WINSLOW — Charles McIntyre says he’s not a troublemaker. He’s not a bully, he says. He just wants a place to call home. He just wants to survive.

McIntyre, who goes by the nickname “Buddy,” is at the heart of a decades-long battle with the town of Clinton over his property on Main Street. On Tuesday, the town is holding a public hearing to declare the piece of property a dangerous building. But McIntyre, who admits that the home does need work, claims the town has worked against him every step of the way. And he doesn’t think his property is all that bad.

“This is trauma to me,” the 65-year-old said. “I want to go home.”

McIntyre was forced out of the home he has lived in since 1977 when the power was shut off in December. He’s been living with his son in Winslow ever since, and said if not for his son, he’d be homeless. He fears that eventually he’ll be forced to go to a nursing home.

McIntyre said he has many health problems that have prevented him from making improvements on his home, including a botched surgery to remove his gallbladder that he said could have killed him and a complication with gangrene. Because of these issues, he couldn’t repair the roof, which is covered with tarps today. It leaks water, but still, McIntyre said it’s home. With his limited income from Social Security, he doesn’t think he could afford an apartment in the area.

“My home is my independence,” he said.

At times on the brink of tears while speaking Monday afternoon, McIntyre said he plans to attend the public hearing and defend himself and his home. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the town office. He doesn’t think his property is dangerous, just that it needs work. He likened his situation to having a car that needs new tires, but the town is requiring him to destroy the entire car instead.

“But to want to smash it, destroy it?” he said.

McIntyre also contends that the town illegally came onto his property and repossessed a number of vehicles in December, many of which contained things he valued and collected. He said the vehicles were all properly registered and on his property, so there wasn’t a reason to take them. He believes it was an example of town officials treating him unfairly.

“They’re vigilantes,” he said.

The repossessed vehicles include a Dodge pickup truck, a Chevy Trailblazer, a five-wheel camper and a tractor trailer. He said property of his was destroyed when the town came in and took his vehicles.

McIntyre and the town have been at odds ever since the late 1980s, and in the 1990s the town took him to court to declare the home a dangerous building. In 1994, the two sides battled over McIntyre’s right to build a full-sized gallows with a noose, which he built to demonstrate against what he perceived to be unfair treatment. The town also believed he was maintaining an illegal junkyard on his property. Today, McIntyre claims that because of fencing and the way he stored things, his property did not visually impact anyone else.

The gallows came down in 1998, at which time McIntyre claimed the town’s tractor caught the side of his garage, putting holes in the ceiling.

“I don’t dare to cry yet because I’m afraid I’d lose the strength to go on,” he said.

McIntyre also still contends that a piece of land next to his property that was claimed by the town is still his. In 2007, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld a ruling by a lower court that gave Clinton title to a piece of property next to McIntyre’s. That land was the site where the gallows once had stood, and McIntyre claimed it was his. The town succeeded in claiming the land as its own after failing to collect fees and fines from McIntyre. However, McIntyre still claims the land is his.

“I am the only one that owns that lot,” he said. “The town says they do. They do not.”

McIntyre said he continues to fight the town to keep his home. But he doesn’t plan on seeking a lawyer, he said, and instead will rely on looking up laws and state statutes himself.

While McIntyre said he just wants to go home, he also feels alienated from the town he has lived in for more than 40 years. He said he wishes that town officials would just offer to buy him out at a fair price. He wants to leave Clinton behind him.

“I’m a stranger in my own town,” he said. “I want to go and find another place to live. All I want is peace.”

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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