About the Author

Mar. 31- 2015

My name is Melody Boatner. I was raised in rural Lee County, Iowa. In regards to my character, I hold a high regard  to moral law. I do not lie, I do not cheat, and I do not steal. I have lived my life, as I was taught early on, by the golden rule, “Treat others as you want to be treated”. I have always been hard-working, responsible, confident, talented, independent and trustworthy. All traits that seemingly are in the best interest of society as a whole.

I married, had a son and moved south for a few years. My son developed a serious, life threatening medical condition at the age of 6. Addicted to alcohol and drugs, his father proved incapable of caring for him while I was at work. I determined it was in my son’s best interest that return back to my home, to Iowa. In 1990, I called my brother, he drove to Georgia, rented a u-haul trailer and brought the two of us and all we could squeeze in a U-haul trailer back to Iowa. Three days later, I was hired by a local contractor as an assistant mechanic. I had to resign soon after because the employer-provided no insurance benefits. Due to the rarity of my son’s condition I was advised that if I could get health insurance for my son it would be so expensive I could not afford the premiums. It is so rare that his Dr. in Georgia took over a year to make the proper diagnosis. The length of time for diagnosis had caused his heart to be damaged. Knowing that I was the only person familiar with the symptoms that could recognize by looking at him if he was needing immediate medical attention. I already knew that to maintain a normal quality of life he would require monthly injections until the age of 18 years, longer depending on his environment and career choice. At the time his condition was considered existing and he would have been excluded from any employer offer insurance benefit package. In order for me to care and provide for his future needs personally, I needed to be self-employed. Attorney Vivian Meyers got a divorce granted for me by the court pro-bono. AFDC covered the cost of his medical needs. I have never received any child support money from my ex-husband and never expected anyone but myself to provide for my son. I was completely capable of providing for him, had he not gotten sick and had to have regular medical attention.

I utilized the resources offered by the government to get out of poverty. I enrolled in a business course offered to low-income families. Self Employed Independent Development to assist in the needs to be successfully self-employed in a home based business, I was taught how to prepare a business plan to present to a financial lender. Through my research I discovered there was a demand for upholstery services in my area.

October 9, 1991 I was selected to travel to Washington DC and testify in front of a Congressional Committee. My intent was to explain to the committee that income regulations prevented me from acquiring the tools I needed to start a business. Counting the value of assets (tools) for micro enterprise as a personal asset would exceed the income guidelines,  exempting my son from being insured by Medicaid was not an option. The fact that I was selected out of hundreds of individuals in the State of Iowa to travel to Washington DC suggests that the program directors recognized my character showed determination to succeed in my goal. I could now acquire the tools I needed to open a home based business

My brother financed my sewing machine and I made payments of $50 per/mo for 24 months. We agreed that I would set up shop in a portion of his garage. He owned the business named Brannon’s Upholstery. I worked as an employee, teaching myself how to upholster. I reinvested any personal income back into my future by purchasing  tools, fabric and reference books. I paid the machine off as agreed.

My formal education is minimal. I dropped out of high school in the 11Th grade opting for a GED.  I am self-educated in subjects that I am interested in. I am self-educated with the ability to provide multiple skilled services such as my chosen career as an upholsterer. I have studied many personal  interests, one of which is human behavior, particularly personality disorders. I am intelligent and have found employment based on the fact that I have high level of common sense. I easily comprehend written material. I have an impressive personal library that includes a wide array of subjects.

