McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

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09.21.06 -- REPORT: Clearing codes, battling bias

Clearing codes, battling bias, Part 1
Code enforcement meeting breaks down, board members refuse recusal

Part 1 of 3 articles on the lastest meeting of McIntosh's Code Enforcement Board

By CHER PHILLIPS

Pedro Molinas is like most McIntosh residents, he just wants all of it to be over. He wants to get back to his life.

But Molinas has to clear a board he’s been grappling with for longer than a year. In January, the town took him to court and began charging him $250 per day because he built a carport on the town’s right-of-way.

Back when he was building, he had permits – records from the Marion County Courts shows. But those permits weren’t correct. He didn’t build where he was supposed to. He built on the edge of a road that will never be a through-road. But that doesn’t matter.

McIntosh, under a new council last fall, empowered a code enforcement board, along other citizen boards. By God, things were going to be done right. Codes would be followed. A code enforcement officer would be hired and allowed to be proactive.

And to that end, Molinas ended up with a lien on his house. He's facing fines after tearing down his building and spending most of his savings – though he won’t say how much.

But the grand plans of the new council sworn in last November have crumbled. The CRA is a vague memory. The council has changed faces with three members resigning after two recall petitions were circulated around town. The town’s people are tired of rumor and drama and meetings characterized with officials yelling at residents and ugliness.

So when a meeting of the McIntosh Code Enforcement board broke down into arguments, accusations and what only could be called ugliness Wednesday evening, it was a harsh reminder that the unrest from the past year isn’t finished. The residents brought before the board did not roll over and hand over their property and their wallets. They hired an attorney to fight. Amid the yelling and arguments, it should come to no surprise, nothing was accomplished, and attorneys’ fees mounted. The three matters before board were postponed, undecided and unheard.

In many ways, McIntosh – the town – needs the same thing as Molinas: they need to clear the code enforcement board.


Read more about McIntosh’s Code Enforcement board in Part 2: Pedro’s Elephant

posted by Cher @ 9:52 PM,

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Editor

Editor and Publisher:

I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile

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The primary purpose of this blog is to accurately reflect what happens in town public meetings and dispel rumors. I record the meetings and make them available for download. One of the goals of this blog is to offer residents a place to voice opinions. The comments, views and opinions expressed there are not necessarily those of the editor.

 
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