07/15/04 — City says officer move wil put greater emphasis on cleanup

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City says officer move wil put greater emphasis on cleanup

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on July 15, 2004 1:58 PM

City code enforcement officers will soon have a more prominent spot in Goldsboro's daily operations.

The two officers will move offices July 26 from the maintenance complex on Clingman Street to the city manager's office downtown.

It's part of an increased effort to clean up the city.

Tasha Logan, assistant to the city manager, will supervise the two officers. City Manager Richard Slozak said that having a centralized office would provide quicker response.

Responsibility for code enforcement has been in the city's Inspection Department and, most recently, in the General Services Depart-ment. Both departments have a number of other programs and responsibilities.

"Now that Tasha will be in charge, there will only be one contact person, and it will make things easier," Slozak said.

Getting the city cleaned up is one of the council's top priorities, council members have said. The council members have pushed the issue with Slozak for months.

In February at the council's annual retreat, Slozak told the council that the city would need to hire three additional code enforcement officers at annual salaries of $32,100 each.

That, Slozak said, was the only way he could meet the cleanup expectations of the council.

Council members balked at that suggestion. Councilman Chuck Allen said he needed to know what the current code enforcement officers were doing before he approved hiring more.

Allen said he couldn't understand how he could see violations that were constantly missed by the officers.

Ms. Logan's job will be to make sure that the code enforcement officers focus on handling junked and abandoned vehicles, illegal dump sites, unsightly lots, items being put at the curb that violate the ordinance, and the removal of trash and recycling containers.

In addition, Slozak said, the city would be following up more closely on violations. He said the city often didn't go back to check whether violations were corrected.

"We'll have light-duty personnel, people who may have minor workers-compensation injuries but can still work, do the follow-up," he said. "That's an area we have fallen short on, and it's the key to success."

He said he was also seeking outside funding for the code enforcement program.

"I'm trying to meet the council's expectation levels without additional resources," he said.