          My knowledge of the law, specifically the duties and responsibilities a City has to provide in order to protect its residents, was taught to me for the most part, by my father. His career was a long time employee of the City of Ft Madison in Lee County, Ia. His job title was “acting Street Commissioner” prior to and during integration of “City Engineer”. The engineer took over responsibility of issuing building permits assuring compliance to the “Iowa Stormwater drainage laws” and building code.  Smaller Cities such as Montrose, Ia use the Mayor-council system. The mayor appoints a council member to act as “building administrator”. The administrator’s duties are to represent the State of Iowa. He reviews blueprints, issues building permits, and charges a fee assessed by the value of completed construction. Before the administrator approves the completed project he follows a standard procedure to assure the construction is compliant with State building code. He then issues a certificate of occupancy. The Building Code Officials Handbook and a manual provided by State Assoc. of floodplain managers titled  “NO ADVERSE IMPACT AND THE COURTS: PROTECTING THE PROPERTY RIGHTS OF All” are available at Montrose City Hall. The local FEMA officer is Steve Cirinna, husband of City of Montrose clerk Celeste Cirinna. Building administrator Mark Holland has been appointed this duty many terms that he has served as a council member.


February 1995 I made my brother angry. He demanded that we vacate the property immediately. Lee County Deputy Dave Hunold responded to my 9-9-1 call. My brother is a very large intimidating man. I have never seen him that angry before and never want to see him in that state of mind again. When we were kids I would make him mad  and he would hit me , common for siblings. As adult sibling an intent to physically assault me is not, in my opinion, acceptable behavior. My son had never witnessed anyone acting violent and was terrified. Feb 22, 1995 I filed a complaint to get possession my tools. The day before we were ordered to appear in court he notified me that I could retrieve my property. The case was dismissed and we had no interaction or contact.

Homeless, we moved to into town, the city of  Montrose, Ia and stayed with a friend. I rented a garage to work out of temporarily from Sue Kerns Dinwiddie prior to her marriage to Mayor Ron Dinwiddie.  A friend had her property for sale for a very affordable price. I went over and looked at it. It was structurally sound but in need of some serious maintenance. The house needed some of the sill plate and corner post replaced. The repairs were needed on the front right corner due to lack of maintenance by the City of the storm water ditches. The garage was not too bad. I installed a furnace in both the house and the garage, I updated the electric service panel and wiring in the house and garage. The workshop floor was completely replaced. Stormwater ran directly into the entry door over an extended period of time the chairs had literally fell through the rotten plywood. They were sitting on the ground of he crawl space. The damage to the home and the shop floor was caused by the city’s failure to maintain drainage ditches. The property was with my price range at $10,000. The seller set the price so that she would be within the income guidelines to qualify for a Sec 8 apartment in Keokuk, Ia. The lot was legally nonconforming. Non-typical long narrow lot running street to street. The typical conforming lot runs from City street to City alley. There would be restrictions if I ever needed to build a new structure. No legally non-conforming properties are ever allowed to have new structures built larger the existing structures. My property potentially had everything needed  to provide a home for my son and a garage to operate my business.

When I first moved in with my friend I applied for a Habitat for Humanity house. We were selected to receive the next habitat built home. A  few days later I was notified by the bank that I had been approved for the loan for the $10,000 fixer upper that my friend was selling. This property was perfect for me. I withdrew my application from Habitat for Humanity

Nov. 1995   We moved into the house at 111 N 5Th St,  Montrose, Ia . Typical to the early 1900’s  era, Boatner’s property was protected from stormwater runoff by using the berm and swale technique along the common boundary of the adjoining property at 105 N 5Th St. The berm was distinct in its purpose. When it rained,  the stormwater was held forming a small pond on the right side of the berm. The berm was built on Conlee’s side of the common boundary. The swale was on my side of the common boundary. A garage was attached to Conlee’s mobile home and the top of the berm served as the driveway from the street into the garage.

I can not stress enough that the damage to the existing structures on my property was caused by stormwater runoff from 5Th St. The City of Montrose had not maintained any of storm water drainage ditches for so long that in most cases and certainly in front of my property on 5Th St,  there was no visible evidence that a ditch ever existed. Both corners of my lot contained very nice and culverts. I know full well,  that it is the City’s responsibilities to maintain the streets and drainage ditches.  I did not complain to the City that they had been negligent in maintaining the ditches. I was well aware that they are liable for the ditch maintenance. I had the ability to do it myself. Public record shows many complaints by city residents discussing drainage ditch problems though these years.

