James Barrie’s response to Armando Musquez’s letter to the editor is a fabrication of his imagination. Apparently, he doesn’t know how to read or he just chose to misquote the Local Government Code (LGC).
In his response, he quoted Chapter 352.016b of the LGC as saying that there is no “if requested portion dealing with inspections.”
The truth is that Chapter 352.016b states: “...the county fire marshal may (emphasis added) inspect for fire or life safety hazards any structure...”
It further states: “The marshal shall inspect a structure for fire or life safety hazards if called on to do so.” (Emphasis added.)
“If called on to do so” means the same as “if requested.” Therefore, the fire marshal is blatantly misrepresenting the facts for his convenience to suit his personal needs.
In reference to Chapter 352.016b-1 of LGC which Barrie refers to in his letter, he admits that it states “if requested.”
The rest of his letter is full of mumbo-jumbo, in which he tries to imply that his inspections are required and necessary, including his fees for performing such inspections. He doesn’t cite any law or regulation that authorizes him to conduct such inspections without a request.
The bottom line is that Barrie has pulled the wool over the eyes of our county commissioners and city council members intentionally to get them to agree with his wild interpretations of the LGC. Why these elected officials, including the county attorney, haven’t bothered to read the LGC is way beyond me.
It’s time that our elected officials take action to remedy this situation. This scam has gone far enough. I believe that charges should be filed against Barrie for his deceptive interpretation of the LGC. I also believe that those individuals who have already been forced to pay Barrie for his unsolicited inspections should also file charges against him for a full refund.