Letter: Selective Code Enforcement?

My husband [Tim] didn’t want me to write this letter. He believes if I speak freely in town, I’ll be victimized as he has been for doing just that. It was seeing Elyse Ryan’s letter printed on the same page as her husband’s that gave me the idea. Why should I not get the same opportunity to support my husband?

Here’s why I’m writing. There are so many dreadful things that have been done to my English husband since we came to live in Loxahatchee Groves it’s hard to know where to begin, and I know people have got better things to do than read something from me, so I’m keeping it to the two most recent.

Pretty much everyone knows my husband and I own the British Feed Company. And pretty much everyone knows that for over a year, we have been persecuted by the town manager with the full support of the council. Selective code enforcement initiated by the owners of Red Barn has caused us to have to move twice — code enforcement that was expensive for the town (we, the people who live here), unnecessary and contrary to the interests of the people of the town.

We have a feed store in an agricultural town. Our 700 customers, many of whom live in the town, want a choice. Our council and town manager, along with their Red Barn cronies, don’t want the people to have that choice. They have tried to extort money from us, they have leaked information, they have been rude and unhelpful, not replying to e-mails or returning phone calls, they have conducted city business outside the public eye, they have threatened us, and my husband has personal experience of them altering public documents for personal gain.

So my first reason for being ashamed, aside from just how badly this town has treated my husband, is that this morning I got a flier in the mail trying to persuade me to vote for [incumbent] Jim Rockett. In it, he claims he supports fair and cost-effective code enforcement without favor. This is a clear and absolute lie. Rockett has consistently supported selective code enforcement, in many cases promoting it as use as a punishment. I hear of many cases but can put my hand on my heart and swear I know of one, which is ours. How can this deceit be allowed in my country? Can anyone tell me?

And my second reason is even more personal. I’ve watched my husband persevere against council bullying, town manager spitefulness and code manipulation. He’s overcome it all with a patience and determination I’ve never witnessed before. Now we have relocated to a third trading location in the Palms West Plaza, behind Boonies and across the street from the town office. We have our license and the fire marshal, despite coming under pressure from unnamed persons to do otherwise, has issued our fire certificate. Unless the town manager gets the council to change the rules, which they have form for, we are now able to work at developing our business.

And here’s the thing: Since we moved into our new store, only Councilman Tom Goltzené and candidate Todd McLendon have called by to wish us good fortune. We are a properly run company, we are creating jobs for Americans, we are bringing prosperity back to our town, and we pay our taxes. Why hasn’t the town manager or the mayor been in to wish us well?

Isn’t that what happens in real towns? “Hello, I’m the town manager; good to see an empty building occupied, good to see jobs created. I’m the town manager; my office is right there. If I can help in anyway, please let me know and good luck!”

Am I expecting too much? All he has to do is walk 30 feet! I’m ashamed this can happen in my country. Am I wrong to be?

Since my initial writing of this letter, for the third time, we received yet another code violation letter from the town offices — more of our money wasted on selective code enforcement. I guess I’m not.

Loring Hart-Woods
Loxahatchee Groves