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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another Victim of Code Enforcement! by Tim Ciani

Bob could you please post this for me.I would like to know if Rick thinks the city did a good deed here.Thanks,Tim Ciani.

Ronald Lydon age 69 and resident at 856 James avenue of 40 yrs. He has a assessed value on his house of 158,500 with ramsey county tax records. Whats funny is that they have been charging him as res. non-homestead since at least 2004. As far back as I can see. He has claimed he has tried to change the status to homestead to lower his yearly taxes but has had no success.

Ron has had non stop pressure with city inspectors for awhile with no help being offered as should being elderly and living on a fixed income. In March Ron noticed 4 people in his yard. He said one was Lisa Martin code enforcement,Dean Keenen (big intimidating cop Lisa brings around),Amy a prosecuting attorney,and someone else not identified.They were telling him to get rid of this and that. Soon they were to the door of his house and ask can we take a look inside?Ron said with the size of this cop (Dean) he felt pressured and scared. Not long after inside they said he couldn't live in his house of 40 years and he had to move. Confused Ron asked what he was going to do. They responded, "to the Winslow".
They said they would have it all set up for him and all he would have to do is show up at the Winslow.
He showed up at the Winslow and like the 4 said the were waiting for him. The staff was very eager to get him on a lease for April but Ron wanted May or June to tie up lose ends.(Sell house and to absorb the fact he was being kicked out of his own house)The staff said they may be full in those months. Once again Ron being pressured, he signed up for April for the Winslow but he wouldn't move in until May or June.
Nearly 30 days after the lease was signed guess what happens? St.Paul Inspectors put Ron's house on the vacant list, immediately dropping the houses value and making it harder to market because the fact it now needs a code compliance and be brought to todays building standards.They said he was registered at the Winslow and it was vacant.
Ron ended up calling Delisle and got a low ball offer of 112,000.He took it being backed into a corner and because of the continued pressure of inspectors. Remember the house was assessed at 158,500. This was Ron's memories and life savings.
Another thing of interest is the fact that the building the Winslow commons is in received a 37.8% decrease for 2006.Tax records indicate that the market value stayed the same for 2005 and 2006 but 2005 went from 78,901.86 to 49,082 in 2006.How many properties has this happened to in St.Paul and how many property owners would love it? Oh and another thing Ron only pays $130.00 a month and the government pays the rest.Surprise Surprise.Very sell able politically. But Ron lost his home, his memories and his dreams.This is not what he wanted.
Did Ron have the best looking house on the block?No. Did it need repairs,yes. I asked Ron if they would have been offered a reverse mortgage to do repairs payable upon death. He said he would have taken it.The fact is he was kicked out of his house and forced into a government backed Winslow commons.He sits on a triple lot that could generate much more money than Ron can match.The city wants new blood.
The day I talked to Ron he received a letter once again from the city.This time pressuring him and Delisle to tear down the garage before on or before 6-26-06 or the city will.Ron closes on 6-21-06 but what scares me is the fact Delisle might back out of the sale because of this expense and pressure.
To bad for Ron. I'm human and I feel for him.When I look at Ron he's like my grandpa,yours or anyone else's.But what the city sees in Ron is dollar signs!

31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dirt bags!!!!!

9:18 PM  
Anonymous MAD HATTER said...

Sounds like he has more beer money now! The City done him a favor.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another day and another victim. All kinds of people all over town are all saying the same things and it is just allegations right? I wonder how many of these government lovers would like to make a bet that this is all allegations?

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anybody hear anything around 7:24 here. I thought I heard a squeak-like noise, but it was nothing!!! Maybe a little mouse or a rat.


Nancy Osterman should re-tell her horror story. I do have a question though: Whatever became of the drug suspects that Steve Magner wanted her to snitch on? Did they rent or own the house by her?

Seems to me tenants can deal drugs and when they are caught and thrown in jail, it is the owner who pays by having to clean up garbage everything else left by the tenant and that is only if they are lucky enough not to be condemned for what the tenant did.

Lisa Martin and Dean Koenig are not going to be having too much fun for too much longer.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi All,

When criminals are determined to be repeat offenders, the police give them a little extra attention.

Clearly we have repeat offenders here! Lisa Martin & her intimadating Biggy Size side kick.We've heard many stories about these two."Same story" different addresses.

All one has to do to keep up with the majority of registered vacant buildings before they occur is follow these 2 around.

Isn't there a burb Councilman concerned about giving code enforcement to much power. I think he stated he was concerned about a "Tyrant Inspector". In my words going MAD!