My first priority was to hand dig the ditches and replace the driveway culvert. There are many witnesses to that fact, including Police chief at the time Officer John Farmer.  Most all the properties in town suffered adverse effects from stormwater due to the City’s failure to maintain. Stormwater ran from the street down the driveway into the doorway of my garage, the floor had rotted through and chairs had fallen through. Storm water ran over the sidewalk to the front corner of my house. I guess it must have been ongoing for 10 or 15 years. It didn’t take to long for me to repair damage to structures on my property. I already had the knowledge of how to do the repairs. I had access to any equipment I needed. Most of my friends are in the field of construction.

I renovated, rehabilitated and upgraded most everything by the time the loan was satisfied. I have receipts to prove the amount of money I reinvested into the property. I paid the loan off in 2000.

I had established a reputable upholstery service and raised my son though his school years in the house at 111 N 5Th St Montrose, Ia. My son has always worked, starting as a paperboy when we moved to this house. He graduated high school and though he has had some health problems, he no longer requires monthly injections. He has worked for Huffman Welding and Machine since he graduated, he is now 32 years old. I never had any problems with neighbors of any kind. We all got along, everyone was friendly, and considered it a nice neighborhood to live in.

Ron Dinwiddie has been the Mayor of the City of Montrose since 1995 when I purchased my property. There has not been much turnover in council members or City employees. I have never been involved with the City politics or attended the City Council meetings. It was my opinion that all seemed to be running well within the City Government. Those who were in charge seemed sincere in their roles as community leaders.

You will be led to believe that I am a lazy person who never takes care of my financial responsibilities by the opposing party of my complaint. That is simply not true. I downloaded a  copy of my credit score when it was obvious I was not going to be able to make payments on unexpected ER visits. The rash that erupted on my shins caused severe intense itching immediately after I had got it on my skin. After the grass had died several days later did I see that chemicals had been unlawfully applied to my property. No matter what I did be it civil court or request law enforcement to file a complaint for trespassing on my behalf, the chemicals continued to be applied against my will on my property until the day I was forced to flee. Before the back to back Emergency room bills was sent to a collection agency my score was 760.


Boatner's credit score commendable

23 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Melanie,

    Tried to post this and I’m not sure it posted.

    Very good work in providing details of your story.  Is this a a draft?   I am viewing a page that ends at the credit report. I am assuming that there will be a continuation.

    I noted a couple of issues.  It needs editing and there are gaps where the reader may not understand the context of the sentence.

    Otherwise it’s a great outline of the events and provides far more insight into the situation.

    It is interesting that you are sending this because I have been considering posting links to some of the significant cases of abuse of power that I have come across. I have typically posted any case involving abuse of private property and some related cases. I am privy to at least a dozen cases involving some type of property abuse. Mike Helms was relentless about posting about the city’s abuse and taking of his property. A woman in California has been harassed over many years and was finally subjected to a receivership situation. There was a lawyer here in Virginia who was trying to protect her clients private property when she was disbarred in retaliation. There is a man who lost his farm to an alleged tax bill owed.  There is a man who  build a pond on his property  and had to defend against the government.  And of course, your case, my own case and many others.

