Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

City’s actions snowballed to this saga, homeowner says

By
From page A3 | May 03, 2014 |

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 [email protected]

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Discussion | 8 comments

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  • L.May 03, 2014 - 2:07 am

    They mention the fire on Marigold being close to this property. To be fair, are they going to tax themselves, too? It wasn't this guys mess that caused that fire, but the City's own overgrown, neglected mess that led to that one.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Tax PayerMay 03, 2014 - 5:34 am

    Another hoarder out there. There are lots of them. How would you like to like next to him?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMay 03, 2014 - 6:10 am

    “There’s a certain point,” Moody said, “where we have to step in for the safety of the community.” Oh brother. Don't get me started.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BSMay 03, 2014 - 9:23 am

    Just file an appeal. That's what the city does when they don't want to pay a bill that they don't feel is fair. They need your money to help pay for that civil rights verdict. Funny how they pick on this one senior citizen. Half of Fairfield is a dump with cluttered cars, bikes and crap. Look at the Lawn Mower shop on Union at Tabor. That dump ruins the entire neighborhood. Mr. Gayer, your retired. Drive around and take pictures of all the dumpy properties in Fairfield and demand equal treatment of these folks. Your probably a home owner. The city caters to section 8 folks and cares less about the tax payers. Demand that every dump in Fairfield be cited.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • HKMay 03, 2014 - 1:05 pm

    Even better, Mr.Garey should document all the overgrown city property out there. It was the city's negligent upkeep of its property that caused the Marigold fire to spread. Of course, the city will never take responsibility for that; too busy finding a way to weasel out of "we have to step in for the safety of the community" FPD's $300,000 in-N-Out adventure.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithMay 03, 2014 - 1:58 pm

    The rattier and more run-down a city looks, the more rats will move in. This is just a piece of the puzzle as to why Fairfield has become such a depressing, violent city. This one should be easy to address, if there is a will to do so at city hall.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 03, 2014 - 9:28 pm

    Are you all really siding with this guy?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Hoarders--yuck!May 03, 2014 - 9:53 pm

    Ugh--another one! When Code Enforcement took care of the one in our neighborhood, the homeowner there had to bring in a truck and trailer to empty all the crap out of their yard. The surrounding neighbors (even two houses away!) ended up with rats and mice--it was AWFUL. The rats chewed through the wiring in one of our cars. Our house became infested with flies. Mice ran around our kitchen. I've never in my life experienced anything like that. It was expensive for us--fixing the car, hiring the exterminator, cleaning out the damage. Before you take potshots at the City for other crap, think about what it's like for those poor neighbors. I've been there and wouldn't wish it on anyone. Now that those neighbors are gone, things have gone back to normal for everyone. I don't have to pay for extermination services anymore!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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