I wonder if he knows or is aware of Lisa Martin.The St. Paul City Code Inspector who is named in racketeering law suits against the City of St. Paul.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I stated on the last topic, yes the city made numerous threats to me yes they followed through with the threats the house is gone. I can only say I feel very sorry for this gentleman, I understand what he was up against. Like I have stated I lost my house but after $25,000 in attorney fees I was able to get my son back. My son was more important than the house and I could only save one not both. My house can and will be replaced , I can't replace my son. St.Paul does have a few things I am thankful for, one is Judge Smith and her wonderful Substance Abuse Court Program that is what gave me my life and child back. The city inspectors and the program they have going on is worse than any horror story I have ever known, I wouldn't wish a visit from them on my worst enemy. The only thing I keep telling myself is that one day it will end and it will be them behind bars where they belong, like any crime you get greedy, and then you get caught and go to jail. Well they are past the greedy point so I know their time is coming soon. Its just to bad their will be more victims in their path before they are put to a stop. Oh and the answer to the question about who the city officials wanted me to snitch on, yes they owned a house and no, nothing ever happened to them to the best of my knowledge.

Nancy(formerly of St.Paul)

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the burbs counsilman should recieve an e-mail with some documents attached. At least a copy of the watchdog address should be included. If I recall Duluth was looking into code enforcement and didn't want to take the lawsuit risks St.Paul is undergoing, that was just last fall. Duluth decided it wasn't in their best interest.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typo error sorry that should of been " councilman"

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is 1 thing I do not hear anyone mentioning. Rather than looking at all the people who do not know each other saying the same thing deal, I think it is more telling to look at who they are saying it about.

Setting aside the various rants about various City Council people and this report and that report, etc; and even setting aside the few inspectors that seem to keep getting mentioned, everyone is pointing their finger at one single department, and that is NHPI.

Why are they not complaining about the Fire Dept when they do the same exact job?

How can 2 different departments treat people so differently?

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy answer 9:48. A Fireman has a mind set of helping others.

How would anyone convince a guy like this to screw someone over.

And besides I bet this goofy woman Lisa Martin thinks she is being helpful.

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10-4 10:04. I think she really believes in what she is doing and that is what is going to take her down. They all think they are so right that they never bother to be objective aboutthe fact that what they are doing is wrong. Happens all the time when these govrnment officials get caught up in corruption. Down in Floida last year when a housing inspector was standing in front of the judge to be sentenced, when sked if there was anything she wanted to say, she started chewing the judge out because she thought she was right. She went to prison when she could possibly have gotten probation. These people lie all the way to the bloody end, and then scream "feel sorry for me" when they get caught up in their own BS

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim,

What has come of all this? The dates you give are back in June.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:47 the story speaks for itself.The city wins everytime.Who'd ever think the city would do wrong.The normal person wouldn't until it effects you or someone you love.Ron was in his mid 70's and he told me he expected to be carried out of his house.Which means live there till the end.But the city has agenda's.

It won't be before long the This City meets its match.

TIM CIANI
JUMGGCS

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The City has already met it match with this bunch of civil rights activist.

They'll all be looking for new jobs by the end of next year.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DEAD END STREET
Consider the dilema of a homeless person trying to get off the streets of St.Paul. The cost of moving from a shelter to an apartment has now become a sum that is beyond the means of someone with minimal skills and serious personal problems (which I must add is what St.Paul is trying to rid the city of). Is it surprising then, that most homeless opt for drugs or alcohol rather than work? With the chasm seperating them from the bottom end of the housing market they can hardly be blamed for giving up, resigning themselves to a life of dependency on the street or in a shelter.

The housing market needs to be changed so that its lowest rung is no longer out of reach for the homeless. The existence of a “housing gap”—the failure of the market to provide housing of a type and quality that the very poor can afford—is not a natural or inevitable phenomenon. Indeed, until recently, the private market provided a range of housing options for individuals with very low incomes. But well-intentioned city regulations have made these forms of housing nearly extinct.

The most important thing the city can do to revive the low cost segment of private housing market is to stop standing in the way of those who would provide such housing.

Nancy (formerly of St.Paul)

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

42 U.S.C. § 3607(b)(1) ("nothing in [the Federal Fair Housing Act] limits the applicability of any reasonable local . . . restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling").

