The recorded condemnation notice

Yesterday evening I finally got to take pictures of the notice George posted and I’m still shocked.

The house was actually condemned ON THE RECORD (officially recorded), Ed Kulik states to contact GEORGE LANGLEY for more info, the same George that told me that he just puts up the notices and doesn’t know anything and that I should contact Ed Kulik?  Have to find his card again.

Click for larger image

They won’t even specify which one of several reasons led to the condemnation!
It is APPALLING that our County would dare to condemn a house without even providing the REASON.   I know it’s not 2 because nobody lives in the house, it’s more like the owner’s “museum” — the walls are covered with huge prints of nature photographs.  My neighbor takes fantastic pics of the desert, plants, flowers, etc.  and he has a special printer for these huge prints.

So, is it 1, 3 or 4?  Could they be any MORE vague?

I have not heard back from our Supervisor Jean Bishop.
Below are the pics of the entire notice and the individual pages with commentary:

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7/23/18 LMRFD board meeting notes by Ellen Reh-Bower

7/26/18 — by Ellen Reh-Bower

Thought I would just hit the high spots from the LMRFD Board meeting Monday, July 23, for those interested. The agenda promised an interesting meeting. A few tidbits came through.

Approval of minutes from prior meetings, 4/30/18 – 6/25/18 was finally accomplished after months of Board members requesting corrections.

The financials were reported over an unintelligible cell phone connection with the accountant, and no hard copies were available, so unable to report on those numbers as presented at the meeting. However, some numbers were heard as Board members asked specific questions. Note: The Profit & Loss with Budget Performance is finally posted at the LMRFD website. You have to screen shot the page in order to save and print, but hey…at least it is accessible! Remember to print your own before you attend a monthly meeting so you can follow along.

We learned from a question posed by Director Charlotte Kiffer that the LMRFD has a $534,000 carry over into the new Fiscal Year beginning July 1 this year.

A question posed by Eric Terrill clarified that “Not Ordinary Income” was over budget by $81,400 because of “additional tax revenue”. That’s great! Maybe we can buy the chief a more economical chief’s vehicle so our brush truck can stay in District and live a little longer.

Another question by Eric as to the $13,000 credit card bill, wondering why payments to Copperpoint, Cascade Fire, and an AFG Grant were done by credit card instead of by check? Chief Tony DeMaio explained that these items were pressed for time. Director Terrill asked if Chief DeMaio had contacted the Chairman of the Board before making those credit card payments. Mr. DeMaio answered, “No”. Director Terrill pointed out that the chief had violated the terms of his contract by avoiding the 2 signatures required for purchases in excess of $5000. Ouch!

The Chief’s report was read quickly and I didn’t get all the numbers. I did hear 53 EMS, 40 Transport, 5 Refusals, 5 Unbilled, 2 Flown, 1 DOA, 1 Cancel. There were 3 fire calls, the breakdown was unintelligible. The chief reported 29 of 31 days covered in Meadview for July. Meetings he attended were Run Review, Pre-Hospital care, WACEMS, and Wildland training. He reported an automatic rate increase in ambulance rates, resulting in ALS/BLS $1845.11; Mileage $15.01, and Standby $461.28. He reported that the County has not yet lifted the burn ban; the LMRFD website will be undergoing an update to a more user friendly platform; He is seeking bids to repair the roof on Station 41, and is going to Bullhead and Las Vegas for 2nd and 3rd bids as requested by the Board. Good work chief!

Theodora Koeppen was “denounced” as being unqualified for the empty Fire Board seat she volunteered for at the June meeting. It appears that her annexation request into the LMRFD has not yet cleared the hurdles required, which can take from 3-6 months. Chairperson Cass, when Director Kiffer asked if she had inquired as to Ms. Koeppen’s status as of that morning, answered, “No. I’m going with the estimate of 6 months.”

The agenda item indicating that the Board would “interview possible interested candidates and vote for Interim/Temporary LMRFD Board Member” saw Ellen Reh-Bower present the Board with her statement of qualifications and intent. She was denied an interview. Another prospective candidate present at the meeting was also denied an interview, as Cass stated something to the effect that she had “someone else in mind”. The insertion of an August date in the agenda item was highly irregular, confusing and out of line to begin with. You don’t post an item for “discussion and possible action” for some future meeting. That is incomprehensible when at the previous meeting 2 people expressed interest. Consequently 2 candidates, qualified, ready, able and willing at the July meeting could not be considered. Another month.

