"It's just total government abuse. This is still America," said
Brent Greer, who lives in Bradenton, Florida.
Greer is upset that city code enforcement officers inspected his
home in February after an anonymous complaint that a
15-foot(4.5-metre)-tall Christmas tree on his front porch had fallen
over, he said.
A code enforcement officer came to inspect, and Greer said, "My wife
gladly took it down."
The officer went on to cite Greer for a list of violations including
lack of screens on some windows, peeling house paint, yard debris,
and some rotted and loose wood, according to a copy of the complaint
provided by Greer.
City officials could not be reached for comment. Bradenton Mayor
Wayne Poston did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A code enforcement hearing is set for June 17 at which Greer said he
could be fined $250 a day.
Greer, who runs a landscaping business and acknowledges the
110-year-old home is not in perfect repair, said he made some
corrections but disputes other parts of the citation.
"There are no safety issues at my house. None. Zero," Greer said.
The Bradenton Herald described the house as one of the few old
residences along the Manatee River built before a boom in
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Greer said his wife Catherine, who holds an art degree, and their
seven children repainted the house in red, white and blue, complete
He said the family has received an outpouring of support,
particularly among veterans. He said they intend to further decorate
the house with a painted plywood Liberty Bell which they will place
where the Christmas tree had stood.
"It's in compliance," Greer said.
(Reporting by Kevin Gray; Editing by Sandra Maler)
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