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the key word in the above statement is "reasonable". The city doesn't know the meaning of the word.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick Mons I was wondering if that story of Ron's hit a soft spot in your heart?I'd like to hear some input on the subject from you before I ask you questions on the record number of vacant properties in the City.
Thanks,
TIM CIANI
JUMGGCS

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If private property may be condemned and given to another private individual for private profit, and if the determination of which properties are to be condemned may be delegated to the person benefiting from the condemnation, and if the public purpose of the condemnation project may not be reviewed by the courts, and if the question of the necessity of the condemnation may be delegated to the beneficiary and may not be reviewed by the courts, then are there any limits on the exercise of this government power? In a system that does not require a governing body to weigh the necessity of the condemnation against the harm to be done, this type of analysis will not take place. Without accountability or constitutional constraints, all the incentives promote aggressive, unbridled use of the eminent domain power, regardless of the impact on innocent property owners. It is time to shift the balance away from government power and back to its citizens.
For more information contact:
John Kramer
Director of Communications
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 682-9320

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's Repke with that BS(brown sugar) about how the city has all these ways to help the elderly stay in their home?

What we have here is some city officials deciding what they think is best for an elderly man. Like he can't think for himself.

Someone needs to set up a real non-profit that helps do repair and maintenance on these low income peoples homes.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Non Profits are interested in proliferating their job 1st and helping the people they claim to want to help 2nd.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Rick Mons said...

Certainly the story as presented is disturbing. I don't think anyone wants to see someone forced from his/her home if there are alternatives and if the owner is working toward resolving the deficiencies.

The problem, Tim, is that only one side of the story is presented -- and presented by someone who has an axe to grind.

I'd really like to know:

• why is Mr Lydon not shown as the owner of record but as the taxpayer? (owner of record on the former tax statement is a party who lives in Wisconsin -- maybe a relative? absentee landlord? what's his role?)

• how did the property come to the attention of the city staff?

• did the city provide any prior notice of code issues or concerns?

• what were the violations cited and were any for health/safety shortcomings?

• was the home fit for habitation?

I was in the vicinity earlier today and drove by the home. couldn't see the interior but noted that there were at least two dumpsters filled with debris.

It sounds like you think the DeLisle offer was too low. Did the owner get more than one bid or otherwise gauge the market value of the home?

8:24 PM  
Blogger Rick Mons said...

Tim,

I have a couple of questions for you:

• do you believe that all St Paul code enforcement is invalid?

• if you have seen St Paul code enforcements that are valid, what distinguished them from what you've felt are invalid enforcement actions?

• you maintain that the city is after the "dollar signs" -- what do you mean by that? Increased tax revenue? Profiting from the taking of properties?

• I'm assuming the sale closed -- did it? (It doesn't show on the tax records yet.)

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the agenda? What's the motive to come to this humble little site and do so much "homework" on the subject at hand? And then give out homework assignments and quizes.

Wow, even drive-bys! I wonder, Was it out of concern, doubt or entertainment. Folks, this is beauracracy at it's finest.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll tell ya what the agenda is. This guy is arrogant and an elitest who thinks his shit doesn't stink. He holds himself out as a real estate professional and a know ti all back in the Jessamine days Saying that he wouldn't even have wanted to sell a house like that, and then he comes here and plays his silly games about the house on James showing My. Lydon only as the taxpayer and someone else as the owner of record, and then attaches the usual "absentee owner" sound bite to it ot makr it sound like there is something not quite passing the smell test.

For your information Rick, if he bought the house on a contract for deed, someone else would show as the owner until the contract is paid off. You should know that with your job and all. And what the hell difference does it make wether or not he owns it? If he does not own it then it is OK to treat him different? And what do you think is fit for habitation? I have seen many familys raised in houses that rich snobs like you look down your noses at and would not even want to go inside. In fact, your type is bothered by having to even having to look at some of these older properties. You have such a distaste for them that you would not even sell one when you could make a commisson on it. Remember when you made that remark Rick? That was back in the Jessamine days just to give you a little help.

You are welcome here Rick, but please do not come here and try to con us because we can see right through you. Your bias is very obvious in case you do not know it.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Answers to Rick 6:24----
What I find funny is that you don't question the city when you only hear their side.I've posted pictures and now a true story.I'm trying my best to give you the other sides Rick.Do I have an axe to grind,NO!!!!I've been around real estate for many many years and its my duty to reconize this miss use of power and educate to cause change.



• why is Mr Lydon not shown as the owner of record but as the taxpayer? (owner of record on the former tax statement is a party who lives in Wisconsin -- maybe a relative? absentee landlord? what's his role?)
-Rons the stated as owner on ramsey county record and I saw the purchase agreement.He is the owner.

• how did the property come to the attention of the city staff?

-Ron wasn't a wealthy man so he saved a lot of stuff that he saw value in and the city thought was junk.

