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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
"It Doesn't Matter to Me." 
9th-Oct-2008 11:03 pm
Here's a way to impress people. Lt. Jensen is on active service in Iraq. His wife is pregnant, and with relatives on the East Coast, along with his small son.

Now, Lt. Jensen is being told to get an irrigation system and landscaping on his property as soon as possible or face legal action from the Oak Hill Country Estates Homeowners' Association.

"I really don't give a [expletive] where he is or what his problem is," said Chick Edwards, owner and developer of the 47-lot subdivision at the south end of Oak Street in Kennewick.

"It doesn't matter to me," said Edwards, who insists Jensen has violated terms of the homeowners-association covenants requiring that landscaping be completed within one year after an occupancy permit is issued for a home.

"[Jensen] doesn't have the right to walk away from his obligation," said Edwards, who as the developer is the only member of the homeowners association. "I have most of the property still, so I am the homeowners association," he said.

There may be a hitch here, Mr. Homeowner's Association: the Servicemember Civil Relief Act, which has a useful provision you might want to know about:

(1) PROTECTION AFTER ENTERING MILITARY SERVICE- After a servicemember enters military service, a contract by the servicemember for--

(A) the purchase of real or personal property (including a motor vehicle); or

(B) the lease or bailment of such property, may not be rescinded or terminated for a breach of terms of the contract occurring before or during that person's military service, nor may the property be repossessed for such breach without a court order.

Just a suggestion: if you're hauled into court for violating the act, "L'etat c'est moi" isn't that impressive a defense. It merely means that the judge has a simple process to stop, and only one place to go.

UPDATE: Courtesy of pithhelmet in comments below, the rest of the story, including an attempt at shamefaced denial of his actions by our one-man homeowner's association, and an outpouring of neighborliness and community spirit. Problem solved, and with fewer lawyers, than usually the case: I'm impressed with the community. Read the whole thing.
10th-Oct-2008 10:41 am (UTC)
But now some good samaritans hope to resolve the matter.

Vollunteers from a local landscaping company began work today on the Kennewick home of Lieutenant Burke Jensen.

"Makes me feel good to do something for a serviceman, or anybody for that matter, but especially for servicemembers and their families, who sacrifice so much for us and our country," said Tim Montgomery, landscaper.

( Read more ... )

If you'd like to let Chick know how you feel, I found this.
10th-Oct-2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the update: I've revised the post accordingly.

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