Supervisor Jean Bishop spoke to the annexation process for bringing the 2/3 of properties in Meadview into the Fire District. Discussion ensued regarding efforts already made following the guidelines she presented. When Supervisor Bishop understood that the efforts failed at the point where the County requires a legal description of the proposed outside boundaries and that it is a herculean task beyond any individual or the LMRFD to perform, but which the County has the data and tools to do so, she offered her assistance in obtaining it. Thank you Jean! As for any improvements at the Hwy 93/ PF Rd. junction, she pointed citizens to the AZ Dept. of Transportation meetings. The next one is in September in Florence. October’s is in Lake Havasu City. She suggested a group representing the community and speaking to the issue would carry more weight than her input would. In the meantime, band aids is what we get until the 5 year plan is implemented.

Director Kiffer referred to A.R.S. 48-803, allowing for Fire Board members to be reimbursed for expenses related to their service. She was asking specifically for reimbursement of fuel costs for Board members travelling between Dolan Springs and Meadview for meetings. Her request is being referred to the attorney.

Director Kiffer referred to LMRFD Board Bylaws Rule 6, saying that after discussion and votes are taken, they are to be “ayes” and “nays” only. She noted that it is out of order to include explanations as to why one is voting the way they do. All agreed.

Director Terrill proposed the Board direct the chief to get quotes for an alarm/surveillance system for LMRFD properties, due to recent thefts. All agreed.

At the Call to the Public, the following people spoke:
Ellen Reh-Bower asked that the Board appoint the Clerk of the Board to be responsible for taking and posting the meeting minutes within the legally required time frame, as waiting for 2-3 weeks is not acceptable. She pointed out that it is the Board’s responsibility to have the minutes posted in time. She stated it is common practice among other Fire Districts in the State for the Clerks to take the minutes. Listed were, Golder Fire District in Tucson, Green Valley Fire District, Sedona Fire District and Sun City Fire District.

Pat Kelley-Staab told of many properties being removed from the LMRFD in 2001 and 2002 because they were improperly annexed in. She said somebody needs to look at the minutes from that period to determine what happened so it isn’t repeated. Discussion ensued as to where those minutes might be located.

Walt Kiffer reported that he had input the run information provided in the chief’s report, into Excel, and came up with 17% of runs being on Hwy 93 for the month of June. (Chief is hand counting those, as the LMRFD reporting system remains dysfunctional)

Walt Kiffer stated that he doesn’t understand, if accounts are reconciled monthly, how an un-cleared check to Copperpoint in April went un-detected for such a long period of time as to threaten cancellation of the worker’s comp insurance. Walt brings up a very worrisome point here.

Executive Session lasted from 2:35 to 4:17. A couple of us stuck around, curious as to what the “payroll matter” is that was approved to be sent to the County Attorney’s office for investigation at the June meeting. It is not common practice to send a “payroll matter” to the County Attorney for investigation. Curious…

Executive Business resumed with “continued legal action”. Only actions taken were: Eric Terrill motioned to combine items C and D, “personnel matter, payroll, DeMaio and DeMaio performance” and to put a written letter of reprimand in the chief’s file, for “standards not being met”.

Charlotte Kiffer requested agenda items for August meeting as follows: To make the monthly P&L and agenda available for attendees. Next meeting, August 27, 1:30, in Meadview at the Meadview Community Association building.

Submitted July 26, 2018, Ellen Reh-Bower

Thanks Ellen!

GREAT notes, but one correction, the MCA is the Meadview CIVIC Association and the main reason why Meadview has no community.  I don’t know what’s worse, the noise at the Dolan Chamber or the echo at the Meadview MCA.

While I was at the fire board meeting, I missed much of what was said due to the noisy cooler.  And my mind tends to wander when I contemplate why Director Cass dislikes Ellen so much she refused to conduct the interviews for the vacant board seat, why nobody is UPSET that the County takes 6 months to add a property into the fire district, how they could not notice that the insurance check didn’t clear, why they allow the chief to continue to mess with the website without any info on what they’ll do, why they paid $12k to paint the Dolan station and why it’s not white with red trim (as it used to be), … (the list is a mile long!)

The countless executive sessions …   I just hope I’ll never be forced into this dysfunctional fire district.

The official draft minutes are already at the LMRFD site, but I’m hoping to get a pdf instead of “pictures” and will then post them at the LMRFD forum.

