Government Of The People, By The People, For The People,
If You Have A Lawyer

Do What We Say, Or We will Tear It Down

If Abraham Lincoln were alive today and living in Loudon County, he might have to modify the last words of his famous Gettysburg Address.

What in the world is going on in Loudon County? First private, tax paying citizens, have to hire a lawyer just to make the County Mayor Arp obey the very laws he swore to uphold.

Now, I read where private, tax paying citizens, have had to hire a lawyer to keep the Lenoir City mayor and council from tearing down their private property. This is not how government is suppose to work. This is however, what happens when elected officials feel that they are somehow above the law or are in a position to inflict their personal agenda on others.

Seems that Lenoir City officials were threatening to demolish a home owned by Mr. Larry Trigo. The city attorney sent the Trigos a letter informing them that they had 10 days to answer to the city or the city would demolish the home. The home, located at 705 West Broadway was condemned because the basement ceilings were too low, there was only one entrance/exit from the basement and the windows were too small. The home has been a rental unit for many years.

It's no secret that Larry Trigo has been a long time friend and supporter of former Mayor, Charlie Eblen and no big fan of Mayor Brookshire. It wouldn't be hard to believe that Mr. Trigo is suffering from what we call around here, political payback or should assume that the city plans to condemn and demolish every home in the city with a basement that has low ceilings, one door and little windows. That should clear a lot of land for Brookshire's redevelopment plans. In fact, I guess City Hall will have to be demolished. I don't think the City Hall basement meets codes. Where's the basement's handicapped accessible entrance or the emergency exits?

Those of us who choose to live in the county, outside the the city limits, take our property rights very seriously. Government officials need not come knocking, telling us how to manage our affairs. Certainly the city has the right to pass and inflict their rules and regulations on anyone choosing to reside within their boundaries. The problems arise when corrupt or inept elected officials selectively enforce their rules. This appears to be the case in Lenoir City.

Take the case of the mother of four, who while her husband was in Iraq, risking his life defending the country, was sited into Mayor Brookshire's Livability Court more than once because her yard was not as neat and well groomed as the city thought it should be. Forget the fact that she was taking care of her four children ages 4-16 alone and working a full time job. Forget the fact that her husband was over seas in harms way. Seems all that mattered to the city was that she pay her fines. Coincidently, this situation was also on West Broadway. Seems that a number of home owners along West Broadway have been under the Mayor's gun. Coincidently this same area is in the Mayor's redevelopment plans.

Here's the real rub. While the city is out reeking havoc on average property owners, they apparently are exempt from having to adhere to their own rules when it comes to city property. Below are a couple of photos of the illegal dump between 6th and 7th avenue owned and maintained by the city. Looks like the grass is a little higher than four inches.

Then there is the old city dump on Kennedy Drive. Area residents have complained for years that the over grown property has been a constant source of problems, harboring all manner of disease laden rodents and other unsavory elements. Yet rather than cleaning their own house, city officials seem to be more concerned about the height of everybody else's grass. These aren't the only overgrown properties in the city that seem to be exempt from the rules. This is such hypocrisy.

Under Mayor Brookshire's rule,  with his dictatorial attitude and selective enforcement things have continuously escalated and if allowed to remain in office you can bet things can only get worse.