the title of the post is courtesy of julia. thanks, julia!

i just spoke to ryan and now i feel kind of stupid about this whole thing. i guess it doesn’t take too much for me to be on edge as far as oak park goes.

i haven’t heard back from my lawyer yet, but i’m gonna throw caution to the wind and tell you the story. it will all come out eventually, so there’s really no reason to worry now about saying “the wrong thing”.

*h brought in the mail last night and said “uh oh. there’s a letter for you from the oak park technical and planning. i wonder what they want…”

so i picked up the envelope and held it for a minute trying to imagine what new harassment awaited us. and i finally figured that what i was imagining had to be worse than what it was. so i opened it and this is what it says:

“our records indicate that you own property in the City of Oak Park that is being rented or occupied under an arrangement wherein payments made are equivalent to or constitute rent, or for other considerations. please complete the enclosed form and return it to our office with all applicable fees, within ten (10) days. if you no longer own rental property in Oak Park, please notify the city in writing.”

there is info about the landlord registration and rental inspection program. they sent some forms for me to fill out and submit with various payments to them.

the letter is unsigned, and simply says,  sincerely, housing inspector (typed).

the people who are living in our house are the people who are buying our house. we let them move in early because it was win-win. we wouldn’t leave an abandoned house in oak park, and they would have a place to live while they got their mortgage approved, etc. our neighbors approved of them before we agreed to sell to them. they are a sweet young family who i am CERTAIN are not doing any harm. they, unlike us (or the perception of us), are not trouble-makers, and one of the first things they wanted to do was to put in a lawn. (whatever)

so folks, here’s what is raising my hackles:

1- what records indicate that we have rented or occupied property? neither we nor the people who are buying our house filed anything with the city.

2- why would they be poking around our former house? it’s not as if anyone called them to complain. it’s not as if anyone even did anything.

3- once again, the letter is addressed to me only. *h and i own the house together, so (not that i want *h to be in trouble), it’s quite curious that they are picking me out alone.

4- it’s highly suspicious to me that they just happened to realize, the day after the election (where the candidate i supported won. not because of me, mind you. but i was very public about my support for her), that i have a property which someone else is living in.

5- does it strike anyone weird that the letter is not signed? there is no person to speak to, nobody to be accountable, nobody who is willing to claim this letter. so if this is an above-the-board correspondence, why is it anonymous? all i know at this point is that it is from the technical and planning department the playground of good old kevin rulkowski, who was a mayor naftaly acolyte all the way.

6- is it possible they are just trying to get inside the house? is it possible this is a fishing expedition to dig up more dirt so they can continue their harassment? i don’t want to sound paranoid, but this certainly seems suspect…

the whole things just aggravates me. it’s not enough that they stole the summer from my kids with their persecution of us. it’s not enough that they made me physically ill from their antics. it’s not enough that the cases were dismissed. they have some kind of sick desire to keep coming back, and there’s just no reason for it. i feel like i got out of their grasp, but i guess as long as i have any ties to the city, they will keep trying to pay me back for having a garden. i am so relieved that marian will be in office soon, and i’m hoping this will all end.

the closing of the sale on the house will happen soon (unless the city does something to mess that up). marian will be in office soon, but i don’t know how much she will be able to do on something that was already set in motion. my lawyer is on it.

and yes, one can sue a city for harassment.

now that i talked it out with ryan, i see things are not as bad as they might have been. but i am still stressed out about what they are trying to do (quick quick, before the new mayor gets in…). WHY do they want me to register with them? WHY do they want a city offical to get access to a house we don’t even live in? WHY were they combing records and WHY do they claim to have info on record that they clearly don’t? i’m sorry if i made you guys stressed out, but really- does this all seem a bit off to you too?