Here is the video of the 7/23/18 meeting:

Mohave County condemned my neighbor’s old house

I could spit nails!

The County posted an “abatement notice” at a neighbor’s property and earlier today I called Edward Kulik, chief building honcho (no title on the MC website).

My neighbor is only out here occasionally because it’s too remote for his wife, but he enjoys the solitude. He built the house about 20 years ago, long before inspections. He got a permit and was told that he could build whatever he wanted. It’s not pretty, but that’s what it looked like when I moved here and I actually prefer the look of the old house to the new mobile home next door. I prefer “real” and off grid.

It expresses everything I love about the area: individuality, creativity, simplicity, sovereignty, independence.

That’s what I love about LMC and the Units out here.

So a few months ago my neighbor’s nightmare started after an anonymous complaint was received by the County about “open sewer pipes” (he collected rain water) and unsafe structures. One day his wife called me several times because she was so worried about him while he was out here for a few days and she thought he might die he was so stressed, couldn’t sleep, blood pressure 200 / 120, etc. They only have one car and she was a couple hours away.

They removed all the water pipes and stuff laying around, cleaned up the property, took down a shade structure over a camper and some other small structures.

One of the building guys recently told my neighbor he was “clear” — good to go. He was SO happy!

Then last week three guys from the building department including Ed Kulik showed up unannounced while he happened to be here. We are wondering whether his neighbor calls the building department every time my neighbor is out here. It’s too hot for him right now and it’s quite the coincidence that they met up with him. They told him that the building was unsafe, but didn’t elaborate.

My neighbor visited me later that day to tell me what happened and how upset he was, his blood pressure was 200 / 120 again and he’s just so stressed. He had NO idea what they wanted him to do and I suggested waiting for a more specific letter from the building department.

Yesterday I saw a county vehicle at his property and I ended up talking to George for quite a while. He was posting the abatement notice and since that’s all he does he didn’t have specific info either. He suggested that instead of calling my neighbor and giving him a heart attack, I might want to speak with Ed Kulik first to discuss specifics and work on a plan so the issues could be resolved and it wouldn’t be such devastating news.

This morning I spoke with Ed Kulik and my neighbor is so screwed.

While Mr. Kulik mentioned an unsafe entrance (you have to have lighting and a landing area and bla bla bla) and structural issues, they will not even tell my neighbor WHAT EXACTLY the problems are. According to Mr. Kulik, he needs to hire an architect or contractor to go through the house and bring it up to the International Property MAINTENANCE Code and then they’ll inspect it.

What exactly are my neighbor’s options?
Mr. Kulik said he had three options:

  1. Bring the building up to code.
  2. Remove the building.
  3. Do nothing and the County will take care of it.

The way I understand the process, the county sues and if the owner does not comply with the court order the county will pay for demolition and cleanup and attach a lien to the property.  Of course the land is essentially worthless, which is why so many people don’t pay their property taxes on vacant lots around here.

I know someone who went through this in Seligman (Yavapai County), got sued and had to pay over $800 for the permit to demolish a cabin that had been on the property when they purchased it.

Is it time to report the many worthless and abandoned properties to the County so it can remove these mobile homes and vehicles?

I could report at least 20 properties with gutted mobiles and often old scrapped vehicles in my neighborhood.  ALL of these abandoned mobiles fail to comply with the International Property Maintenance Code   Many are owned by out of area estates and nobody wants these properties because nobody will ever BUY them and you can’t live in them.

Should we start the process of getting these properties into County ownership?

Create some work for them that doesn’t kill our residents?

What exactly ARE the County’s maintenance requirements?

George said yesterday that the International Property Maintenance Code requires heating and A/C. I questioned A/C and he added that the County requires it because it’s so hot here.

I know that Unisource routinely shuts off power for non payment during hot summers because people can’t pay their bills.

Is the County going to condemn every house that doesn’t have power?  Where are these people supposed to go?

They don’t have the money to pay their power bills ….

When I mentioned to Mr. Kulik that my neighbor doesn’t even live in the house (he stays in a camper) he responded that there is a toilet in the house. I asked whether we could resolve the issue by removing the toilet, but no such luck.

The International Property Maintenance Code applies to ALL structures, everything that has 4 walls, such as pump houses, storage sheds, etc.

I forgot to ask whether these structures also had to have heating and A/C.

How many deaths and injuries have occurred in the last 200 years due to unsafe structures?

Mr. Kulik knew of NONE.