    I think there would be some benefit and collective power in having a  library of these cases in a central location, especially if they are detailed in the facts.  As you probably know, these people have not been vindicated and restitution has not been made.  The outcome as it stands for now, is that these tyrants have gotten away with their abuse of their power.  Regardless of wheather properties were taken or not, they were subject to relentless and extreme tyranny.  And of course, if the properties were taken it is even more egregious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can tell you that I am no writer and if there are gaps I do not doubt that. Yes this did end with the credit report. If you can assist me in the editing and presentation I would be glad to have that. I to believe that a page of containing all cases of abuse would be helpful so people that have not experienced it can get a reality of what some citizens have suffered. I want readers to understand completely what I have suffered. Any suggestion would be helpful. I thought the About me page would be the preamble to the main story. I know I do not have my page layed out as it should be. For instance I don’t know whether what I write should be submitted as a blog post or a page and such. You know I was lead to believe by Senator Grassley’s assistant that Grassley has requested two or three Congressional inquiring into my case. I first sent him my complaint right after the civil court order was violated. He advised me to sent it to him Davenport office specifically ATTN. Penny. I signed an authority to release information, the whole nine years, this was before I was forced to flee, soon after the civil court order in my favor was violated. That was eleven years ago. Naive, I actually thought my correspondence back and forth was with Senator Grassley. That’s how dumb I was about things. Ok, well it was brought to my attention that his assistant was corresponding with me. Apparently my case has never been brought to the attention of the Senator. So his assistant an I have had much correspondence through email and telephone calls. In one email he advised me that the Senator has a contact in the FBI. I would send him the evidence just as I have posted randomly on my page. He advised me that he was forwarding my evidence to the FBI. This has been over the past eleven years. Recently he advised me that he has only been forwarding it to the FBI in the last two years tops. So all this time I thought the FBI was investigating my case. The assistant at one time spoke of scheduling a time when I could speak to the Senator in person, Then there was no follow up on that. He advised me that an authority from the FBI would contact me, I have never been contacted by any authority from the FBI or any other agency. I got impatient and telephoned the local division myself, but not before the Sheriff of my County had contacted on of his buddies that is with the FBI. Turns out this third party contacted the Agent that I had contacted and gave him the information the Sheriff has gave to him. Now I know that any information that the sheriff has about my case is based on hearsay, and false. I know the Sheriff does not know any facts about my case and that a conflict of interest exists that supports he would say anything to keep his buddies looking like good honest public servants. The FBI agent advised me that he based his decision on what the Sheriff told the third party agent. He actually refused to review my hard copy evidence requesting that I just tell him my story and he would take notes, what? Since when does hearsay be taken as evidence over hard copy documents? When he left my house I believe he had 3 notes scribbled on his pad. My story cannot be told verbally, I advised him it took me 6 years to compile it in a chronological order, which is the only way any person can get any type of understanding as to what has taken place. Then the AUSA immediately came up with the excuse that the statute of limitations has expired. If it has it is not due to my untimeliness, that’s for sure. I have been trying to get this case prosecuted for well since 2006 when the civil court order citing my right to use my property as I choose. I understood that to mean no more unlawful application of chemicals to my property. The locals simply ignored that order an there was no hesitation in the application of chemicals to my property. I advised the AUSA that I didn’t think he could use attorney discretion when a civil court had already ruled in my favor, he insisted he can and will. That doesn’t seem reasonable to me. I do not trust any of them to tell the truth. I do expect them all to protect the other authorities be it locals that they do not even know personally, I told the FBI agent that the evidence in my case supports a conspiracy against my rights. He advised me that a conspiracy usually includes a bribe being taken. That is not what is written in the law, but I do believe a bribe was taken by the attorney that represented me. There was no investigation into any financial records for a bribe. There was no interviews of my witnesses, Without reading my evidence he has no clue what took place. He even tried to convince me that private property right are not Federally protected. What? Its in the 14th amendment! I read people being charged with domestic terrorism sometimes. I just don’t get it, do they think I am stupid or am I stupid but don’t know it? I would be grateful for any editing assistance you could offer. I could make you an editor on my page if you would want to help me out. I only have a GED so this is not what my talent it in anyway. I am an excellent fabric application specialist. I can upholster and recover anything you could put on my work table. That is what I enjoy and that is what was taken from me. The Senator’s assistant has not replied to my recent emails, I told him he might want to review what we have exchanged in the past and he advised me that information has been archived and it is not easy to access, I advised him that he needs to be getting those documents because I want answers as to why it has never been followed through. I am going to telephone him today, In a few hours in fact. I have an appt at the Derm clinic at the University of Iowa today and with the temperatures being what they are I take this a little personal and it should not be happening if the laws were enforced in 2005.
      thank you very much
      Melody lol


