Family property ruined due to village officials

To the editor:

I am not interested in interfering in the process surrounding my father’s house. I am intensely private and prefer to be left alone. He is quite capable of defending his civil disobedience and will not do so outside of state court. In the United States no one should have to perform in a show trial before a political body. Jeremy Evans was repeatedly told this prior to the village hearing.

While I understand the imposition their mutual brinksmanship has placed on the neighbors, no one can reasonably expect me to have sympathy for anyone else. This is the house where I grew up. Ultimately, I am the one the village is robbing. Thirty years of private property is now being labeled “solid waste.” These losses will end up being on the scale of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It makes me sick seeing my mother’s house look that way, but I would burn it to the ground to defy them. These people have systematically abused their power under the pretense of code enforcement for almost three years. They charged him with a felony for moving an empty propane tank.

The village should be aware that the rapidly deteriorated conditions of the house are not random. When I was there around this time last year, it was quite clear that no one had been inside. Within a week of proposing their “nuisance law,” most of what they were complaining about before was stolen and the inside was completely trashed. It looks like a bomb exploded. Window frames have been completely removed; there is “structural damage” that was not there before.

They threw a mattress across the door as a Sicilian message: Report this to the village police and let them search the property for code violations, or be set up for “Steve’s Law” being written to steal your house. Sleep in the street. How could we live there? The law is incitement to violence. Needless to say, there is an explosive element to this which makes the situation not nearly as black and white as many people have taken it.

In my calmer moments, I do not necessarily believe there is some excess of malicious intent. That being said, whether they realize it or not, the village is causing many of the problems it is supposedly solving. No one should believe these are teenage pranksters. They are trying to lynch him because they think he is crazy. If it were up to me, and it is not, I would be downstate right now talking to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Whatever your opinion of my father or what he does, there is a fairly obvious question you have to ask yourself. If he really is such a menace to society, if his house truly is that bad, why did they not give themselves the power to transfer title to other family members? Instead, they turned the house into a lightning rod for vandalism and stole everything we own.

Robert Schnibbe

Saranac Lake