I'm supposed to get a phone call from the Chief of Police today. I won't hold my breath. Frankly, he should be meeting with me in his office. And he'd better call me Mrs. Linklater.
A few years ago all the yards on my side of the block were suddenly flooded for several weeks in the springtime. Everybody was buying above ground sumps to pump out all the standing water because it wouldn't drain any more when it rained.
This was during the early part of the teardown frenzy when two new turreted monstrosities had not only been built with greatly enlarged footprints, but the builders had also raised the grade on the properties by a foot. So I wrote a letter to the village on behalf of our block. No answer. A year passed. I wrote another letter, noting that the village had not bothered to answer the first letter.
This time somebody came out to look at our flooded back yards. His comment was, "Yes, they're flooded." We insisted on a meeting with the entire village committee that oversees flooding. I think they're called the Flood Commission. First they tried to tell us it was OUR fault that eight yards were suddenly full of water that wouldn't drain in the spring. They said it was because we had all added lots of additional landscaping. They also blamed the weather. No. And no.
The most interesting thing for me was meeting with the village manager before the meeting and noticing that his mouth was so driy when he was talking to me that he had to get a glass of water. Hey, I've scared this guy. Good.
However, after the third meeting when the committee offered to fix our flooding for a mere $1500 per property and we said NO!! THE FLOODING IS YOUR FAULT BECAUSE YOU ALLOWED THE GRADE TO BE RAISED ON THE NEW HOMES, it looked like we were at a stalemate.
Until a new mother two doors down from me showed up to rip them new body parts for destroying all her grass. She wasn't just any new mother. She was a very attractive former flight attendant who had an All American ex-football player husband. She stood up in that meeting holding her three week old baby and cussed them out royally. Yes, it was quite a sight to see a pretty new mom holding her infant and screaming -- really -- at those "assholes."
If I'd done that, it would have been dismissed as a crazy lady thing. After her tirade, the village found a way to fix the problem that didn't cost any of us a dime.
I told her she'd done us all a huge favor, but she had no concept of the power she had wielded by showing up. But she understood once I explained it to her.
Too bad the wellness check that happened to me didn't happen to her. We'd have a new top cop and several new village employees.