by Sam Hieb
Forsyth County Commissioner Bill Whiteheart has a problem with vagrants squatting in for-rent trailers on his land. The City of Winston-Salem hasn’t been much help:
On Aug. 27, (Whiteheart) sent an e-mail to Police Chief Pat Norris, Mayor Allen Joines and City Manager Lee Garrity, asking for help.
“I continue to be concerned by the lack of identifiable progress being made to correct the problem of permitting statutory vagrants to elude enforcement of municipal codes and civil law while violating my lawful property rights,” Whiteheart wrote.
Lt. Brad Yandell, a police spokesman, said that Whiteheart needs to do everything he can to keep people from loitering on his land.
Whiteheart said he has posted several “no trespassing signs,” but there is no fence to keep people out, and he said he doesn’t think he should have to pay for such an expensive remedy.
Whiteheart said he has tried to lock some of the trailers, but that people have broken the locks. Now, many of the trailers remain open all of the time. One trailer, complete with a bed, nightstand and clothing, has no lock.
“If he has an issue with trespassers, he should be doing all that he can to alleviate that, because it ends up being a vicious cycle,’’ Yandell said. “If we go out there and tell them to leave and they leave, then they just come back.”
When Whiteheart called the police last week, Yandell said, police officers went out to the property and asked people on the site to leave and not return. Police made no arrests, Yandell said.
Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. Build a fence, Commissioner, complete with razor wire. Either that or hire a guy to sit out there with a pistol. He could live in one of the trailers and, to pass the time, he could build a bonfire and shoot rats.