About the Author
My name is Melody Boatner. I was raised in Lee County, Iowa. In regards to my character, I hold a high regard to moral law. I do not lie, I do not cheat, and I do not steal. I have lived my life, as I was taught early on, by the golden rule, “Treat others as you want to be treated”. I have always been hard working, responsible, confident, talented, independent and trustworthy. All traits that seemingly are in the best interest of society as a whole.
I married, had a son and moved south for a few years. My son developed a serious medical condition. His father proved himself incapable of caring for him while I was at work. It was in my sons best interest that he and I move back home, to Iowa. In 1990 I called a family member asking for assistance in moving home. They drove to Georgia, rented a uhaul trailer and brought the two of us and all we could squeeze in the trailer back to Iowa. Three days later, I was hired by a local contractor as an assistant mechanic. I had to resign soon after because the employer provided no insurance benefits. Due to the rarity of my sons condition I was the only one, including the local doctors, familiar with the symptoms indicating his need for immediate medical attention. He was 6 years old when diagnosed and to maintain a normal quality of life he required monthly injections until he the age 18 years old or longer depending on his environment. At the time his condition was considered existing and he would have been excluded from any employer offering insurance benefit package. In order for me to care and provide for his future needs personally I needed to be self employed. Attorney Vivian Meyers got a divorce granted for me by the court pro-bono. I never received any of the court order child support. AFDC covered the cost of his medical needs. I have never receive any child support money from my ex-husband and never counted on anyone but myself to provide for my son.
I utilized the resources offered by the government for the poor to get out of poverty. I enrolled in a business course offered to low income families. S.E.I.D. To be successfully self-employed in a home based business I was taught how to prepare a business plan for to present to a financial lender. There was a demand for upholstery services in my area. October 9, 1991 I was selected to travel to Washington DC and testify to a Congressional Committee¹. My intent was to explain to the committee that regulations at that time was preventing me from acquiring the tools I needed to start a business. Counting the value of assets (tools) for micro enterprise as a personal asset would exceed the income guidelines, exempting my son from being insured by Medicaid, that was not an option.
The fact that I was selected out of hundreds of individuals in the State of Iowa suggests that the program directors recognized my character to be determined to succeed in my goal. The goals were met and the rules allowing an exemption for value of business assets for self-employment were changed.
My formal education in minimal. I dropped out of high school in the 11th grade opting for a GED. The main reason I dropped out was because a required class in 11th grade is mandatory speech class. I am simply too shy to speak in public. I have allowed myself to be bullied most of my life because of my personality traits. I have never felt the need to publicly prove a person to be of bad character until now. I simply disassociate from anyone who treats me in a way that I do not want to be treated. I am self-educated in subjects that are interesting to me, I am self-educated with the ability provide multiple skilled services such as my chosen career as an upholsterer. I have self-educated in many of the subjects I find personally interesting, one of which is human behavior, specifically personality disorders. I am intelligent and have found past employment based on the fact that I have the common sense to determine the most logical reason behind end results and I easily comprehend written material. I have many interests and have self-educated myself using my personal library that includes a wide array of subjects and now the internet provides an infinity of knowledge
My knowledge of Constitutional law and the Bill of Rights is because I have had those documents framed and hung on my wall since 1990 and property law, specifically the duties and responsibilities a “City” has the duty to provide its residents was taught to me for the most part by an expert, my father, whose career was as a long time employee of a neighboring City of Ft Madison in Lee County, Ia. His job title was “acting Street Commissioner” prior to and during integration of a new position “City Engineer”, “planner” there are several job titles used. The engineer took over responsibility of planning. The issuing building permits to assure compliance to the “Uniform Building Code”. In smaller Cities such as the City of Montrose, Ia a council member is appointed to act as the State of Iowa authority of “building administrator”. The administrator’s duties are to issue a building permit, review the blueprints, and charge a fee assessed by the value of completed re developments. The administrator approves or rejects the completed project in compliance with State and Federal laws. When builder has completed the project the administrator signs and approves the building permit. He then issues a certificate of occupancy as described in the Building Code Officials Handbook. A manual provided by State Assoc of floodplain managers titled “NO ADVERSE IMPACT AND THE COURTS: PROTECTING THE PROPERTY RIGHTS OF All” . Both manuals are available at Montrose City Hall. The local FEMA officer is Steve Cirinna, husband of City of Montrose clerk Celeste Cirinna.