• did the city provide any prior notice of code issues or concerns?
-Yes,just on the appearance of his yard.That doesn't give St.Paul the authority to show up at his door and intimidate him with a 6'6" cop and others to gain access to his house.Ron had felt he had no choice but to let them in and thats taking advantage of people.He had a choice and if he didn't feel threatened he would have said no.And he would still be living there.

• what were the violations cited and were any for health/safety shortcomings?
-you can look up on the cities web cite to find out all the citations,but I warn you thats the cities side of the story.

• was the home fit for habitation?
-It was Rons home and he lived there for the last 40 years.It didn't kill him or anyone else.

*I was in the vicinity earlier today and drove by the home. couldn't see the interior but noted that there were at least two dumpsters filled with debris.
-Those dumpsters were filled with Rons garage's.
*It sounds like you think the DeLisle offer was too low. Did the owner get more than one bid or otherwise gauge the market value of the home?
-The offer would have been low if the house wasn't on the vacant list and needed a code compliance.Rick you being a realtor should know when a house hits the vacant list its like the kiss of death.It was a assessed at 158,000 for 06.Did the assessor miss something the inspectors didn't and value it at to much?

Ron didn't have time to gauge the market and get bids.He's 70+ ,he felt threatened and left out to dry.Why if the city new Ron had signed up for the winslow did they put the house on the vacant list?For a code compliance.Why not give him time to find a realtor to market it and get the best price?TO generate money for liep,property taxes and to keep a landlord from coming in and making repairs and renting it out.A code compliance forces the new owner Delisle to spend lots of money which means he must sell for more money and taking it out of being a rental.Bringing the estimated new property value to say around 200,000.Plus now Rons in a city backed winslow.

TIM CIANI
JUMGGCS

10:04 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi All & Rick,

I'd like to answer some of these questions for Rick. First a disclaimer- I am not a claimant in the racketeering suits. I do not own rental property.I have never to this date met a single person with a claim against the City.

Lastly, I do not receive compensation for my efforts. In fact this issue cost me money. My only interest is what I feel is an in justice to a protected class of people and the private rental investors who housed them.

My opinions are solely based on research and a great deal of personal experience since I got involved with this issue.

Rick-• do you believe that all St Paul code enforcement is invalid?

Bob- Personally I believe code enforcement does a fine job when applied fairly. Although to put some checks and balances in place like getting a real independent inspector before making hasty decisions about destroying someones home and in some cases livelihood would make sense.

Remember the burb councilman who feared a tyrant of an inspector could cause some concerns.

I actually think the majority of inspectors are good people trying to do an honest job.

I also believe after long research of this issue and personal experience, that we have some rogue inspectors who in their minds think they are doing the right thing.That doesn't make it right.

At another website we all are familiar with I was getting private emails from a few of the entrenched burecrats that the JESSAMINE HOUSE was owned by DRUG DEALERS what are you doing defending them.

On every issue, I and at the time people I didn't know what so ever, exposed the lies about why this house should be demolished.

I have been a handyman of the highest quality for many years the Jessamine house was in great shape. I toured the house myself. I also exposed the West St. Paul independent inspector for not being so independent.`

Rick-• if you have seen St Paul code enforcements that are valid, what distinguished them from what you've felt are invalid enforcement actions?

Bob- the distinguishing feature. A few bad apples will cross the line and say things about a home that just aren't true. I can say this because I toured the Jessamine house. I can sya this because I have read hundreds of documents claiming these alleged facts.

Rick-• you maintain that the city is after the "dollar signs" -- what do you mean by that? Increased tax revenue? Profiting from the taking of properties?

I have said this before, I can't speak for others. But I believe the City has found away to disperse low income families to the burbs and beyond by chocking off affordable housing.

These registered vacant rentals will eventually be sold off to someone who will meet code compliance and homestead the home.

The financial benefits to the City.
It's all to obvious. Get rid of the protected class and there is more resources to go around.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Rick Mons said...

Well, Anonymous, let's take 'em one at a time:

Saying that he wouldn't even have wanted to sell a house like (Jessamine)

Yes. I wouldn't want to list a home like Jessamine because its description and the inspection report indicated fairly substantial possibility for post-sale litigation. Whatever profit from the commission (net my expenses for advertising, time & effort, etc) would have been jeopardized by the next buyer suing for cost of repairs, etc.

I've listed and sold homes ranging in value from $80,000 to over $500,000. I've walked away from listings where I felt there was too great a liability for a post-sale dispute.

I've never been sued and that's a record I want to preserve.

and then he comes here and plays his silly games about the house on James showing My. Lydon only as the taxpayer and someone else as the owner of record, and then attaches the usual "absentee owner" sound bite to it ot makr it sound like there is something not quite passing the smell test.

