COMMUNICATIONS – PUBLIC
Council kingpin Dan Coffey takes care to prep the public: Limit the time, don't repeat what others say.
I'll try to get the names right; apologies if I don't.
1. Dawn Money - Lives off Green Valley Road on Glen Mill. She's been dealing with water for nine years, and she has pictures. Says they lost pretty much everything last time out, have borrowed $50,000, since flooded four times. They have no more money. They'e stuck. Help is needed. Bad, bad tidings - probably worse overall than last meeting's stories. She provides contact information so council members can do someone else's job and check into it.
Crowd buzzes as they remark on their own experiences. This has become a forum for everyone who has had a drainage, sewage or flooding issue. Coffey mentions that people can be fined for clogging drains and not clearing debris. The crowd giggles. Code enforcement? What a concept.
2. Debbie Easton - lives off Audubon Drive for 30+ years, flooding has been a constant, and she has pictures. Veritable rivers of water for more than three decades. She has tried to talk to Brad Kessans. He "likes to put me off." Tired of it. Too old to clean drains.
Diane Benedetti is taking a major role in this discussion, as she did last meeting. Carl Malysz enters the room.
3. A woman crosses herself off the list. Will be represented by the Castlewood group.
4. David Ayres - lives near the 4H Fairgrounds for 45 years. Things started getting bad in the 1970's. Mentions blockage in the creek, including willow trees with debris hanging on them. Cleaned last time 15 years ago by big machinery, which resolved it for about ten years. Then it grew back. Has a photo of a sizeable log that is hung up. Go in and cut down the trees, and the problem will go away for a while. He takes a matter-of-fact approach, also points to new construction leading to run-off problems nearby. That's the big thing.
Do we have a stormwater board?
5. Castlewood group (5 of them) - bad problems since 2006. Nowhere near a creek, but the street becomes a lake.
Coffey asks if he can keep the photos ... crowd gets a laugh when Mr. Ayres says he has more, including one of a person foating down the flooded creek, presumably in a kayak or something.
Speaker has taken on water 5 times since May, 2009. Has half her drywall on the wall in the basement; has quit trying to repair it. So, she can't use her basement at all. She thinks Jeff Gahan has a proposal to save the day. They've been going to stormwater board and public works meetings.
And become mayor in the process?
She believes that a recently constructed new house took the space of what had been acting as a catch basin. Why was a permit issued for it? Another vacant lot off Mellwood (we heard about this one last time) is the last catch area in the neighborhood. Don't keep adding houses!! They've been told that work is supposed to be done in the fall. Realtors now taking hits for selling houses to people without telling them they get flooded.
Say it ain't so ... say it ain't so.
Stevie of Mayberry says: Did you come complain when that last house got built?
She says no, and Coffey explains that fill-ins like that don't have to come back to him (er, the council) for approval. Coffey now threatens to close the purse strings for boards that don't help him grandstand in situations like these:
"We don't get this information ... we didn't know about these problems." Coffey blames those who come and ask for money, but don't go and clean the ditches and streams.
One of the best grandstands ever: Coffey now demands that the council see to it that these things get done? SINCE WHEN, Dan? Redistricting? Ordinance enforcement? When have you ever said this before now?
Coffey: "This council is going to start holding people accountable."
Direct quote, folks. Coffey begins appeasing the Castlewood group by suggesting that perhaps the city should buy homes.
The speaker agrees: Buy two, demolish them, and reconstruct the environment for catch basins. Her foundation and concrete are now deteriorating. There is psychological damage, and she would like to move if possible. But who would ever buy the house in this case?
Now the citizens want to know: We came to a meeting, and they want to spend money on 15th Street. Why, when no one lives down there?
Umm, well, actually people do live downtown ... this has turned into a whale of a scrum.
Coffey: People should know that we're sensitive to this ... "we ARE going to hold people accountable in this city."
Continued in a few minutes ...