Sunday, October 20, 2013

Advice Please

I’m in a bit of a dilemma and I’m hoping that somebody who reads this has some good advice for me.

My neighbors and I initiated a neighborhood watch program because there was a lot of theft going on in the community. Just about everybody had been a victim of some sort of attack and with the attacks becoming more frequent and the few arrests that were made ended with the charges being dropped we k
new we had to do something. We decided to start this program with the intention of being able protect everyone from the onslaught that was hurting us and lowering our property values.

So my neighbors and I formed this program and decided to make my neighbor Barry, who lives around the corner, our watch captain. Barry was new to the neighborhood, having moved in a couple of years ago. We didn’t really know where he came from but he seemed to understand the situation and had the right answers to our questions. He seemed the perfect choice to lead us out of this situation.

 It turned out Barry was amazing. He kept us informed of what he was doing to stop the crime; He was hiring people to help watch the community, he was working on safety guidelines to keep us protected in our homes and while we were outside. He was working with the Watch Captains of other community programs and sharing ideas with them to make communities safer everywhere. Pretty soon crime was almost a thing of the past and my neighbors felt comfortable again no matter where they were. Our community watch program was a success!


Barry was extremely motivated by his success and he continued to add security measures and restrictions to protect us. He gave us what he called the Community Care Act (CCA) that guaranteed we would have the best security possible. It covered everything from home fires to splinters. He would take care of everything. We didn’t need took to look anywhere else for our needs. Most of us didn’t mind, we knew it was for our own good. We also didn’t mind when the CCA had a tax built into it to pay for it. He was protecting us and after all, who can put a price on security?

We all decided that our neighborhood was safe so we didn’t mind when Barry decided to let illegal aliens move into the empty houses that were vacated during the crime spree. The new people didn’t talk to us, they kept among themselves, but you know, they didn’t speak English anyway. If they committed any crimes Barry would have prosecuted them just like the original criminals so we tolerated them.

Some of my neighbors started talking about how Barry was overstepping his authority. “Barry was just trying to clean up the neighborhood” I thought, “he wasn’t making unreasonable demands”. My neighbors didn’t appreciate that Barry was telling them what they could and couldn’t do in their own house and in their own yard.

My neighbor John was fined for leaving his outside light on all night. “That wasn’t so bad” I thought, “that light has always shined in my bedroom window when I’m trying to sleep”.

Mark, who lives down the street was fined for having a flag pole in his yard. “That’s not so bad” I told myself, “A tree would look much nicer than a skinny pipe reaching twenty feet into the air”.

Some of my neighbors started to rebel. A few of them at first but more started to join in when the regulations seemed to only affect the longtime homeowners, the new neighbors didn’t seem to be required to obey the rules. They kept their lights on all night, they kept their flag poles and flew flags on them that I didn’t even know what they represented. It seemed unfair in a way but I didn’t have any problem with the rules and I tried to follow them so I wouldn’t get in trouble with Barry.

There was no reason to complain about the rules, the rules were there to stay and besides, we chose Barry to clean up the neighborhood, and he was.

My neighbors son was beaten in Independence Park, the public park across the street from me, by a couple of illegals two weeks ago, he went the emergency room and was released a little while later with minor abrasions and six stitches. His father, Tom went to talk to Barry about finding the kids responsible and getting the hospital bill paid as guaranteed in the CCA but he was only able to talk to Barry’s assistant who said that the CCA did not cover fighting, even though it was an attack and not a mutual fight did not matter, CCA would not pay. The assistant said that kids who attacked the boy would not be held responsible because they are a minority and in the spirit of fairness it would be inappropriate to discipline them. There have been three more beatings in the park since.

Tom became the loudest voice against Barry’s actions. He talked about how wrong it was that Barry was taking our money but not giving us the benefits he promised. Other neighbors started agreeing with Tom and they starting talking about how Barry needs to removed from his position as Watch Captain. A week ago Tom was fined for having dead branches on his tree, for having weeds in his yard, there was a dent in his siding and an oil stain in his driveway. The fine came to $560 and Tom has to pay it by the end of the month or he will be required to do community service for two weekends. Some of the other neighbors have been quiet ever since but not all of them.

Yesterday, Barry had a construction crew put up a fence around Independence Park. He told us that we are complaining too much and not paying enough to be able to have access to it. He posted guards at the gate and only allowed the illegals into it while we stood at the fence watching. We called the police but the police said that Barry could do whatever he wanted since we elected him and then they informed us that we were standing on public property and would have to return to our homes.

 I still want to give Barry the benefit of the doubt that he is trying to do the right thing in our community but I am beginning to think that he is going too far. Am I being too hard on Barry? I would appreciate some advice on this.

K.B. 2013

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