Monday, September 14, 2009

What Is Two Times Zero?

A friend sent me a local newspaper story on adding another code enforcement officer to the city's workforce. (I'll leave the other discussion about general fund deficits and worker layoffs for later treatment.) The position is to be paid from Redevelopment Agency funds and the officer is to be proactive regarding blights in neighborhoods caused by failure to follow city ordinances.

Here is my nomination for his/her very first case: The owners of 810 Fishback Street are operating a catering truck and a commissary from their property, but they do not have the necessary zoning permit for a home occupation and do not meet the requirements to obtain one.

How long do I have to wait until this officer learns what the codes are, how to document the violations, and how to apply the enforcement sanctions? The ability to do background research is sorely lacking in current personnel, and we are to believe current personnel can train someone new?

Actually, the biggest question I have: How this officer is going to learn the city's procedures at all? It appears the City of Manteca does not have any procedures for code enforcement, judging from this email response.

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Sent: Thu 1/15/2009 3:34 PM
From: Tilton, Joann []
To: Richard Behling
Subject: Request for code enforcement policies and procedures

On January 6, 2009 you request copy's of Manteca's code enforcement policies and procedures, via email.

My research of my records and via the Police Chief shows we do not have the documents (policies and procedures) being requested.

I provided the Police Chief with the 2006-07 Grand Jury report you emailed to me and he is not familiar, nor could he find the information mentioned on page 51 of this report.

Thank you for your patience while awaiting a response.

Joann Tilton, MMC
Manteca City Clerk

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The San Joaquin County Grand Jury reported that they reviewed code enforcement policies and procedures from cities around the county, including Manteca. But, as one can see, when those policies and procedures were requested, the Manteca Police Chief doesn't know what I'm asking for.

Time will tell if code enforcement in this city gets any better or remains just another way to keep payroll money flowing to the well-connected.

This whole thing seems to be one more example of city puffery. It follows very closely on the heels of last year's "plan" to delete a vacant sworn officer position and hire and train two CSO's (Community Service Officers), cross-training them to answer code enforcement complaints as well.

1 comment:

Manteca Mayor 2010 said...

What a shame the city is laying off police officers. This would and will not happen on my shift.

Mayor Willie is now giving out endorsements and collecting them, too. It's time to bring in the new members to the 'good'ole' boys club.

Good response Richard. We all know who's in charge of the code enforcement and all he could say in council chambers was???