Archive for June 6th, 2010

There are factual problems with the Recorder editorial (again) that ran in today’s (6-6-2010) paper.

Last year, we had two housing inspectors reporting to the engineer, not three. We hired a codes supervisor to facilitate scheduling, tracking, reporting and efficiency, shifting supervision of the department away from the engineer. One housing inspector was caught (because of increased scrutiny) falsifying time sheets and stealing pay for time not worked. We now have one inspector and one supervisor. The Council has cut the supervisor in the new budget in order to insert an “entry level” inspector, even though the supervisor also handles building plan review, zoning and permitting. This effectively cuts about $10,000 or .0004% of the budget when we are entering into the busiest complaint season of the year and destroys what we have been struggling to achieve, a strengthened codes department. I have steadfastly requested an additional inspector (or two). The Council has chosen instead to keep two keyboard specialist positions that could be combined into one because of prioritized need.

There is now a suggestion that we give code enforcement to the fire department. This is being investigated but in the end may cost us in time, training and certain negotiation/litigation by two labor units, with the outcome uncertain at best.

I continue to campaign for the confidential aid position in my office. Though code enforcement is a number one priority for this administration (I ran on this too), it is not and cannot be the only endeavor we push forward. I also ran on economic development. Previous administrations either did nothing to promote our city, had confidential aids or an entire Community and Economic Development Department. My aid is instrumental in the creation and production of marketing materials and initiatives (print, video, signage, web and events), oversees our neighborhood association and volunteer activities, and helps shoulder the enormous amount of work that is generated by my office every day. He has exceeded every goal that has been set for him, all for $16,000 a year or .0006% of the budget.

There is a $4.9 BILLION dollar industry sprouting up just 35 minutes from Amsterdam and my office will not have the personnel to engage this global giant.

Slicing my aid and the codes supervisor doesn’t hurt me, it hurts the city.


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