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A Citizen Engagement News Thread

el Guapo

Every town has one of these obnoxious guys who regularly pontificates during the open mic period at public meetings. Occasionally their tirades are spot-on critiques of a disfunctional or corrupt local government.



We've had one lately who just says "It's a waste of time" and leaves when we reach that section of the agenda.


If you're that guy you should realize everyone has stopped listening to you because you don't listen to the people talking to you. If there were some compromise or something maybe, but these so often come in as one sided arguments. The poor guy is arguing at a brick wall. At the same time I have no problem letting people get their say. Most often if they get their say then they're done. Unless this is the guy who rambles for half an hour without going anywhere. He's just gotta go. Or maybe that will be me when I retire.


Super Moderator
Every town has one of these obnoxious guys who regularly pontificates during the open mic period at public meetings. Occasionally their tirades are spot-on critiques of a disfunctional or corrupt local government.

Used to deal with one of those. He was a self anointed "reverend" and used to show up to any public meeting regarding the redevelopment project I was working on. His building was across the street from our office. One day it was storming and dark in the late afternoon, I looked across the street at his building and saw a little red blinking light. That asshole was recording our office.


I once had one get elected to the City Council... that was an adventure for a few years.


Super Moderator
Then my friend you may have a tort cause of action. Congratulation$$$
He wasn't worth piss in a pot. In the end he lost his property to eminent domain and moved his "ministry" onto the road in an RV.


I once had one get elected to the City Council... that was an adventure for a few years.

Did he find the secret corruption files kept in the vault behind the velvet painting of the town founders?


Did he find the secret corruption files kept in the vault behind the velvet painting of the town founders?

No... because I kept those in the wall safe behind the painting of dogs playing poker!

We kept the Zoning Board minutes and unread Comprehensive Plans in the vault.


Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Not so much at a meeting but I am forced to read this letter to our attorney:

