Torpy’s article described me traveling to speak to a class of physical therapy students and attending the Georgia Florida football game. The article ran the Sunday of the Thanksgiving holiday and I was discharged from home health services the following Monday. Bill didn’t leave me hanging. The paper ran a follow up article that had a headline on the front page, top fold above the paper’s name. Fortunately a major contributor to Congressman Mac Collins’ campaign, my U.S. Representative, became livid over my discharge. The financial backer of Collins called me and said expect a call from the Congressman. Mac Collins called and my home health services were restored immediately.
My story went viral in the disability community. I began receiving thousands of emails from individuals sharing similar experiences and they were asking for my help! Me? Why me? I had no experience amending laws, but I had been so fortunate I could not turn my back on them. I founded The National Coalition to Amend the Medicare Homebound Restriction, NCAHB. Bob Dole honorary chairman.. Long story short after a lot of effort and a lot of dedicated people assisting President Bush signed an executive order on national television relaxing the homebound restriction for Medicare disability beneficiaries.
Fast forward to the present I am battling bureaucracy again trying to save my wife’s life, but unfortunately I do not have a major financial contributor to a political campaign in my corner. I did write my county commissioner Paul Poole email@example.com, but since I am a nobody to him he did not bother to respond to the email that took me nearly three hours to type, not even a politically correct excuse absolving himself.
I freely admit I was naïve to think it was OK to enclose an existing pole barn on our property and let couples marry in our field, so I could fund a caregiver also pay for tests and therapies that will save Carey’s life, without asking permission from the county and state, I never fathomed in my wildest dreams we would have to pay for a sound study, traffic study, most likely a turn lane, sprinklers in the barn and house while seeking the approval of 15 government agencies. The Hitching Post died at the starting gate.
I told Coweta County’s building department that I wanted to complete the barn for personal use and requested the construction permit that was not present when a building inspector and the fire marshal halted construction. The head of the building department, Ed Davis, personally delivered the permit, but the man could not look me in the eye.
It quickly became apparent the building department was out to teach me a lesson. I had to pay the environmental health department $125 to write a letter stating the barn was not built on top of the septic tank or drain field. The construction permit cost $75. I was informed an inspector must come out to the property before construction resumes. This seemed somewhat reasonable if a permit was required to encode an existing structure. A sheepish fellow shows up, walks around and in the barn then tells me I must hire an engineer to grade the lumber. I bought the lumber from a local sawmill near Newnan that employs several Coweta residents. The boards are far superior to anything you can buy at retail home improvement stores. I asked how do I go about finding a county approved engineer? The inspector offers the name Don Porter. He continued telling Carey and I there were many structural problems with the A frame in our home that Don resolved. The inspector offered his number. Frustrated, I asked how much is this going to cost? The inspector said he didn’t know and called the engineer. The conversation was brief, $300-$500. Before I could type my objection Carey cried out and gave the inspector hell. He quickly phoned the engineer back. This time the conversation was longer. The inspector hung up and said Don will do this for little or nothing. We agreed and scheduled the engineer.
Don arrived several days later. He spent a little more time than the inspector, took a few measurements and asked a couple questions then said his letter to the county would be ready by the end of the week. He was true to his word I received the letter on Thursday. In the first few minutes of his inspection he said the lumber was fine so when his letter listed three other requirements I was surprised, The three additional unnecessary requirements are going to cost $2,500. One of the requirements is tornado anchors. Did you see what a F2 tornado did to a block building last month? We received his bill Friday, $300.
The problem I have with all of this is a log cabin sits in plain sight of the barn that is permitted as an accessory building. This cabin violates almost every residential building code this county has and I can prove the building department was aware of the illegal dwelling’s construction and the fact it is not properly permitted. At the very best the building department is filled with hypocrites applying the building codes when they want or this department is guilty of corruption and racketeering, because someone has accepted a bribe. Either way the bastards have put an end to my ability to save Carey’s life. If you read this and you want to help me save Carey’s life please email Richard Belcher at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject, Message for Richard Belcher and share this blog. I did learn in the homebound effort the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Please take just a few minutes today and help us by emailing Richard. Many thanks in advance! Have a great day! dj