    2. It really burns my butt that even the city clerk. committing multiple counts of document fraud, altering ordinances specifically and only for me, making false statements to the ombudsman and assisting in causing me financial harm still has her job. Who in the world could have a job of city clerk after being exposed in altering information of building permits two years after they have been filed with city hall. That is a criminal offense. I spoke with the sheriff about this. He advised me that “he doubted if it would make any difference if he went to the city about a personnel issue, Its not a personnel issue, fraud is a criminal issue. That is the type of excuses and reasons I get all the time if I get any response at all. GRRRRR.


  2. Melody (sorry I got the name wrong in previous message),

    I am probably no expert in editing either, but I could certainly point out possible gaps as an outsider trying to understand the situation and make suggestions where possible edits may be necessary. I will try to find time to do that.

    As far as the senator and his assistant, I believe that is pretty much the way it works. I would not underestimate the power of staffers though. They can be very powerful and effective. It is a bit unfortunate that you thought that you were communicating with the senator and probably let the assistant know that. That would have made him aware that you were not that knowledgeable about the process and sometimes people take advantage of that. But it sounds like you have a somewhat established familiarity with his staff.

    It really comes down to whether they are willing to help you. Sometimes it does take repeated attempts or change of approach to get them to act.

    Another Golden Rule in working with public officials is to always, always, always communicate in writing. That is why it’s important to get their email addresses, phone numbers or other means of communicating and writing, even if it’s just by a message. It is a way to hold them more accountable. If there is a verbal conversation, I would follow it up with a summary of what was said. These people are pulled in a hundred different directions. Verbal communications are almost always dismissed, not so much intentionally but as a matter of priorities. The squeaky wheel gets results thing.

    Some other time I will tell you the story of my meeting with the local public official and how the trajectory changed after that. You have to be able to summarize your situation into the most relevant and significant elements from THEIR view. It must result in a threat to THEIR integrity and reputation. I always say, you must find their Achilles heel. More about that later.

    I also got a GED and then went on to some college, which opened the door to almost 30 years in the government. Nothing wrong with a GED and what you accomplished for your self is impressive. It makes it all the more evil for what they did to you and have been able to get away with it so far. I would like to see that change.

    I will stop for now. Good to compare notes with you.



    1. I will have to go back over it. Not being a writer I realize I start a paragraph and don’t get to the point, I get side tracked for sure. Thank you for your support. I believe these guys are going to get away with taking my property by using chemical weapons. It makes me sick to my stomach. Everyone who does not have a gov title knows “they can’t do that” but apparently they can. I am beside myself. I worked so hard for what I had achieved and all I ended up with are chronic health problems and not enough money to survive on. I have contacted everyone I know to contact. Who does this to another human being? I need legal assistance. Nobody has shown any interest at all, in spite of the recent Monsanto cases. Glyphosate was the chemical this neighbor used.


      1. I don’t want to use the word voluntary with the poisoning. But I can’t remember exactly, did you sell your property or did they take it from you? If you sold it to keep from being further harmed, it may be tough to prove.

        I was just thinking of possibilities. There is no one ethical that will take these cases because they know they will lose. If they do take them, they usually just drain the money from the client. You could become knowledgeable about the legal process and file a case in federal court. The filing fee is $400 and that’s a stretch for some people. However you can file “in forma paparis” if you are low income and would not have to pay the fee. There’s no guarantee you would win though. It does serve a purpose for exposure since the parties names are identified and the details are part of the record of a federal case. Also they usually have to pay a substantial amount of legal fees defending their case.

        Didn’t you say he obtained the property illegally? It seems that there would be issues with the deed.