We are continuously confused, confounded and actually quite concerned about your recently
received letter on behalf of the City of West Burlington. Surely the City of West Burlington is
not actually acting under unlawful, unethical and tyrannical procedures without proper due
process of law? You must be aware that that your letter consisted of mostly misrepresented
and wholly unfounded in law and fact allegations!
Regarding your outrageously ridiculous contention that the statement referenced email
written to Mr. Ryan in the (sic) “the lengthy string of emails” somehow indicated that we
have admitted that we had violated a city code apparently in regards to “junk vehicles”?
NEVER SO! That is completely and totally false as you surely must know? Any attorney
that would knowingly and intentionally taking some statement purposefully out of
context to justify his client's unlawful position!
Please be advised that everything written, at the time written in emails, in the context written
is indeed to be considered factual and 100% accurate when written and not one admitted to
anything or certainly to any admission of wrong doing. If one reads the full series of emails
one could only come away with the understanding of the emails was that we NEVER
admitted to ANY code violation period as written to Mr. Ryan and yourself!
First of all, pursuant to West Burlington code 51.02 "JUNK AND JUNK VEHICLES
PROHIBITED." and 51.03 "JUNK AND JUNK VEHICLES A NUISANCE." please note that
"junk" is integrated with "junk vehicle." Then, in regards to 51.01(2)(A) which indicates,
"Inoperable. Any vehicle which lacks an engine, one or more wheels, or other part, rendering said
vehicle incapable of being driven under its own motor power." Of course any such city ordinance
must be interpreted under the legally established standards for “junk vehicles” unless it
accept the common ordinary and pejorative understanding of such.
- 2 -
Surely you must be aware that the common, ordinary and pejorative understanding of "junk
vehicles" is a vehicle that is not useful and therefore only useful for, and intended for, the
selling of its parts. It normally has missing parts and is located in a junk yard or place that
specially deals with the selling of vehicle parts just as 51.01(2)(A) indicates. Going along with
the above West Burlington code, the city ordinance goes further, indicating "It is unlawful for
any person to store, accumulate, or allow to remain on any private property within the corporate limits
of the City any junk or junk vehicle." Obviously this could only be about a confirmed or
admitted true “junk vehicle(s)” and not about another's mere opinion and could never be
about merely one person's opinion. If not, some vengeful person could merely proceed to
declare someone’s brand new sports car as a “junk vehicle” and proceed against them.
Now then please be advised that Black's Law Dictionary--via National Motor Vehicle Title
Information System--defines "junk vehicles" this way: "junk automobile means an
automobile that (a) is incapable of operating on public streets, roads, and highways; AND
(b) has no value except as a source of parts or scrap." (emphases added).
Please further note that ALL of the three (3) pictured vehicles (not just 2) in Mr. Ryan's letter
of unfounded attacks, have and always have had ALL their original wheels, have motors that
run, and literally have, and always had, absolutely NO parts missing that are necessary for
them to run as indicated within 51.01(2)(A). In fact the only thing (sic) “admitted”what was
that we were and are in the process of fixing two (2) vehicles safely parked upon a durable
surface—formerly asphalt based--in an area that has always been designated as a parking are
for vehicles and set up to avoid any safety issues off the alley in the back on our property?
Again we are confused? Pursuant to established standards under fact and law and pursuant
to West Burlington code, which must be properly understood under legal standards,
including its integrated "junk" with "junk vehicles", there are, and never have ever been any
"junk vehicles" at our address indicated by outrageous, unfounded complaints. Furthermore
there were NEVER been any code violation pursuant therefore to vehicles. And it is is absurd
and ridiculous to infer that somehow we have ever admitted to owning, or ever owned
anything close to the legal or pejorative understanding of "junk vehicles" per West Burlington
code which integrates "junk" with "junk vehicles."
Here please insert all emails in their entirety for reference and fact! Proper understanding of
our statements made in their entirety and in context, indicate literally the opposite of your
ridiculous and unethical knowingly erroneous comment! It was merely admitted and
confirmed that the vehicles are indeed viable and were then awaiting some minor repairs.
This actually CONFIRMS our contention that we have no—never have had--“junk
vehicles” and therefore PROVES NO VIOLATION. in any manner. of any city code(s)!
- 3 -
"Due process is essential to guaranteeing fairness before the government may deprive a
person of life, liberty, or property." "Expediency cannot hinder proper due process of law."
Referring to Shawn Ryan's threatening letter of May 31st, there was an admitted GIS 2018
flyover. Then there are admitted pictures taken by Shaun Ryan which were NEVER
authorized by us here at this property. The 2018 flyover is completely meaningless of course
because we always parked the same vehicles in the relative same positions throughout past
year or so--at times all three as literally pictured by Mr. Ryan--from you and Mr, Ryan's
letters, it appears that GIS 2018 flyover was used to target properties. And then Mr. Ryan was
sent around to take pictures its assumed here.
Considering Mr. Ryan's unauthorized picture from the alley of our property--we are here
formally complaining of an unlawful and unwarranted invasion of our privacy without
authorization required--Mr. Ryan's picture in his letter clearly shows three (3) vehicles and yet
it is/was unspecified as to which vehicles were actually to be considered "junk cars
(vehicles)"? Notwithstanding all, Mr. Ryan seemingly sent out "legal" treats--not in any way