I knew two people who got hurt in mobile homes.  One died in Meadview in a mobile home fire (inhaling the chemicals in the smoke) and the other lost the use of her hands in a Golden Valley mobile home fire.

If anything, mobile homes should be outlawed.

Mobile homes are death traps, yet our County has no problem allowing people to die.

Health Impacts of Fire Smoke Inhalation

Most fatalities from fires are not due to burns, but are a result of inhalation of toxic gases produced during combustion. Fire produces a complex toxic environment involving flame, heat, oxygen depletion, smoke and toxic gases. As a wide variety of synthetic materials is used in buildings (insulation, furniture, carpeting, and decorative items) the potential for severe health impacts from inhalation of products of combustion during building fires is continuously increasing. …

So there is a REAL problem, people DIE, yet the County does NOTHING.

Lives are lost because people cannot afford to build real houses and they die in mobile home fires.

Synthetic materials are CONTINUALLY poisoning us.  Of course the toxic gasses are less concentrated and we don’t die immediately, but we are affected and some people are now so allergic they have to “air out” books before they can read them.

I so regret that I built my house with fiberglass insulation, OSB and sheet rock.  I’ve learned so much since I built, but if I had gone alternative, I’m sure they’d condemn my house too. Most “approved” materials are toxic. I’ll never understand why people LIKE the new car and new house stench.  The smell of sickness.

As of 2008 the County required building inspections for construction, tremendously increasing the cost of owner built homes.

In the last 10 years I’m aware of exactly ONE new home construction in 3 square miles of residential lots (guessing about 1500 vacant acres) in Lake Mead City and Unit 6 and 7. And the only reason that one house is built is because the daughter and her husband are moving here to take care of her elderly parents. Maybe there’s another one on a road I never drive.  Think about what this does to our economy!

Mr. Kulik also informed me that the BOS voted to adopt the International Property Maintenance Code and that he’s just following orders.

I’m emailing the link to this post to our supervisor Jean Bishop and I’m hoping we can work this out. Fortunately my neighbor didn’t have a heart attack when I called him and he wants to work WITH the County, but he is also ready to fight and take this to the media and maybe even look for an attorney.

The BOS has options:

The BOS could do as little as exempting all pre 2008 construction unless it is a safety hazard to OTHERS.   A neighbor’s storage trailer on Peach lost a significant part of the metal roof and one wall during a dust devil in 2006.  Fortunately, I was NOT painting my shed that afternoon because something hit the ladder I had been standing on 24 hours earlier and something hit and broke my brand new aluminum ladder.  I’ve seen carports blown hundreds of feet from their original location.  It’s an issue, but I can live with that. What can you do?  It’s how it is, the wind is getting worse.

My preferred option is to follow the lead of Cochise County:

Section 5 – Amendment Options.

Option 1: Full Construction Plan Review with Limited Building Code Inspection: This option when selected by the applicant during the permit issuance process requires (in addition to Zoning and other County Departments inspection requirements) that only Limited Building Code inspections dealing with the trade areas of Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Prevention be completed by County Building Inspectors. Full Construction Plan Review and the required limited Inspections for this option will be completed in accordance with the adopted Cochise County Building Safety Code.

Option 2: No Construction Plan Review with No Building Code Inspection: This option, when selected by the applicant during the permit issuance process requires (in addition to Zoning and other County Departments inspection requirements) that No Building Code inspections be completed by County Building Inspectors. In addition, by selecting this option, No construction plans are required to be submitted or reviewed by the County Planning Department.

  • Our code compliant TOXIC houses and especially mobile homes are killing us and we really should ENCOURAGE experimentation with alternative materials such as papercrete, hempcrete, adobe, cob, in-ground living areas, etc.
  • Mohave County revenues would INCREASE tremendously if people built homes here again.

Not only would property tax revenue increase, but the economy would benefit tremendously not just from the building, but from the residents paying for goods and services in Kingman and Bullhead and especially medical services can bring literally hundreds of thousands of dollars per resident to Mohave County — paid for by insurance and going directly to the people living in Mohave County:  the doctors, nurses, receptionists, janitors, lab technicians, etc. etc.

Sometimes I hear BOS discussions and it almost seams like they understand the huge positive economic impact of tourism.

Why don’t they understand the benefits of attracting more residents?

Is it Agenda 21?  They don’t WANT people in the rural areas anymore?

