My question involves civil rights in the State of: WI
I just got a letter yesterday from the Department of Public Works stating that they received a complaint that my sidewalk was snow or ice covered and that I hadnít cleared it. City ordinance here says people have to clear their snow within 24 hours of a snowfall. But in fact my sidewalk had been cleared for quite awhile and we hadnít gotten any snow for about a week. They were completely clean. But the date they say it was inspected was only 2 days before I got the letter.
The letter also states that I have until Wed, Feb. 16th to clear my sidewalks. Well, if they were clean before and they send me this warning letter, what could I possibly do to improve things before they do another inspection on the 16th?
The letter does not state who the complainer was, or who the inspector was or what part of my sidewalk (or other part of my property) had snow and ice on it. But it does say that if it doesnít pass their next inspection, I will be fined $213 plus cost of them cleaning it, and if the anonymous complainer complains again, I will be fined again with no advance notice each time they complain for the rest of this season.
But wait a minute! What happened to due process? I donít know who accused me of not having my walks clean, I wasnít present during the inspection, there havenít been any photos of the problem to prove there was a problem.
I plan to call them tomorrow. I will record the call and ask who the complainer was, who did the inspection, where the snow or ice was, and if they have any photos proving the accusation. I will also say I want to be present for the second inspection. However, none of this would prevent a fine if another complaint is filed. I would simply receive a fine in the mail.
Now, is there anything else I can do or say when I make that call that could help me? This whole situation seems totally ridiculous and it kept me up most of last night imagining how the city government can simply issue fines and take my money based on nothing but someoneís word even though Iíve done what Iím supposed to do. When I make contact with the Works Department, I want to make sure I say the right things.