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Letters to The Platteville Journal for July 24
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Profiling buildings

Have you ever heard of profiling an individual?

The building inspector of Plattevile can now profile your property based on “appearances only,” even though your property meets the criteria of the law. Senior citizens of Platteville are the targets of profiling by the city and now backed by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

On July 15 the Zoning Board of Appeals targeted a senior citizen. The Building Inspector, Ric Riniker, told a 68-year-old sole proprietor to reroof his business, even though the roof doesn’t leak. No proof was offered by the city other than it was the “appearance” that blighted the area. Mr. Riniker stated under oath in court on Feb. 22 that the “roof didn’t leak” and that was the criteria under the law; therefore the roof complies with the city codes. But in his May 8 letter he again stated the roof had to be replaced. So if your roof doesn’t look right, has curled shingles, isn’t the right color, your neighbor doesn’t like its appearance, the city has the right to tell you to replace it.

The Common Council has authorized the profiling by appearance of senior citizens of Platteville and the Building Inspector carries out his orders.

The sole proprietor of the business had asked the city for an extension regarding another building on the property, but the city refused. He also asked for the criteria for minimum standards of the property maintenance codes, but they refused to tell him. It’s just easier for the city to say “it’s the appearance,” I don’t like it, so fix it. The city doesn’t care if you’re a senior or living on a fixed income or you just can’t afford the expense. The message is loud and clear: You’re old, and the city doesn’t like how it looks.

Now, the Zoning Board of Appeals has set a precedent by agreeing with the city’s profiling methods against unsuspecting seniors trying to comply with the actual letter of the city’s building codes. Profiling by “appearance “ is acceptable in Platteville. There isn’t any lawful criteria, just the opinion of the Building Inspector, and now the Zoning Board of Appeals agreed that it’s acceptable to profile an individual’s property by “appearance. What’s next?

It is my opinion that senior business proprietors are not wanted in Platteville. If you don’t comply with a property maintenance order you will be fined, and if you can’t afford it, you will go to jail and your property sold.

Support the senior business owner by calling the City Manager’s office, 348-9741 ext. 6, and tell them that profiling by appearance is not acceptable to our citizens. 

Debara Mayo
375 S. Chestnut St., Platteville

The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters the Journal feels are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.