Coun­cil says no threats on cleanup

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PETRICE TAR­RANT

A stand-off between an an­gry Toko­roa res­i­dent and the South Waikato District Coun­cil over a sec­tion clear­ance has dragged on for more than a year.

But while Roger Drower claims that a South Waikato District Coun­cil worker used ‘‘ bul­ly­ing and stan­dover tac­tics’’ and threat­ened to re­pos­sess his house if he did not clear his prop­erty, the coun­cil says it was never the case and that it has no intention of pay­ing the $2600 bill he’s sent them.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Hobbs said Drower was asked to ‘‘clean up his prop­erty’’ af­ter a com­plaint from the public, but said he was only asked to re­move a por­tion of what was dumped.

‘‘The scrap in ques­tion con­sisted of dis­used bro­ken old toys, piles of wood of­f­cuts that were not stacked... old gear­boxes, wire frames and gen­eral house­hold rub­bish.’’

Hobbs said the coun­cil had sev­eral years of his­tory with Drower over scrap ma­te­rial on both his com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties.

In this in­stance he was was given ‘‘a few months’’ to get rid of all ac­cu­mu­lated rub­bish, he said.

‘‘ Mr Drower ac­knowl­edged that the rub­bish was po­ten­tial har­bourage for ver­min and agreed to re­move scrap.’’

But Drower said what was dumped was done so out of fear his house would be taken.

He said a coun­cil worker, John An­der­son, came onto his prop­erty and failed to in­tro­duce him­self be­fore telling him he had to get rid of what would have been this sea­son’s fire­wood and a few of his chil­dren’s toys.

Drower has since in­voiced the coun­cil for $2600 un­der the name ‘‘ Man on a Mis­sion’’ for the dumped goods.

Drower and his wife Naomi laid an of­fi­cial com­plaint with the coun­cil over the in­ci­dent.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Kerry Fabrie said the com­plaint was in­ves­ti­gated but no dis­ci­plinary ac­tion was required.

‘‘Mr An­der­son did not threaten to re­pos­sess the house in 14 days. This is out­side our ju­ris­dic­tion,’’ Fabrie said.

Drower wanted a for­mal apol­ogy and re­place­ment of the dumped goods.

Waikato ’ South District Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Hobbs

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