I don’t want every lot to be built on either, but we need BALANCE.  As so many of my friends and neighbors moved closer to doctors or died, many in their 60s, we need new people moving here, we need to get rid of the vacant unsafe mobile homes and encourage residents to BUILD.

Most land owners purchased lots here because they had a dream — to retire and to build their own home in the beautiful Mohave County high desert.

SO MANY have done this until 2008, when building inspections were required. Most built beautiful homes, far superior to even the most expensive mobile homes.

Nobody deserves the abuse my neighbor has been suffering.

ESPECIALLY in a county like Mohave County where a gazillion organizations pride themselves in supporting veterans, the County excels at causing harm. I don’t like to play the “vet card” because I believe that the truck drivers who deliver our food and all the crap we need deserve just as much respect and support. Truck drivers have a short life expectancy and many suffer with chronic ailments and extremely painful back issues. I’ve NEVER seen any kind of appreciation for the truck drivers’ service, or the nurses that wipes our asses when we’re sick or the teachers that teach our kids or the construction workers outside in this heat all day working on the roads.

Nobody deserves this harassment.

We ALL deserve BETTER!

My neighbor shouldn’t have to play the Vietnam Vet card, but it is an option.

My email to our supervisor Jean Bishop:
Dear Supervisor Bishop:

We need some urgent changes to the way the building and MAINTENANCE codes are enforced and the short story is at [this URL]

I really did not appreciate Ed Kulik’s attitude when I spoke to him today, but my neighbor was in good spirits when I called to give him the bad news because I promised to do whatever I can to assist him and he’s ready to fight.

However, he already sent an email to Mr. Kulik asking for an appointment as he would much rather resolve this issue instead of getting into a long drawn out legal and media battle. He asked me whether I could attend the meeting and of course I will if I don’t have to work. Maybe you could attend too? I know how busy you are, it’s an option.

Maybe you can stop this madness of requiring my neighbor to hire someone (who???) to determine which sections of the International Property Maintenance Code were violated?

And if it’s slow at County enforcement, I can certainly provide 20 or 30 VACANT properties to keep everybody busy and there is no need to put my neighbor into an early grave.

In my posting I addressed many related issues as well as solutions such as exemptions as in Cochise County. I don’t understand why Mohave County policies are turning one of the most beautiful deserts on the planet into this place of misery, depression, sickness and hopelessness.

Increasing the maximum square footage for non permitted structures to 300 sqft was an excellent step in the right direction, but what’s happening to my neighbor is insane!

I’ll greatly appreciate your looking into this abuse of power that quite likely WILL kill my neighbor and others,

Christine Baker

7/23/18 next LMRFD board meeting

The next meeting is 7/23/18 at the Dolan Springs Chamber of Commerce, presumably at 1:30 pm, but the time is omitted in the minutes. Chief DeMaio and chairwoman Cass entirely IGNORED my 6/10/18 request for various items to be added to the agenda. They didn’t even acknowledge my email. So I just wrote: Dear ChiefContinue Reading

Next Monday 6/25/18 LMRFD meeting at the Meadview MCA

1:30 pm Monday at the MCA I just looked at the agenda at — I don’t see the items I requested to go on the agenda a few weeks ago: My open letter to LMRFD regarding the ongoing disarray Am I not seeing it? Long hot day today … I would have posted theContinue Reading

My open letter to LMRFD regarding the ongoing disarray

It’s been TWO years since the new LMRFD (Meadview and Dolan Springs) fire district board took office. The good news is that LMRFD is not insolvent again. The bad news is the lack of transparency, constant state of confusion and strange things going on with the administrative assistant Karen and her complete and utter incompetence. Continue Reading

LMRFD fire board meeting next TUESDAY in Dolan Springs

Tuesday 5/29/18 1:30 pm at the Dolan Springs chamber. Lots of stuff going on: Discussion and action regarding: Acceptance of Resignation for LMRFD Board Member Rick Sherwood; effective June 18, 2018. (Cass) Rick is resigning?  Why? I was glad he asked some meaningful questions about the ambulance billing at the last meeting. I don’t knowContinue Reading

Meeting the needs of Dolan Springs 4/28/18

From the DSCC newsletter: April 28th a group of local citizens (Bob Waldorf and Debbie Bibi of Bibi’s Talent, Frank Geraci of Mohave Rancho Lumber, Jay Tschudy of Grand Canyon West Art Gallery) want to talk about “Meeting the Needs of Dolan Springs”.  What activities and programs should the community consider addressing and resolving? WhatContinue Reading