Flubug building inspector, Floyd Carpenter, was lambasted by Down County Commissioners today in a public hearing that questioned his renewal of a operating license for Al Fresco Village, the controversial retirement home that changed its name after the roof collapsed last month.
The facility, originally named Withering Pines, was ordered to provide temporary housing for its elderly residents by Judge Emily Knockspur in a ruling that drew fire as “overly zealous” from the Flubug Chamber of Commerce. But the ruling was stayed when the facility’s legal team argued successfully that the elderly tenants “would incur no significant inconvenience” by remaining in their rooms for the duration of the repairs (estimated at seven months).
By July however it became clear that owners, Yusuf and Aaliyah Muhammed (now living in Aruba), had no intention of fixing the roof. And on July 14th, according to public records, they opted instead to change the name of the facility to Al Fresco Village and promote it as an “open air alternative” to standardized senior housing.
Residents at today’s hearing were understandably miffed.
“My kitchenette is still flooded from last month’s downpour!” shouted Horace Manly from the standing-room only crowd. “My mattress is soaked. My clothes is all wet. And the winds is so strong I has to stay in the closet most days.”
Eighty-two year old, Beatrice McPepper, told a similar story. “I spends my days wrapped in a blanket juss to keep warm. If I dint, I’d freeze to death. I can’t even gets my stove t’ light, the winds is so strong.”
Commissioners were noticeably irate. In one heated exchange, Commissioner Buzz Hardwick threatened Carpenter with contempt. “How could you possibly approve the license of a senior facility with no roof, absentee owners and six hundred health and safety violations?”
Commissioner Sandra Healy went even further, suggesting that Carpenter profited from the alleged scheme. “How is it possible,” she asked. “That a building inspector on a $68,000 yearly salary can afford a Hummer, a forty-two foot pleasure cruiser and a seventeen bedroom McMansion in Slopeside Estates? Something is very wrong here and I’m sure as hell going to get to the bottom of it.”
The meeting adjourned with a promise to condemn the facility and move residents into pup tents until a more plausible gesture could be devised.