FAIRFIELD — Fifty-nine tires were not stored at his property, says homeowner Robert Gayer, who contends the city violated his constitutional rights with a cleanup first involving accumulated leaves and grass but which snowballed into something much larger.
The number of tires at the home he bought in 1974 is far less than the city’s count, said Gayer, 72, a retired mechanic.
He acknowledged having about 90 bicycles at the house along Daphne Drive but said they were stored carefully. Gayer began collecting bikes after reading about a program – later discontinued, he learned – to provide them as Christmas gifts to underprivileged children, he said.
Gayer said he’s unable to pay the $49,170 the city may seek in a special property tax assessment to cover costs to address conditions. He also contends that two years ago the city took cars valued at about $90,000 from his driveway.
Fairfield Police Capt. Darrin Moody said the vehicles were covered in muck, that the city didn’t violate Gayer’s constitutional rights and that the homeowner had a long time to comply after a neighbor complained about conditions.
“He chose not to,” Moody said of Gayer.
A falling fence was part of the problems at the 274 Daphne Drive property, around the corner from where the Marigold Fire took place, the police captain said.
“There’s a certain point,” Moody said, “where we have to step in for the safety of the community.”
“We have to do something,” he said.
Fairfield, which in 2013 obtained a nuisance abatement warrant from the Solano County Superior Court, followed the law in its effort to address problems, Moody said.
Gayer plans to speak Tuesday when the City Council takes up the recommended property tax assessment and said he’s hopeful about the outcome.
“I think justice has a funny way of working out,” he said.
About items that he’s had at his home, Gayer said: “I like to collect and hold on to things that have a monetary value.”
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.