These days it seems the only time we read about our elected officials in the news is when they have done something wrong. I'm grateful for the opportunity to report instead about a local politician who went the extra mile for one of his constituents.
I've lived in Manatee County for most of my life and in Bradenton for more than 25 years. We choose to remain in the city because, in spite of all the growth, it remains in many ways the small town that I grew up in as I believe this letter will illustrate.
A few weeks ago we received a notice from code enforcement informing us that a bush on our property was in violation of a city ordinance and allowing us just four business days to correct it.
Despite several attempts, I was unable to reach an agreement with code enforcement concerning the matter. Additionally, as I'm disabled and would have to hire the work done, I requested additional time. A request which was denied.
I then contacted Bradenton City Councilman Patrick Roff's office. His assistant, Rene Raymond, was extremely helpful and agreed to bring this to Councilman Roff's attention despite the fact that he was preparing to leave on vacation.
I had met Mr. Roff many years ago when we were both volunteers at Art Center Manatee but hadn't spoken with him since.
Councilman Roff called me the next morning and agreed to handle the matter personally. With most politicians this would mean a few phone calls on my behalf but a half hour later he showed up at our house with a chainsaw and hedge clippers and he settled the matter by trimming the bush in question personally.
Patrick Roff's actions revealed that he is not only a good city councilman, but also a good neighbor.
Robert Bieber, Jr.