      2. I waited for over 5 years for law enforcement to file a trespassing complaint against him. Conflict of interest caused them to refuse to do anything to protect my rights. The day I knew I was forced out was when a county officer stopped by my house to tell me that this maniac was not going to stop with the chemical attack. He couldn’t he had to have my property to get his recorded on the plat map. Every court is obligated to order noncompliant redevelopment to be brought into compliance with State law. This property was legally nonconforming, meaning he could not build any new structures with a footprint larger than the existing buildings. This guy put a farm in the middle of the neighborhood. Very large 2 story barn sized garage, large ranch style home, three out buildings. There was no limit to what the city officials would not do for this puppet master. He could not have achieved his goal if he did not have the right person holding the position in government that he had. This was the only way something like this could happen, they were all in on him taking control of my property until I was so sick I could no longer function. I was blind and anything touching my skin was unbearable. I was homeless for the next 4 years. He made out of court offers to buy my property and to install drainage tile. If the evidence would have been submitted to the court, that would have easily been recognized as an admission to his guilt in causing a nuisance drainage problem to my property. My attorney was working for the opposing party. I was really naive. I had never had an attorney before this. How stupid to believe they genuinely represent their clients best interest. Being such a rural area the lawyers here are all social buddies. I was just plain stupid until it was to late to fire my attorney. It is not possible to get one locally that doesn’t have a conflict of interest with the gov. He ran into problems with the county assessor, she was not willing to put her head on the chopping block to allow his oversize farm on a narrow 70′ wide lot. Only with the addition of my property would it ever have enough land to support the size of the structures. I do not know if the mayor didn’t tell him the lot was not developable before he sold it to him or if they had the plan to acquire my property before he bought it from the mayor. He got it done though. I was tortured by the tactics but a psychopath is only concerned with what he wants. ya know.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh thank you for the information, It offers a glimmer of hope and I haven’t even clicked the link yet. Sometimes I just have to back away from it all but I always have to get back to it after a day or two. I cannot allow this to happen to any citizen.


      2. Another idea I have had for some time. It would be to create a site that lists the cases of people that have suffered from abuse of power and who have not been restored, received restitution or vindication. I have knowledge of least a dozen cases that could be listed. Your case would be one of those listed. I would list my case as well. Those people with their cases posted on sites would be fairly easy to list and link to. I could use some help in creating the page if you are interested in that kind of thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I am up for anything that will help expose and or compensate victims of, in my case government corruption. Tell me what guidelines or whatever you think should be met. Are you going to make a new page? What title? Give me more of your thoughts


      4. What website are you thinking of using? I believe video’s get more viewers. I have webcam and video camera. I don’t know if its possible to make slideshows into videos. I have actually never used the video equipment I do have. lol perhaps interview type stories? I don’t think wordpress gets the traffic that youtube gets.


      5. Here’s the dilemma as I see it. YouTube, Faceb ook and Twitter all get more traffic than WordPress. But the downside to those sites is that there are so many postings that anything posted gets buried by whatever is current. I see WordPress as a place to post static information. Also the higher traffic sites are limited in the volume you can post. Whereas you can post to WordPress in an almost limitless volume and include photos and documents. Also you are able to link or copy the data over and over.


      6. Interviews on videos would be good, but I think that would be a step down the road after the site is developed. Some of the abuse has happened where there are freelance or citizen journalists in the area reporting on the situation. I am sure there are other options.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, better. I was able to understand your meaning of each part.

        I did notice one area. It was the statement ” It is so rare that his Dr. in Georgia took over a year to make the property diagnosis. The length of time for diagnosis had caused his heart to be damaged. Knowing that I was the only person familiar with the symptoms that could recognize by looking at him if he was needing immediate medical attention. I already know that to maintain a normal quality of life he would require monthly injections until the xage of 18 years, longer depending on his environment and career choice.”

        I believe “property” should be x”proper”. And “know” should be “knew”.

        Otherwise, I think it flows well. I have issues as well with the auto correction we all use now. I have to be sure I read messages before I send them.


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