Have you ever had a mountain that just wouldn’t move? Or in our case a beanstalk that just couldn’t get cut down? I’d like to thank Mr. Bill Jones. He is to be commended for his faithfulness and efficacy in serving the people of the City of Loganville.
My family and I have lived in our home for almost 17 years. We have neighbors who have also been in their homes for the same length of time. There is another generation now riding in our neighborhood. Throughout the 17 years we have lived in our subdivision, we have seen and heard some stories of others’ and their lifestyles. All of them have moved on. The latest to follow that pattern was one of the greatest challenges we have had to contend with.
The house was sold to the second owner in 2011. One of the first curious decisions the owner made was to have their satellite dish installed directly above the front door. I found that peculiar since most homeowners prefer to place dishes to the side of their roof or their house.
The owner didn’t move in as one would expect. She only lived there a few days out of the week. She didn’t travel for a living either. She lived elsewhere locally. Throughout the three year period in which she lived in the house numerous vehicles came and went. We would usually only see the vehicle one time. Occasionally the vehicle would come by a few times but then never be seen again. We began to think something was not right as the vehicles were sometimes partially backed in to the garage at night and then leave.
City of Loganville police were contacted because we thought the house was a “grow house.” A former officer actually called the owner of the house in question and told her that her neighbors thought she had a grow house.
Since the owner wasn’t living in the house exclusively, the grass became an issue. Code Enforcement has to threaten to fine the owner if the grass wasn’t cut. Practically every time the grass was cut, which was seldom, it was because Code Enforcement had forced her to cut her grass.
The modus operandi of this “homeowner” changed once a boyfriend came on the scene. He appeared to fill the shoes of the drivers of the numerous different vehicles, whatever those shoes were. From our perspective the boyfriend dwelled in the house more than the owner did. Newspapers were delivered and left on the driveway. Neither the owner nor the boyfriend would pick them up. The rain and the weight of their car passing over them repeatedly left deteriorated paper on their driveway and began to run off into the sewer. Once again, Code Enforcement came and asked them to clean up the mess in their driveway.
The boyfriend decided to redo the landscaping one day. He dug out all of the pea-sized gravel the previous owners had placed around the front steps, along with a barrel that was deliberately placed under ground to re-route standing water because the property is extremely flat. The barrel, a yellow bucket, a garden hose and a grill stayed in the front lawn for months on end.
The lifestyle of these neighbors required me to become someone I don’t prefer to be, i.e. Gladys Cravitz. Remember her from Bewitched? I found myself being Gladys far more than I care to admit.
One day we were informed the owner was moving out. She claimed that the house had paranormal activity and they were moving. So within a couple of weeks the house was vacated. The weeds and the grass grew to a height I have never seen in this subdivision. The “beanstalk” grew to reach the second story. Guess who I called? Once again, I a/k/a Gladys called Code Enforcement. The officer has always been helpful and understanding and said he would check into the matter.
One day out of the blue the house was set up by strangers for a fraudulent Federal Express drop off for cell phones through AT&T. The next day another delivery was scheduled according to the fraudulent note taped on the front door. This time the former owners were notified, along with Federal Express and Loganville City Police. Approximately 8 hrs. later I was proud of our police as they apprehended the crooks who were attempting to have Verizon cell phones delivered in the name of the original owner.
A lot went on at that dwelling in the 3 year period that she owned the house. And week after week after week the “beanstalk” had cousins that also reached the second story. The weeds were close to waist high. Needless to say we were weary of the whole situation.
At the suggestion of a dear friend, I called numerous officials in Loganville and sent e-mails as well. My final e-mail was dated July 17, 2014 in which I stated that if the “mountain” wasn’t moved (the weeds and grass cut) I was going to be forced to contact the media.
I awoke the next morning to the sound of lawn mowers and weed eaters! I then received responses in my inbox from a couple of the officials as well. But there was one who asked me to call their office. He is our city manager. I recall speaking with City Manager Bill Jones on a separate matter regarding a Stop sign that had been placed on Tommy Lee Fuller. It was an effort to help residents cross safely from Baker Carter to Towler Shoals Drive. Even though the Stop sign was of little effect at that location, Mr. Jones listened to my concern and helped remedy the matter. The following day after the lawn mowers arrived, there were workers from the state changing locks on the doors. And the third day there were even more workers at the house removing refrigerators, etc. and securing the garage door. Wow! Help arrived three consecutive days in a row! Mr. Jones moved that mountain, or in our case had the beanstalks cut down, that just couldn’t get moved.
Thank you, Mr. Jones. You do your community proud.