Gwendolyn Brown-Felder is running for the hotly contested District 1 City Council seat in Nashville – an election that happens this Thursday (05/24). On her platform, she pledges to “Improve our district”, and wants to “Improve the inconsistent application of the law (codes)”. We might have some insight on why she has such strong feelings about codes. She was sued by Metro Codes, she lost, and they had to put a lien on her property as she refused to pay the fine and court costs to them. This isn’t some long-standing issue, this all happened within the past year.
Brown-Felder, known as ‘Pastor G’ around the community, owns property at 4317 Princess Lance. According to property records, it has been in her name since 2006. Less than a year ago, on June 28th 2017, Metro codes sent an abatement notice to Gwendolyn Brown-Felder – and told her to clean up her property.
The initial complaint to codes was taken by phone, and stated the property had been “abandoned for at least 4-5 years” and was full of junk & trash, and was not boarded up”, and the inspector from metro codes agreed.
Specifically, the notice said that “The house at this location appears to have been abandoned for an extended period, which is unlawful. It must be maintained in a safe, clean and safe sanitary condition as required Chapter 16.24 of Metro Code”. The inspector noticed lack of proper maintenance, open storage of junk, trash, debris, and unlicensed or inoperable vehicles accumulated on the property.
Codes gave Brown-Felder 2 months to comply, however on a re-inspection on August 17th 2017, there was no improvement, so on August 24th, a warrant to appear in environmental court was issued, as the violations had not been fixed, and the property was still in a state of disarray, an eyesore to the neighborhood, and an impact on property values. Brown-Felder was served with the warrant on September 5th of last year, and her court date was September 20th, 2017.
Judge Manson issued a $50 penalty against Gwendolyn Brown-Felder, and assigned her costs – in total she owed $282.75 to the city, and still had to bring her property to codes standards, and keep it that way. In mid-November, a judge signed an order to retrieve property of value from the address to settle her unpaid debt of $282.75 to the city of Nashville – however no unencumbered property was found at the residence, so 6 months ago, on December 8th, 2017, the city of Nashville placed a lien on Brown-Felder’s property, as she refused to pay the $282.75 judgment against her, a copy of which is below: