sort out her estate. While he was away, he left a handyman in charge of his property. In a Shakespearean twist, the handyman also died, leaving Ficken's lawn unmowed and the municipality perturbed.

Ficken returned home, learned that he was in violation of Dunedin's tall grass ordinance, and mowed his lawn two days later. The city then held a hearing at which it decided to retroactively fine Ficken for each day that his grass had exceeded 10 inches in height. Because he had let his grass grow too tall once before, in 2015, Dunedin deemed him a "repeat violator" and doubled his daily fine from $250 to $500. The total damage: over $29,000.

reason

I've always had worse experience with the local government than the federal government. this is ridiculous
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Online mountaineer

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Re: A Florida Retiree's Uncut Lawn May Cost Him His House
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2019, 09:10:59 AM »
Yes, it is ridiculous. I'm sure city officials had the discretion to overlook the violation.
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Online sneakypete

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Re: A Florida Retiree's Uncut Lawn May Cost Him His House
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2019, 10:12:14 AM »
I've always had worse experience with the local government than the federal government. this is ridiculous

@OfTheCross

It may be impolitic to say this,but the prime reason the Founding Fathers thought it was important for American citizens to own and possess firearms was to prevent,or as a last resort,to deal with EXACTLY this sort of thing.

If they succeed in this Un-Constitutional seizure of his property,he needs to take his rifle to the next town council meeting and sort this out.
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Online sneakypete

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Re: A Florida Retiree's Uncut Lawn May Cost Him His House
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2019, 10:14:44 AM »
Yes, it is ridiculous. I'm sure city officials had the discretion to overlook the violation.

@mountaineer

And I am equally sure they wanted his land for either their own purposes,or to sell for the benefit/profits of someone who would be generous to them in return.

There is no way the word "justice" is even remotely associated with what they are doing.
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Online mountaineer

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Re: A Florida Retiree's Uncut Lawn May Cost Him His House
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2019, 10:19:55 AM »
I had a summer job after my sophomore year of college working for my municipality in Missouri. The city manager and I, whenever we spotted "weed violations" (grass over a certain height or vegetation that blocked motorists' view of the road) would send a notice to the property owner. If they failed to correct the problem, the city had someone cut the grass or trim the shrubs, and then sent a bill. Upon failing to pay the bill, the homeowner would have a lien placed on his property. There were no excessive fines. I don't believe there were any fines at all.

This seems a more reasonable way to deal with it.
The current culture deviated radically from previous human experience, ruthlessly reducing each woman and man to mere political units to be manipulated, balkanizing them into communities according to their likes and dislikes, so everything from cars to candy bars could be more effectively marketed, robbing them of their privacy, denying them both a real community of diverse views and the possibility of personal evolution by censoring the world they saw through the Internet to make it conform to the preferred beliefs of their self-appointed betters. - Dean Koontz

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Re: A Florida Retiree's Uncut Lawn May Cost Him His House
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2019, 11:50:06 AM »
I've always had worse experience with the local government than the federal government. this is ridiculous

We haven't had a "federal" government in a very long time.  Explain how a National Government would have handled this better.
Don't call it the "Federal Government," that's an insult to the Founders.  It's a "National Government."
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Online PeteS in CA

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Re: A Florida Retiree's Uncut Lawn May Cost Him His House
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2019, 12:12:59 PM »
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Ficken returned home, learned that he was in violation of Dunedin's tall grass ordinance, and mowed his lawn two days later. The city then held a hearing at which it decided to retroactively fine Ficken for each day that his grass had exceeded 10 inches in height. Because he had let his grass grow too tall once before, in 2015, Dunedin deemed him a "repeat violator" and doubled his daily fine from $250 to $500. The total damage: over $29,000.

Sounds like due process may have been bypassed, but a $29,000 fine for not mowing his lawn, even if for a year, is so disproportionate that I think it obviously violates the Cruel and Unusual Punishment clause of the 8th Amendment.
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Offline OfTheCross

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Re: A Florida Retiree's Uncut Lawn May Cost Him His House
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2019, 01:51:30 PM »
We haven't had a "federal" government in a very long time.  Explain how a National Government would have handled this better.

Explain the difference between a Federal and National government? I use those terms interchangeably.

But, to my post, I have very little interaction with the federal government and can't think of any bad ones.

All of my government grievances are handled on a local level.

Some friends of mine have it even worse than the guy in the OP. They've got to deal with HOAs and their rules. Shoot, there was a city up the road that got sued and finally had to allow it's residents the ability to grow vegetables on their front lawns.
If a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security.

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Re: A Florida Retiree's Uncut Lawn May Cost Him His House
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2019, 02:50:23 PM »
Explain the difference between a Federal and National government? I use those terms interchangeably.

Lots of people use them interchangeably, demonstrating an ignorance of what the Founders wanted for the new Nation.  A Federation of co-equal States.  The States were supposed to be powerful, the Federal government much less so.  That train left the station a long time ago, with the fatal nail driven by the 17th Amendment, effectively removing the governments of the several states completely out of the process.

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But, to my post, I have very little interaction with the federal government and can't think of any bad ones.

All of my government grievances are handled on a local level.

Some friends of mine have it even worse than the guy in the OP. They've got to deal with HOAs and their rules. Shoot, there was a city up the road that got sued and finally had to allow it's residents the ability to grow vegetables on their front lawns.

The government closest to the people supposedly governs best, but tyranny is always just under the top sheet in any government.  Some people think it's nice to have a National government to act as a check on local tyranny, but all that does is centralize the tyranny in DeeCee, 180 degrees out of phase with what the Founders intended.

You say you've had no negative experiences at the "Federal" level, and then that you've never dealt with them.  You have a disconnect.  People who have to deal with them directly, like broadcasters needing a license from the Federal Communications Commission, will tell you that dealing with DeeCee is no picnic.  It's something I learned about personally back in my first career.  The Jimmy Carter FCC effectively forbade my hiring by virtue of my skin hue.  It's one of the reasons I left that field to go into R&D for a large Semiconductor company, and why I learned to employ an eternal distrust of the National (used to be "Federal") Government. 

Government tends to corruption, and the worst corruption can be found in DeeCee.  You have a better chance of throwing the bums out of City Hall than you do out of Capitol Hill.
Don't call it the "Federal Government," that's an insult to the Founders.  It's a "National Government."
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