Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Now That I've Apologized to Mr. Gentry, I Need a Favor from Him

Well, it is not really a favor, since it concerns the quality of life in Salemtown and a codes violation on the part of one of his "longtime senior advisors." It is more of an expressed expectation than a favor.

I would like Mr. Gentry to encourage his advisor, Brooks Parker, to attend to the upkeep of his 4 properties at the corner of 6th Av. and Hume St. The weeds and grass have grown chest high. That is a violation of the Metro Code against allowing weeds and grass to grow over a foot tall, unless they are being cultivated as part of a garden or set back from the front property line 15' in order to cultivate a "natural state."

The photo of one of Mr. Parker's properties indicates that the tall vegetation is neither part of a garden nor part of a "natural state" setback, but it is basically the result of neglect on the owner's part. There is no telling what kinds of vermin are living in that tangle.

Mr. Parker is also neglecting his properties by allowing trash and garbage to accummulate there. According to the 2005 Code, Mr. Parker is endangering the public health, safety, and welfare by ignoring these problems. I tend to assume that a Mayoral Candidate, especially one who served on the Metro Council when the grass code was passed, would be less than satisfied with an advisor basically breaking the law and endangering the health, safety, and welfare of the Salemtown neighborhood.

And, speaking of the health, safety and welfare of our neighborhood, I wonder whether you believe that a sign posted on one of Mr Parker's rental units creates safer conditions in Salemtown. The sign warns: "Intruders will be shot." Is hot lead flying around Hume Street and endangering innocent by-standers (like the dozens of children playing around the neighborhood or the increasing numbers of Werthan pedestrians walking their pooches in the vacinity) something worthy to promote by a Senior Gentry Campaign Official?

With overgrown grass, broken windows and some visible boards, it looks evacuated, but to tell you the truth, the sign alone discourages me from going up to the door to find out. Nonetheless, the last thing I want to hear in Salemtown is gunshots after we have worked so long and hard for 3 years to make gunshots a rare thing. If the house is indeed empty, then might Mr. Parker board up the premises more securely to discourage intruders?


  1. The house isn't empty; I'm told it was recently broken into, and my understanding is that the guy who lives there put up the sign right after the break-in. Can't imagine how I would feel if my house were broken into, so I can sympathize with his sentiment, but I do wonder whether that sign should really be there.

  2. The property looks as abandoned as the rest of Mr. Parker's properties at that corner: tall grass and trashy. There was a family living their with kids not too long ago; I haven't seen anyone out or in since they've been gone.

    Even if the owner is not responsible for any innocent bystanders that get shot by a renter, he is responsible for codes violations. I would say that he is also responsible for a sign posted warning of gun play on his property. That's over the top. I'm not opposed to protecting oneself with a gun, and I've considered one after our property was broken into, but this ain't "Fort Apache, the Bronx."