friendly or neighborly. The letter of Mr. Ryan clearly shows he was unscrupulously and
without authorization violating our privacy surreptitiously--aka. spying for the City of West
Burlington....why again was this done to us?
Unfortunately all of what has happened to date in this matter does not comport in any
manner to the normal due process required for something like this to take place. Normally
there is some sort of specific complaint or initiated/identified by mayor and/or a council
person. Usually there is some preliminary vote later taken by the city council to proceed. At
this point there is usually a letter put out by the mayor/council to inform citizens that there is
about to be a 'crackdown' upon some issue for some therein clearly stated reason and that
anyone objecting should come to a scheduled council meeting concerning this issue to express
opinions and opposition. Then following this scheduled meeting, the council actualy takes a
vote to physically enforce the issue or not. Following a vote to enforce, there would be special
letters put out warning that there will be an enforcement beginning on some specified date
and specifying what is needing to be done and how any citizen is to be investigated and what
is to be don, and what is to be done under any special instance, etc., etc. THEN enforcement
is undertaken under the conditions clearly spelled out in the special letter of warning sent to
all citizens of the city or village, etc.
Be advised: we were never informed of any citywide crackdown upon “junk vehicles”!
- 4 -
This means that the City of West Burlington was and is woefully delinquent in its due
process procedures needed in regards to anything such as "junk cars." There was NEVER
following of legal due process, and no following through with due process whatsoever!
It must also be admitted here that Mr. Ryan proceeded without full knowledge of any
actual property any code (sic) “violations” concerning our property indicated when he
surreptitiously took unauthorized pictures—spied—unlawfully violating our privacy!
Mr. Ryan took a picture actually showing three (3) vehicles and other items. Careful reading
of all the emails shows clearly that when the picture was taken the pallet storage was in fact
in the process of being disassembled and distributed following the recent citywide cleanup.
When Mr. Ryan wrote his letter, with his admitted and egregious unauthorized disrespectful
pictures, invading our privacy and peace of mind--basically showing meaningless
information--we actually believed that that letter was a friendly and neighborly letter
bringing our attention to the possibility of a city code violation for the incomplete at that time
pallet storage dis-assembly and distribution. Obviously the cares pictures--all of them--were
not "junk cars"-by his picture alone!
We responded to that letter and indicating our plans and what was going on sice it had been
raining. Again careful reading of what was written in all letters clearly indicates that we here
are in the midst of fixing many things and that the cars indicated in writings would soon be
fully restored and that is in process you should be happy to note, just as indicated.
We do not believe that a transitory cleaning up of some storage constitutes any code
violation whatsoever. We have said within lengthy emails, claims that we have NEVER
intentionally VIOLATED any city code at any time! Our property is OUR PROPERTY and
we are of course not interested any "nuisance" whatsoever and you now have plenty of
verification of this!
It appears then that this entire complaint must only consists of complaint about our one-time
pallet storage being unsightly. If one carefully reads emails the remnants of this are gone!
Additionally, as previously indicated herein and throughout, the current surface, below
which two (2) vehicles are lawfully parked, behind the chain-linked fence, which has
NEVER moved or ever been upgraded from the original intention of allowing vehicles to
park there, consists of an asphalt--presumably durable--but never (sic) "dust-free" surface!
- 5 -
It might be included her that Jeff, as a professional engineer has been around and set up up
"dust-free" areas. As a expert, he can indicate that even the best so-called "dust-free" areas are
themselves not truly "dust free!" Any reference to "dust-free" coupled to garages or "durable
surfaces" is completely incompetent and making any ordinance obviously moot.
Because of Mr. Ryan's (and the City's) unauthorized and unlawful invasion of our privacy, a
court of law pursuant to Iowa Code §364.22 (2014) should now certainly consider this to any
unlawful and unethical filing and consider additional damages for harassment based upon
unlawful threats to our property and well-being without lawful reason or purpose.
Iowa Code §364.22 (2014) paragraph 5(a) states "The matter shall be tried before a magistrate,
a district associate judge, or a district judge in the same manner as a small claim...."
Please additionally be advised that Iowa Code §364.22 (2014) paragraph 5(b) states "The city
has the burden of proof that the municipal infraction occurred and that the defendant
committed the infraction. The proof shall be by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence."
1. What is the actual legal date in which the previously referenced City of West
Burlington code (51.xx) became effective and specify each and every sub-chapter
completely date defective if not all are the same as needed?
2. What additional proof do you have in your possession that is in contrast to our just
stated FACTs?
3. Please specify each and every date wherein Mr. Ryan or any City of West Burlington
official investigated without permission—aka. spied-- upon our property and clearly
indicate any and all times and individuals by full name including address they live at?
Of course we are herein reserving the right to further Discovery as is necessary in this case.
All City of West Burlington council members and Mayor are considered witnesses and will be
needed in person for any and all Iowa Code §364.22 filings, etc. as needed at our direction.
Sworn upon our oaths with regards,