I am writing to bring attention to the stupidity of the Harlem City Council and administration.
I moved into Harlem to get away from all the red tape and politics of the "bigger" cities. I was hoping that a small city like Harlem would be easier to deal with. Well, it turns out that they are worse and locked into their own way of seeing things, unless it suits their individual needs.
If it's a change they don't want it, and if it's an improvement, they refuse. They just like it the way it is regardless of if it is backward, or unless it is something that they or a friend want to do.
Here are the examples. I went through a tremendous amount of trouble to get all the paperwork to build a new home in Harlem. I went through Columbia County to have the plans approved. All went fine until I went to Harlem to get the final building permits.
The city staff and administration likes to interpret laws they don't understand. I was not allowed to build a new home that was to replace an old trailer. I was told that I had to remove the trailer first. How can I do that if I don't have a place to live? ...
The Harlem city staff told me that it was the law. So I asked which law it was in particular and they did not know, but said it was the law. Well, after I reviewed the law, I found the wording and also found a way around what I believed was the real intent of the law.
When I brought it to the attention of City Manager Jean Dove and Planning and Zoning Coordinator Denise Carter, both tried to interpret the law to fit their rationale to say no.
They did not allow me to apply for a building permit. ... So after much deliberation we have decided to leave Harlem altogether and let them live in their own world.
Interestingly enough, we went through six different contractors who all said that they did not want to build in Harlem due to the difficulties of getting things done.
As another example, the IGA was going to build a new supercenter in Harlem but they, too, have pulled out because the city staff, trying to have things their way and making decisions out of ignorance, told IGA that they had to use certain materials as opposed to the better materials requested by IGA.
I am not certain how these people stay in office, but I assume it's the good ol' boy network. These issues are not isolated. Several citizens had planned on attending the last scheduled city council meeting only to find out that the council met a week prior without notifying anyone. These citizens are very unhappy with the way things are being run in Harlem.
Yet another closed issue was that re-elections were coming, up but the city did not do a very good job of notifying the citizens. Several people found out by accident, and when they went to apply for the city council positions the application deadline had passed.
Go figure. It's easy to get re-elected when you run unopposed. ...
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