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home : opinion : letters April 28, 2016

5/10/2013 6:00:00 AM
Kingman letters:Passing the buck at City Hall

A city of Kingman official with code compliance has informed me that owners of vacant properties in various stages of development are not obligated to maintain the same cleanliness standards as are individual residents of occupied properties and dwellings. The reason for the complete lack of code enforcement is that the developer and/or contractors would use heavy equipment to bring properties into compliance, which would promote dusty conditions that would aggravate certain respiratory illnesses of nearby residents.

If the city of Kingman had compelled the compliance, it would be liable and responsible for medical and/or hospital bills, etc. However, we as individual owners of developed properties and dwellings are responsible for any trash, weeds (I emphasize tumbleweeds), vermin and pests that are windblown or otherwise caused to invade our homes from these unmaintained properties.

When I voiced concerns over fire hazards, the same city official said that tumbleweeds burn at such a fast rate of consumption that occupied residential dwellings would be in no danger.

Also, I cannot clean up some of these derelict properties because that would be trespassing. Every morning I wake up to a new yard full of tumbleweeds, and every day I clean them up, inasmuch as my residential trash container will hold. The city will not supply me with a larger container unless I pay more. The problem worsens with every passing year, and at 70 years old, I am losing the ability to keep up with it.

Catch-22 is alive and well, and buck passing rampant as usual. If I could spend my twilight years somewhere else, I would. Unfortunately I am caught between a rock and several hard places (the heads of city officials).

I know I'm not alone with this problem. If anyone else feels as strongly about this one-sided code compliance as I do, please speak up, and let's build a "Tumbleweed Fire" under the people who are paid to enforce justice.

Jearold Claborn


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013
Article comment by: R H

I'd be happy to help my two neighbors with their yard issues...but they do not want help. They are not disabled, just lazy. Weeds higher than my shoulders up against buildings. In the last year and a half, both have had their yards weeded by someone. Looked good for a month, now all over grown again. I am not asking that they buy pretty flowers or trees, just keep the weeds at bay...I have even pulled these weeds 3 feet away from my fence, but it doesn't seem to make a difference to the neighbors and the city doesn't seem to care if neighborhoods look bad or not.

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Knox

I have had nothing but success when calling Neighborhood Service. Not only do they enforce city codes they also handle animal control, zoning issues, assist the clerks office with business that do not have a city license or have not updated their license, provide assistance to the traffic officers, so the patrol officers can continue to handle crime related calls instead of directing traffic at an accident. Speaking to a few of the officers recently they are all certified to deal with animal control related calls everything from domesticated animals to wildlife (snakes, skunks, gila monsters, foxes, bobcats and coyotes). Before you go on your rant WE LIVE IN THE DESERT! Tumbleweeds come and tumbleweeds go. I don't think that they are passing the buck because what I have seen they get all the calls that no one in the city wants to deal with. Passing the buck usually stops at them as there is no one to pass it to from their department.

Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Article comment by: Crazy People

"I know I'm not alone with this problem. If anyone else feels as strongly about this one-sided code compliance as I do, please speak up, and let's build a "Tumbleweed Fire" under the people who are paid to enforce justice".
Really??? justice? Come on, while I agree that the neighborhood services department is not the best way to spend my taxpayer dollar, I have to question your comments. We live in the desert! When I get a bunch of tumbleweeds, blown from who knows where, I call the fire department and get a burn permit they are always quick to respond and are happy to serve you. You may want to consider moving to the middle of a large city, quit complaining.

Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Article comment by: Patriot WES

It seems as if every level of government is functioning the same way. From City to the Feds.
We the people can change this, but for whatever the reason, we just keep voting the same idiots back into office. Good luck!

Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013
Article comment by: Vote Them Out

Good point Jearold,

I do think you are not giving the credit due to the Politicians in Kingman and Mohave County. Just think you can carry a gun into the courts now. Don't you see great value in that? Maybe Jearold you need to work a bit harder not to vote in guns and God politicians. Just maybe things can get done for the general population. Just an idea.

Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

It's a good thing you don't live in Valle Vista where there are more empty lots than houses. We don't mind the privacy like you do. We live in a desert and accept that.

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: a a

As residents of the desert, we are destined to share our yards with tumbleweeds. I am no fan of code enforcement, but them trying to ticket or counsel every single person with a tumbleweed in their yard is not going to fix the problem. Tomorrow when the wind blows, they will be back. Just like snakes, tumbleweeds are a product of our environment. It is not the city's responsibility to rid our area of either of them.

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: Your Kidding

@ Jack Spratt

"Anyone that believes you can do animal control, and code enforcement in one job has been deluded."

Did you mean to say both "can't" be done by as one job? If that's what you're saying then you obviously haven't seen them in action. When you call Animal Control, they show up "when" it's convenient for them, if they show up and not a cop. It's also very obvious they are "NOT" doing any kind of Code Enforcement just by looking around town and I'm not specifically speaking of Butler either. I really think they are afraid to confront anybody on their property, about their property. Need to get some "younger" people in to fill the shoes.

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: Read This

This article pretty much sums it up for me. It doesn't matter if local or federal, it applies to both.


Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman Resident

One suggestion. Get a free burn permit from the fire dept.

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: Jack Spratt

If there is a reason to not do something, our distinguished code enforcement will find an excuse not to do it. This office has no priority either with the powers to be at KPD nor with the City Attorney's office. Anyone that believes you can do animal control, and code enforcement in one job has been deluded. It's sheer laziness.

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