Editor's note: Not everyone agreed with my August 11 blog post criticizing the Sandusky City Commission for launching a crackdown against homeowners who rent Sandusky homes to vacationers for a few days. City Commissioner Diedre Cole wrote me an email giving the other side of the story, and she's given me permission to post it. Here are her comments -- Tom.
From City Commissioner Diedre Cole:
Your blog was interesting to say the least. While I understand both points of view, this was not a deliberate attack on those who legally rent homes for vacationers.
I don't know where you live, but just as an example....let's say your neighbor to your left parks a fully loaded pick-up truck in his driveway (opposite your open bedroom window) because he has collected trash from 6 am to 6 pm and missed dumping at the landfill because it closes at 3 pm. Then...your neighbor on the right of you rents the entire house to vacationers for two weeks. These are great folks, but they spend all day at Cedar Point, come in late, walk their dog that poops in your front yard, and stay up till 3 am drinking on the deck in the back yard with music playing loudly and loudly talking over the music.
You call the police to control the noise because you need to get some sleep to work in the morning, you close the bedroom window because the police tell you they cannot force your neighbor to move his legally park NON-COMMERCIAL vehicle full of trash in his driveway and inform you to call the Health Department in the morning. You call the Health Department the next day, they show up but oops....no truck in the driveway so they cannot address the issue. You drag yourself to work because you are sleepy, make it through the day and your neighbor returns home after hauling trash all day with a fully loaded truck again. All of a sudden, you notice you have evidence of mice and you can't seem to figure out where they're coming from so you run to Sandusky Hardware for some traps---it dawns on you....the trash truck in the driveway. You go to bed at 11 pm hoping for a good nights sleep but the noisy vacationers get in and you watch them let their dog crap on your front lawn again but you don't mind because "they are boosting our local economy" so you suffer through it. The next day, you confront your neighbor about the trash truck and he/she tells you, "Sorry, but I don't have to move it, this is MY driveway!" On the way to your car, you step in the poop the economy boosting tourists left behind. You call every single Commissioner immediately because you are angry, sleepy and at the end of your rope and ask for something to be done.
We get calls from everything to "my neighbor kicked my dog" to "my neighbor threw trash over my fence" to "why isn't the snow shoveled at the recycle bin" and my personal favorites, "why don't you pave the Post Office Parking lot? It's full of pot holes!" and, "my neighbor has a video camera aimed in my window!" I cannot speak for others, but I do not mind receiving these calls and I respond to every single one. But really Tom? Seriously? Everyone needs to put their "Big Boy Pants" on, get a grip, grow up and follow the laws in place. A bad economy is not a legal defense of which I am aware, neither is ignorance of the law. When you (figuratively speaking) purchased your home, you knew it was in residential zone which is what you wanted. You didn't want a B&B next door, a brothel or a transfer station for refuse. You're a good citizen, you pay your taxes, you contribute to your community and all you want is to live in peace...what do you do? Most people only think about themselves, their family and what directly affects them. It's our job as commissioners to think about EVERYONE and how what we do or not affects 25,793 residents. Amazing!