Helping Homeowner Cleanup - Caring Candidate or Political Ploy? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/8/06

Helping Homeowner Cleanup - Caring Candidate or Political Ploy?

A northeast Lubbock home that has been cited for code violations is getting some help from its district's city councilwoman and Home Depot.

More than a dozen Home Depot employees volunteered to help paint a house in the 300 block of East Stanford. Behr donated the paint, and Atmos Energy and Coca-Cola donated inner and refreshments. District 1 councilwoman Linda DeLeon chose the home from a city code's department list of homes that have been cited for violations in her district. But, one of DeLeon's opponents is questioning the motive behind this makeover.

More than a dozen people are working to get the home up to code. But being just days before the city election, DeLeon's opponent, former city councilman Victor Hernandez, is questioning if the councilwoman is just working to get votes.

"There's no doubt that Linda is playing politics, and that this is nothing more than a ploy to have people think that she's actually trying to help," Hernandez said.

NewsChannel 11 also spoke with DeLeon who says it's not about politics, it's about compassion.

"It's not a political move. It's a compassionate move to try to help an elderly couple that really needs the assistance," DeLeon said.

As for the timing of Monday's event, DeLeon says it coincides with a certain holiday, not election day.

"This was planned like three or four weeks ago, and we selected May 8th, this Monday, in order for it to happen before Mother's Day for the mother that lives in the house. That's why this date was selected," DeLeon said.

"The question I've got and others have is: What about literally the hundreds of others in the district that aren't getting any help what so ever?" Hernandez asked.

DeLeon says she hopes this will encourage others to help, but right now no other makeovers are scheduled.

She also urges any other homeowners who may have been cited for code violations, especially the elderly or physically unable, to contact the City of Lubbock Community Development Office at (806) 775-2301 to see if you qualify for assistance.

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