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Looking at these pictures, ask yourself – what kind of county health department would allow a piece of property to become so overgrown with weeds, abandoned vehicles, trash scattered everywhere, cesspools (reportedly), home to all manner of vermin and you-name-it, that it poses a genuine health hazard to neighbors, including kids and teachers at a high school very close by?
Answer: The Hays County kind of health department.
The department and its function of enforcing county health and safety rules falls under a larger group called Development Services Division, Resource Protection, Transportation & Planning Department (512-393-2150). Looking at the name, you wouldn't know public "health" even has a role. It is all overseen by Jerry Borcherding. (Don't try to call him. He's usually too busy to talk to citizens about equal enforcement of the county's and state public health codes.)
We are told Ramus holds some kind of power over the health department as well as Ms. Ingalsbe, her fellow Commissioners Barton and Conley, the DA's office – the whole county in fact. There's a long and very disturbing back story to all this, involving politics and a lot of subterfuge.
A press release sent out by HaysCAN prior to the field trip said this: "Despite having been convicted twice before of being a public nuisance, personnel from the Hays County Environmental Health Department carrying out inspections in response to numerous citizen complaints now find “no violations” even though the property is in worse condition than when Mr. Ramus was convicted as being a public nuisance."
We're thinking the real pubic nuisances are lurking about in high county positions. Whatever the case, they should do their jobs forthwith and get Ramus and his property up to code before someone gets sick or hurt.
Look closely and you can see a discarded tire.
Many others may be scattered under the brush and weeds. It was hard to see.