Feb 22, 1995 I was verbally evicted from the house I rented, I filed complaint to get possession my tools. The day before we were ordered to appear in court he notified me I could retrieve my property (bullying). The case was dismissed and we had no interaction or contact until 2005
Homeless, we moved to into Montrose with a friend. I rented a garage to work out of from Sue Kerns Dinwiddie, who was dating Ron Dinwiddie at that time. A friend had her property for sale. I stopped and looked at it. It had the potential to provide a home for my son and a garage/workshop to operate my business. I applied for a Habitat for Humanity when we first moved in with my friend. We were selected to get a new home almost immediately. Within days I was notified that I had been approved for the loan from the bank for the $10,000 fixer upper! There were many other bonuses this property provided for me from day one, life, liberty, and enjoyment of my property. I withdrew my application for the new home from Habitat for Humanity.
Nov. 1995 We moved into the house at 111 N 5th St, Montrose, Ia . Typical to the era, Boatner’s property was protected from storm water runoff by using the berm and swale technique along the common boundary of the adjoining property 105 N 5th St at that time owned by Ron Dinwidde as a rental property. There was damage to the existing structures on the property was caused by storm water runoff from 5th St. The City of Montrose had not maintained any of storm water drainage ditches for so long that in most cases and certainly on my on 5th St there were no visible evidence that ditches ever existed. Both corners of my lot contained very nice and culverts. I know full well that it is the City’s responsibilities to maintain the streets and drainage ditches. But I did not bother with bringing to their attention or expect them to do my ditches. I was capable to do all the repairs needed to restore this property and its structures.
My first priority was to hand dig the ditches and replace the driveway culvert. I did that and have receipts and witnesses to prove that fact. Most properties in town suffered adverse effects from storm water. Public record proves that fact due to the multiple discussions over the years since I move to Montrose. On my property storm water ran from the street down the driveway, straight into the doorway of my potential workshop area. To the extent the plywood floor had rotted through and chairs that at one time were used for setting had fallen through and were setting on the ground of the crawlspace. Storm water ran over the sidewalk to the front right corner of my house. I guess it must have been ongoing for 10 or 15 years. It didn’t take to long for me to get the place back in shape. I had the knowledge and access to any equipment I needed. My social group of friends are, for the most part, in the field of construction. I renovated, rehabilitated and upgraded most everything by the time it the $10,000 loan was satisfied in 2000. Contrary to Mark Conlee’s false claim that I have not improved my property, I have receipts to prove that I have invested $20,000 at the minimum renovating my property.
I had established a reputable upholstery service and raised my son though his school years in the house at 111 N 5th St Montrose, Ia. My son has always worked, starting as a paperboy when we moved to this house. He graduated high school and though he has had some health problems, he no longer requires monthly injections. He has worked for the same welding and machine shop since he graduated high school, he is now 32 years old. I never had any problems with my neighbors of any kind. We all got along, everyone was friendly, and I considered it a nice neighborhood to live in.
Ron Dinwiddie has been the Mayor of the City of Montrose since 1995 when I purchased my property. The council members and City employees have pretty much been the same also. I have never been involved with the City politics or attended the City Council meetings. It was my opinion that all seemed to be running well within the City Government. Those who were in charge seemed sincere in their roles as community leaders.
¹ United States. Congress. House. Select Committee on Hunger. 1992. New Strategies for Alleviating Poverty: Building Hope by Building Assets: Hearing Before the Select Committee on Hunger, House of Representatives, One Hundred Second Congress, First Session, Hearing Held in Washington, DC, October 9, 1991. Government Printing Office.