What began as a complaint to the city has resulted in positive changes in the way the city condemns property.

When Phoenicia Chaidez received a notice stating her home was unsafe and unfit for occupancy, the notice provided no reason for the finding, only a time and date for a hearing.

Chaidez said if someone had inspected the complaint, the notice never would have been sent.

City Attorney Roy Tucker said an investigation of the Chaidez’ complaints found there were no code violations or any supporting evidence for the condemnation notice. 

Tucker said condemnation notices in the future will undergo a separate review process to ensure compliance with the International Property Maintenance Code and other pertinent laws. He also said the goal of the proposed procedural changes is to ensure any complaints are verified, create a system of checks and balances, and improve the delivery of services in a fair and friendly way.

In the future, before a house is deemed “unfit” or “unsafe,” someone with the city will actually look at the property to find out if the complaint is justified. 

What happened to the Chaidez family never should have happened. The city should never have allowed someone to call in, complain and take the word of the caller that there is a problem. They city should have checked into it to begin with. We are happy the city is aware of the issue and is making procedural changes. 

The Chaidez family moved from California and chose to make Muskogee their home. We also hope Muskogee residents will welcome their new neighbors with open arms.

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