Tuesday, March 23, 2010

OMB Meeting at City Hall

Today was what I would call a non-productive work day, but a good day nevertheless.

First thing this morning, after doing what I needed to do, I picked up my daughter P. We had a great time of fellowship while we ate breakfast, together. We never seem to run out of things to talk about!

Since we both needed to be at City Hall, we made a stop along the way, so I could pay my property taxes on the home I own, as well as the land I've owned for years. Phew! Glad it's done! At least until later this year, when the final billing is sent out.

We made it to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) meeting on time. You see, both P and I are members of BUHDAG, a group of people who are fighting against the situation that residents are facing, who are being hurt due to the ongoing problem between the CTC, the bridge company and the City of Windsor.

For anyone who isn't aware, the bridge company owner wishes to build a second span for the Ambassador Bridge that leads traffic to Detroit, Michigan, USA, from Windsor. Mr. Maroon, who currently holds the rights to the bridge bought up many properties on Windsor's west side, in the area he hopes to build the second bridge span.

The City of Windsor has taken a different viewpoint. C of W is not convinced a second span should be built, especially when the DRIC is planning to build a new bridge closeby in an area slightly further west of the current bridge.

So, while the dispute drags on, residents are being hurt by the dilemma. The bridge company wishes to demolish the homes that were previously purchased, leaving the land vacant, until such time as a decision can be obtained by the governments in question. However, the City of Windsor will not grant demolition.

The properties in question have been vacant a long time. All vacant homes in the bridge company's possession are boarded up. On the surface, this sounds good. The trouble is, it's not.

In addition to surrounding properties of these homes, being devalued even more drastically than our current real estate market has experienced, these vacant properties pose risks to residents, as they offer opportunites for vagrants and unscrupulous people to use these properties as drug houses, places of refuge for other illegal activities and more.

One lawyer present today, claimed that since I don't live in the affected area, I shouldn't be allowed to be a participant. I opposed the lawyer, stating clearly that if any of my grandchildren or other family members were to be murdered, raped, mugged or otherwise hurt due to the availability of crimes being committed in/around these vacant homes, I would definitely be affected. I was added as a participant. Praise God! Thank You, Jesus!

As a member of BUHDAG, I don't believe that the residents of the area affected by the dispute should be suffering or have their lives placed in any danger. Further, I am glad that BUHDAG has filed suit against the City of Windsor, because I believe the City of Windsor has been negligent in their duties to protect the residents.

Let's face it, if there were a vacant home, boarded up because it is in run-down condition (many of these homes have been stripped by vandals) next door to your home, you could call your municipal government and complain. The process would be that a property inspector would investigate and if warranted, have the municipality issue a workorder on the property. An owner would then have to repair the property or demolish it.

However, in this situation, the City of Windsor has NOT issued any workorders, so no repairs have been made on any of these properties. They become more and more of a risk the longer they remain vacant, boarded up and in poor condition.

As a person of interest, I believe that the City of Windsor has an obligation to uphold the law and protect it's residents. If the bridge company and the C of W have a dispute, they can take it to court or do whatever they have to do to resolve their dispute, but it should not be left in limbo, hurting those who live nearby these properties.

Just to get the picture, in order to walk to school, my grandchildren must walk by six (6) (in a row) of these derelict homes, before they reach an area that is once again inhabited. And, this is just on one street. It's like this on MANY streets in the area. Wouldn't you be concerned?

Since this entry is long enough, I will tell you tomorrow about my personal experience being chased by an unscrupulous vagrant, who occupied a vacant property, as well as second incident involving a vacant home, that happened on a later occasion. You'll be absolutely shocked, I'm sure.

Before I say, 'goodnight', I would like to thank son K & C and family, for having me once again as a guest, this evening. Even though I brought the main portion of dinner with me for us to share, I thank you for supplying the rest. I truly enjoy my fellowship time with you, all. Not to mention, being able to watch, 'The Biggest Loser' together! Thank you, so very much. I'm blessed!

Until next time...