Wednesday's Tire Dump update prompted WKRN Morning Anchor Neil Orne to come back to Salemtown to follow-up on Channel 2's previous coverage, which lately seems to be more follow-up than we got from various Metro Government departments on this problem. Incidently, the story is scheduled to run during tonight's 4:30 segment of News 2.
Michael, the photo-journalist, shot more pictures, including mosquitoes buzzing the water inside the tires. Neil told me that he was unable to get the owner's information because the Metro property website was a slow loader for him. During the photo-shoot, he called Crye-Leike, the realty company that is marketing the property, and he found out the name of the owner and where they might be able to locate him. Neil also spoke with Michelle Steele in the Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods.
According to an e-mail I just got from Neil, the owner of the property in question is being sent an invitation to "enviro court" today (the court date is June 22). The Health Department originally reported a court citation date of May 12 and a citation to the wrong property owner on the tires. Since Brent Hager in the Health Department never replied to my e-mailed warning about the mix-up, I am left to assume that no action has been taken to fix this problem in almost three weeks. I also should mention that I was disappointed with the Planning Department's failure to clarify that 1618 and 1618 1 were two different properties. Don't even get me started again on my gripes about Codes.
Now, Neil tells me that he got the impression, I suppose from Michelle Steele, that Public Works would be out to clean up the tires sometime in the near future. What would have happened if News 2 had not have followed up on this problem? I am grateful to Neil and Michael and Ken for coming out to cover this, but why is Metro Government (namely, Codes, Health, and Planning) so unresponsive that it requires the prospect of a public-relations-black-eye via news media attention to get them to react quickly to such an obvious health threat?
6:00 p.m. Update: Story probably rained out by line of thunderstorms moving through Nashville at 4:30.
05/23/2005, 8:45 a.m. Update: Story ran on Friday during the early morning and the News 2 at 5 broadcasts. I only caught the end of the story, so I cannot say much about it, other than I heard the Mayor's Office comments that property owners should be given enough time to comply. Of course, compliance was not my only issue; the appearance of no coordination at Codes and the total lack of follow up by Metro with residents were also problems.
Tires were removed by Metro Public Works on Friday morning before 10:00 a.m. I am told that they will charge Metro Health, who in turn will charge the property owner for clean up.