It’s for the revenue.
Hours after Irma passed, many of us were out clearing trees and branches from our yard. One Miami-Dade man got a visit from the county to bring him a warning. His reaction? Call Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
As Irma whipped through South Florida, Celso Perez and his family were like many of us…
Celso Perez, surprised by county: “Having winds up to 100 miles per hour and we were basically hunkered down in the closet scared to death.”
Monday morning, Irma had passed and it was clear. At 9 a.m., Celso and his neighbors went outside to get to work.
Celso Perez: “We had a lot of trees down in the street and the streets were blocked. We were out here, us and our neighbors, cutting the branches down and trying to open up the streets.”
Later Monday afternoon, as Celso was clearing the tree branches, a car pulled up from Miami-Dade County…
Celso Perez: “And we thought he was here to help us or offer some type of assistance with the trees, maybe he was going to bring us ice or something.”
The code enforcement guy did give Celso something…
Celso Perez: “He said he would have to cite me for having my fence down.”
This warning was slapped on the part of the fence still standing. Celso is a very calm guy. His reaction?
Celso Perez: “I laughed. I thought he was kidding. ‘You are kidding right? We just had a hurricane six hours ago.’ ‘No, I’m not kidding. I have to cite you for this.’ I just laughed. OK, whatever; knock yourself out!”
Celso was told he got the warning was because the fence Irma knocked over made it easy to access his pool and he needed to fix that.
Celso Perez: “Which I could not do that day because all the stores were closed. It’s not like I can go to Home Depot and find some temporary barrier.”
Celso said the code enforcement officer told him he would write up a report and be back to check on him.
Celso Perez: “And if my fence had not been put back up when he came back, he would have to write me a fine or fine me for that.”
Now Celso was really irritated.
Celso Perez: “At the time this officer was out here, we didn’t have power, we didn’t have food, we didn’t have ice. He is crazy, ridiculous. The mayor said that the county would help us recover from the storm and were there to help us. Before the county picks up the debris, the code enforcement guy will beat them to it and some for having my fence down, write me a ticket or something. I’m mad, very upset about this.”