Cindy Mcfadden loaded up her car and helped workers load a National Van Lines moving truck Thursday, just like she told the
Mcfadden, the founder of the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Watch, bought her house in 1996 after commuting from Oxford to Danbury for work at Union Carbide. She bought a new house in Oxford recently, and moved out of Danbury on Thursday.
Mcfadden started lodging complaints about people parking on lawns, living in attic apartments, and taking away the quiet enjoyment of the neighborhood as early as 1999, according to the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Watch files that Mcfadded keeps on hand.
Her most recent complaint was made May 1 at the City Council meeting, where she complained one of her Pleasant Street neighbors threw a huge party the Sunday before, and 300 people showed up. A smaller, but similar party happened the week before. These were volleyball parties. The most recent was a fund raiser to help raise money for the landlord's injured brother.
Mcfadden's complaints in 1999 and 2000 helped to not only create the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Watch, but they also focused the city's efforts on blight enforement. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton created the Mayor's Blight Task Force and later to the city creating the Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team (UNIT.)
At one point, Mcfadden sent the city's zoning office a list of 68 cars parked illegally on front lawns, a zoning violation. (See photograph.) She included plate numbers. One letter to city officials followed the next, and Mcfadden wasn't shy about calling city officials either. She called elected officials and at one point the Danbury Police Department complained she called too much, her calls weren't important enough to warrant a 911 call, and they asked her to stop going into offices and waiting for officers without permission.
Mcfadden wrote at one point she wasn't attacking her neighbors, who night after night seemed to be putting up more than a dozen people. She wrote, "Rather this is a large collection of individuals getting cheap accommodations at the exense of our neighborhood environment."
Mcfadden's neighbor, Chris Kuell said Mcfadden was right in her criticism.
"It isn't good for the neighborhood. Danbury is multicultural. It's one of the reasons we picked Danbury," Kuell said. "I shop in the bodegas. I have a good relationship with the people around here, but this is a safety issue."
Kuell, who is blind, said on Sunday during the volleyball game, people blocked fire hydrants with cars and they crowded driveways, making it hard for his wife to park their car after returning from church.
"I have mixed feelings about it. They're connecting. They're having fun," Kuell said. "They're not doing drugs. They're not robbing people."