Last week, on Veteran’s Day, I received notification from the City of Pueblo ordering payment of $1,588 for trash and weed abatement at a rental property I own on Polk Street in the Mesa Junction neighborhood. Apparently I’m one of the lucky winners thanks to City Council’s recent decision to seek payment for old liens.
At first I thought my current tenants might be at fault but then I looked at the notification again and realized I was being billed for a City Code Violation that occurred in August/September 2011 before I bought the property out of foreclosure. The owner of record at the time of violation was the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, better known as Freddie Mac. Remember them? One of the Government Sponsored Entities (GSE) that helped facilitate the mortgage/housing bubble and ensuing financial crisis.
As I investigated the assessment I was being asked to pay it became clear that no one in the City’s Finance Department made any serious effort to collect the assessment from Freddie Mac. They mailed a few invoices and then gave up when a check didn’t magically appear. What a shame. As I recall the City really could have used that money in 2011 when the economy hit bottom. Maybe City employees were too busy drinking vodka and driving around town topless at the time.
In any case, what really bothers me is the thought that some of our military veterans who reside in Pueblo probably also received an assessment on Veteran’s Day. Sort of like having someone spit on your face as a birthday present.
It makes me wonder if Pueblo is really the Home of Heroes or if it’s actually a place where the Homes of Heroes are used in a public extortion scheme.
Where were you and your tough talk when it was time to hold the big banks and mortgage lenders responsible?
Shame on you City Council.