But speaking of grounds for law suits, the property owners in the area surrounding the Bye/Grosslein hay field have plenty of reasons to sue - almost a million dollars of them - in the form of LOST PROPERTY VALUES. That's a lot of grounds when you add them up. Of course, if Nexus moves out of the area, this is a moot point. End of discussion. Life goes back to normal. But if D'Angelo builds on the 38 acres, well, Wow-ee-oh-boy! Just think about what's going to hit the fan!
The question is, who is responsible for our losses? Who do we sue?
I should preface all of this by telling you that we in the Neighborhood have already spoken to four real estate appraisers. There have been no tidings of great joy for us. Its all because of this sex offender facility. An appraiser I spoke with actually physically cringed when I explained our situation. He made a face, shook his head and looked at me with such sympathy, it scared me. "Is it THAT bad?" I asked. "Worse than you think," he said sadly. His wife, a realtor herself, added sardonically, "You won't have to worry about lost property values though. You won't be able to sell it." (Isn't that what I've been saying?) Nobody wants to live by them.
Obviously, it isn't our fault. We don't want the sex offenders next door. Didn't ask for this. Yet, we will incur huge financial damages.
Who should we sue to recover our losses?
Well, first there is Nexus. After all, it is their institution which is the cause of our dilema. This corporation could certainly afford to cover our damages. But then again, they aren't even willing to fulfill their tax obligation. They've shown no concern for our well-being so far. I doubt if they will reimburse us for the damages they cause. But they could...
The Mille Lacs Academy takes in well over $22,000 per day in county taxpayer money for the sex offenders. This non-profit company makes over a million dollars in profits per year. And need I remind you that Nexus had a budget of 38 million dollars last year? And for being such Big-Buckers, they only spend a small drop in the community Bucket; a lousy two hundred thousand, ( far less than CEO D'Angelo's sweet salary...) The question is, will Nexus own up to their responsibility? I don't see it coming. They have the funds to hire fancy corporate lawyers, whereas we are just your average joes, trying to keep our heads above water. Still, if push comes to shove (and Nexus is already a proven pusher), what choice do we have? We have to defend ourselves, don't we?
Next we have the City of Onamia, the entity responsible for choosing the faulty location and facilitating the bum deal which is the cause of our dilema. Certainly there is no question that the city should reimburse us for damages. But can they? I mean, do they have the nearly one million dollars to pay the affected property owners? The individuals responsible are: Mayor Larry Milton, Bill Hill Jr., Mark Loch, Bob Mickus, and Jerome Kryzer. City clerk Kathleen McCullum has also done her share in this "project". Can the land owners also sue these individuals who caused the drastic drop in property values? I don't know. I certainly hope that it never gets to the point where I have to find out.
Of course, WE might have grounds to sue not only Mille Lacs County, but ALL of the counties where the sex offenders originally came from. These juveniles are not OUR problem. Why should we lose our property values because some teenager in Scott County molested a toddler? WE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT! So why should we be penalized? Would you stand idly by while somebody screwed you out of maybe $50,000? $80,000? (I'd be hollering over a buck ninety eight, just out of principle...) Maybe if all of us sued all of the counties who have dumped their problems in OUR community, someone would say "Enough is enough!"
I was reading an Internet message board the other day about this stuff. People from all over the country were discussing their own damaged property values due to their local sex offenders. One guy in New Hampshire had been trying to sell his house for a year without success. After dropping the asking price down to the rock-bottom-get-this-white-elephant-unloaded range, he finally received an offer. It was $75,000 LESS than minimum! There was ONE sex offender in his neighborhood. We are expecting 94.
Finally, there is the seller of the 38 acres - the man who is solely responsible for our situation. He's an odd duck. Although I knew his dad, the first time I talked to the seller was last fall. He actually telephoned me right before the last election, campaigning for the Bush side. (Hmmm. Talk about telephone harassment!) Yes, he was a man on a mission. Anyway, while trying to convince me to vote his way, (Cold Day in Hell), we had quite a political discussion. He actually (and I'm not making this up, I mean, who could???) told me that out in California, they are teaching homosexuality in the schools. No kidding. He believes that! He was very concerned that the democrats are promoting homosexuality, and if they won the election, our Onamia school would follow in California's footsteps; begin instructing our students on how to be a homosexual... and pretty soon all of our kids will turn gay. Nevermind the homophobia. Is this kind of thinking even rational?
Like I said, I'm not making this up. (If you know him, you're probably nodding your head right now.) He went on to rant about the gay marriage issue and brought in the Bible to support his viewpoint. Although we discussed at length, I eventually realized that any attempt to reason with this stubborn, sick individual was a lost cause. I said my farewell, wrote him off as a fanatical Door Knob and went back to watching bull riding with my family. Yes. We are PBR fans.
Who would ever in a million years think that just a few months later, this delusional homophobic Door Knob would welcome 94 sex offenders, many of them homosexuals who may have themselves been convicted of molesting innocent little boys - into his own neighborhood??? so that they can frollick in his dad's woods like 4 H-ers??? Be honest. Don't you think this is the strangest thing you've ever heard? It's pretty close to the top of my Weird Shit List. I've been puzzling about this for months. How could THIS nut be the one stealing my happiness? It's just crazy!
This religiously obsessive, homophobic oddball says "Its not about the money," although he probably didn't complain too much about selling the 38 acres for far more than fair market value, (nor did I hear he offered to donate the land for those leaf-raking boys who are so well behaved in church). This situation is so bizarre! But I kind of have to laugh - granted with perhaps a wee bit too much high-pitched hysteria than would normally be deemed appropriate - when I think about what he's done. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. What in the world was he thinking???
This dweeb still resides on his parents' old farmstead. With the proximity of his home to the Nexus site, HE HAS CAUSED HIS OWN PROPERTY VALUE TO DROP BY 17% ON HIS OWN HOUSE AND ALL OF HIS REMAINING LAND!!!
Call me cold-hearted, if you must. But this sort of tickles me. At least there is some semblance of poetic justice in this. The joke's on him. I mean, if Nexus stays and we are forced to enter the realm of court rooms and lengthy, expensive legal battles, who is this Ding-Dong going to sue for the loss of his property values?
Question: What do you call 100 dead lawyers at the bottom of Lake Onamia?
Answer: Just the beginning.