A 6 Investigates report on Taft’s code enforcement problems moved a couple of men to become part of the solution.
The report, which aired July 20, shined a light on all the abandoned lots and vacant homes that attract rodents and other pests, like mosquitoes, all over town.
Several residents complain that the problem persists, despite their request for help from city leaders, who seem to be ignoring the problem.
Pete Ruiz says what we reported disturbed him so much that, together with brother-in-law Robby Martinez, the two men on Thursday decided to pick an overgrown lot and get to work.
"I just want to help out the community and maybe get rid of some of the mosquito issue and bees and other insect problems around here," Ruiz says.
The two men unloaded a tractor and mower large and powerful enough to handle the four- and five-foot weeds choking a lot on Tutt Street and got to work, checking for unseen hazards and the ever-present bee hives.
"I have a ranch out there and we cut the grass all the time so I got the (bee) net and came prepared," Robby Martinez says.
They plan to do more work in the coming days.
Ruiz, who grew up in Taft, says it’s just a way to give back to his hometown.
The City of Taft was unresponsive to our request for an interview for this report.