No Man's Land
For several weeks now, a leaning tree has been endangering my house and possibly my personal safety. Were that tree to fall, it could take out the spare bedroom, which is directly above the master bedroom.
Why haven't we cut down the tree? It's located in no man's land.
I don't own the property on which the tree is now precariously rooted after the recent monsoons, and neither does my neighbor own that strip of land — or so she claims and so her most recent survey indicates. So far, in a game of telephone tag, the county also claims not to own the strip of land where the tree is rooted.
If the county does own the land and we cut down that tree, however, we'll be in violation of a tree-preservation ordinance. And the county is very proactive about enforcing local ordinance. I know from personal experience that county inspectors come out of nowhere when it's time to issue citations and collect hefty fines.
Dealing with government bureaucracy is a maddening experience. One discovers that the servants whose salary comes from the taxpayers' pockets are not servants at all. Instead, they are the masters — and unresponsive ones. In other words, big government is adept at stonewalling and leave us, the citizens, in limbo.
Just imagine national health care and the resulting bureaucratic red tape. If a local government won't respond to a citizen's threatened safety from a falling tree, how will the federal government respond to health-care needs?
Note: I wrote this post last week. As of yesterday afternoon, the tree has fallen onto my house! At any moment I might lose phone service and my Internet connection: the fallen tree is wrapped around my phone line. If I fall silent here, you'll know why! Today, I'll make the safari to the county land-records office to attempt to determine the ownership of the fallen tree. Thus far, the county maintains that the tree belongs to either my neighbor or me.