There are lots of rumors, lots of accusations, lots of unleashed anger out there. Some folks are snarling mad, and this could turn into a big issue in the November elections. Here’s the straight poop as I heard it.
One resident, who is running for public office, has dogs that bark at all hours, day and night, keeping the neighbors awake.
This has been going on for more than a year and a half and finally prompted a meeting hosted by the village manager to give both sides a chance to air their grievances. There’s an audio recording of that, plus more than 50 recorded nonemergency calls to the police, and lots of emails sent to city officials.
Doesn’t sound like it helped. Although the resident said in the meeting that he wants neighbors to talk to him about the dogs, neighbors say he threatens lawsuits for harassment when they do. The resident promised to build a fence and has a permit, but how will a fence keep the noise from straying?
Some of the neighbors tell me that when they complain to the resident about the barking he tells them to come handle his dogs, then calls the cops on the neighbors for trespassing when they try. One source said he even called the police to have them arrest a neighbor who has special needs, though he knows this neighbor and his parents, and could have gone directly to the family instead. Some neighbors say they have medical conditions and need their rest. The resident, they say, then demands medical proof and claims they’re lying.
Neighbors also claim this resident tries to muzzle their complaints by filing false accusations against them with the police, then tells the neighbors that’s what they get for messing with him. Except “messing” isn’t the word he uses. A woman across the street says he uses both the “f” word and the “b” word to describe her. And right after she complained, she said her car was vandalized, covered with mustard and an obscene drawing on the windshield.
The battle gets weirder. I heard reports that this resident charges money for tennis lessons on his property, which sounds like an illegal business and competes with the village’s tennis center. And other reports that his detached garage, permitted as a “meditation room,” houses a hydraulic lift and is being used for car repairs that create noise and smog.
The police tell us they cannot help because the village’s noise ordinance is poorly written and the resident refuses to open the door when they knock in hopes of speaking to him about the constant calls.
There seems to be no end in sight for this canine controversy and the candidate who is “raising the woof,” so to speak. If attempts by our elected officials haven’t worked so far and public fears of “anti-dog laws” add to their dilemma then what is the solution?
Can’t someone negotiate peace in the village’s war on SW 72nd Avenue and help these neighbors?