BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - 69-year-old Army veteran and struggling artist Giovanni Caliendo is being fined one hundred dollars a day for code violations at his old art studio on the corner of SE 9th Avenue and SE 1st Street.
The fines total about $10,000 despite a community-wide cleanup at the property.
"So many volunteers helped, but it still didn't pass. When the officer comes to inspect, he is never satisfied with what we have done. He says, 'this is not enough, you have to do this, you have to do that,' " Caliendo said.
Many of the violations were cleared up by the cleanup organized by the vice-mayor and the police department, but other issues remain.
According to Caliendo, he was cited for old paint, a falling fence, and debris in the yard.
He says he stopped using the art studio eight years ago when his daughter suddenly died and he was unable to return.
"We have a duty to address those issues, but we also recognize there are some residents who can't get up from under the code compliance avalanche," Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz said.
Chief Katz is over code compliance.
"There are objects on the property that could become a missile in a storm. So we cannot ethically turn a blind eye," Chief Katz said.
Chief Katz says he also ethically cannot ignore the situation Caliendo is in.
Caliendo's daughter suddenly died, his wife is sick, and he is dealing with his own health issues.
"We can't turn a blind eye to those issues, but we can ask the public to help one of their own out. And that is why we are here," Chief Katz said.
Caliendo says he is appreciative of the chief for trying to help him and hopes the situation can be resolved so the fines will stop.
If you would like to help Caliendo with the cleanup, you can email him at email@example.com .