Whatever connotation you put on it is your own -- not mine. I just thought it strange that somebody who's resided in the home for 40 years isn't shown as the owner. It's possible but not very likely that Mr. Lydon still had a CD for it -- but it also may explain why it wasn't homesteaded.

For your information Rick, if he bought the house on a contract for deed, someone else would show as the owner until the contract is paid off. You should know that with your job and all.

Yes that may be one answer. But it's very unusual for somebody to hold a 40-year CD.

And what the hell difference does it make wether or not he owns it? If he does not own it then it is OK to treat him different?

Nope. Never said that ... nice try.

And what do you think is fit for habitation?

working plumbing, electrical and heating. absence of rodents and other pests. intact flooring, walls and roof. absence of outside water coming in. structural integrity. working doors and windows. do you want me to go on?

I have seen many familys raised in houses that rich snobs like you look down your noses at and would not even want to go inside.

In fact, your type is bothered by having to even having to look at some of these older properties.


BS. You don't know me ... but have this convenient little box you want to put me. Nice try, but no cigar.

You have such a distaste for them that you would not even sell one when you could make a commisson on it. Remember when you made that remark Rick? That was back in the Jessamine days just to give you a little help.

I approach every listing with an open mind. I've declined to list both inexpensive and expensive listings when I've felt that the cost of listing it -- including the risk of no sale (and thus no revenue to cover my expenses) and the risk of post-sale problems -- is too high for the reward.

Maybe you'd take any listing for just the commission alone. I prefer not to do business that way.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick 6:34 questions for me:

• do you believe that all St Paul code enforcement is invalid?
-No not all.But its kinda like asking is everything the mob does illegal or corrupt?The miss uses of power and the hidden agenda of this city is what taints the whole code enforcement.

• if you have seen St Paul code enforcements that are valid, what distinguished them from what you've felt are invalid enforcement actions?
-(2)examples:1)Thunes house and 2 rentals were a valid code issue but the special treatment he recieved wasn't.The typical citizen would have been on the streets or the Winslow.
2)Most of what the fire dept. does is valid.Only a couple bad apples that have friends in code enforcement and that have been tainted.But for the most part they have one agenda"SAFETY."
• you maintain that the city is after the "dollar signs" -- what do you mean by that? Increased tax revenue? Profiting from the taking of properties?
-Come on now!!!OK I'll explain but I might forget a couple dozen.
Randy Kelly didn't raise property taxes but relied on higher property values to rake in more money.Force code compliance(where you lose your grandfather rights and have to bring them up to todays building codes)which produces liep code compliance fee's and general permit fee's.(A fund that Randy Kelly raided)Most vacant buildings need a bond put up when work is started and usually never finished because of the hurdles that are set forth causing forfeiture.There has been tons of these.When a house has finally been signed off on as code compliant it has to be sold at such a high price it can't be used as affordable housing and the sale price can be used for the actual tax value.Which increase tax dollars.Now that the affordable home is taken away st.paul plans that the tenant will come fill their PHA units or their housing 5,000 units they set aside to meet their TIF targets,special financing and for them to be successful.Putting them all together where its easy to police.(save money)Rick with you being in the real estate market you should know the rental market was terrible since 02'.They needed to fill their units.So to shake up the private side is what they did to steal these tenants.(more money)Meaning if they didn't fill the ones they built these developers would leave town or ask for more free money as we have seen them do.Excessive consumption makes money.vacant building fee's.Summary abatement.Criminal citations.Fee's to have a legislation hearing.Rental registration fee.And so on--Not a bad business to be if it weren't corrupt.

• I'm assuming the sale closed -- did it? (It doesn't show on the tax records yet.)
-Yes it did for I believe the last I heard 112,000.Lets see if ramsey county ammends the taxes for 06'.You may say that well 112,000 is a lot of money for a 70+ year old but its not about the money its about the place Ron called home.

TIM CIANI
JUMGGCS

10:54 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Correction- I should have stated get rid of a good percentage of the protected class.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Rick Mons

So you are so scared that someone is going to sue you Rick that you refuse to take business? Most of the time the people who are so scared of everyone else doing something to them are the ones that out doing the same thing to others. Like projecting your personality off onto others? it is a well known subject.

All other realtors take those listings Rick and the property is sold with an "as is" disclaimer, and that stops all the post sale lawsuits. Or the very few times it does not stop them, most other Realtors have errors & omisssions insurance. Do you have that Rick?

11:31 PM  

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