Just hours after hurricane IRMA ripped through the state of Florida while residents were tending to their battle scars and beginning the taxing chore of cleaning up the mess that IRMA left in her wake, One man who lives in Miami-Dade Florida received an unexpected visit from the county.
A county code enforcement agent came to issue Celso Perez a warning notice indicating that his downed fence was noted and that the code enforcement office was demanding he repair said fence in a certain amount of time or they would slap him with a fine.
At first Celso was surprised by this gesture and immediately asked the agent if he was joking. The agent said it was no joke and that he was going to write a report and then return to “check up” on him.
The agent slapped the warning citation sticker on the part of the fence that was still standing.
Celso is a very calm person. His reaction to this action?
Celso Perez stated: “I laughed. I thought he was kidding. ‘You’re kidding right? We just had a hurricane six hours ago.’
Code Enforcement Agent: “No I’m not kidding. I have to cite you for this.
Celso Perez: “I just laughed. OK, whatever; knock yourself out!”
Celso told News 7 Miami “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.”
The reason given for this citation? Celso was told he got the warning was because the fence IRMA knocked down made it easy to access his pool and he needed to fix that.
After Irma, the county handed out 680 pool barrier safety notices and 177 electrical hazard safety notices to homeowners suffering damage from Irma.
The county stood by their decision to hand out these notices right after Irma.
A building official wrote, “The safety notice is neither a notice of violation warning nor a citation. It is important that we reach residents in the immediate aftermath of the storm, because that is when conditions are most dangerous, and taking steps to protect life is a critical part of the recovery process.”
A notice alerts the owner that there is a potential hazard present that they may not be aware of.
Celso Perez: “I want the public to know what the county is doing out there.”
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