What are you doing to improve the code enforcement issues from last year? How did we get here?
· During the recession, starting in 2008, there were a glut of foreclosures
· Banks weren’t taking care of them & residents were angry that their neighborhoods were being degraded
· We went after the banks aggressively
· But here’s where the problem happened
· When the recession was over, no one raised the white flag to go back to our previous “mindset”
· You should never treat a resident that same as you’d treat a faulty bank !
Why didn’t the Commission know this was happening?
· Because we’re not involved in the day to day process of code enforcement
· The City Attorney, the Code Enforcement Board, & the Code Enforcement Officers follow the regulations on the books – which we now know hadn’t been updated in years
· The only time we are involved in any decision making is when the attorney brings us a settlement agreement
· This caught the entire commission by surprise
What are you doing to fix it?
· First – we’ve hired a new City Attorney, new Code Enforcement Officers, a new Code Enforcement Supervisor, and we’re in the process of hiring a new Planning/Dev director. We want to ensure that anyone touching this process has the right mindset for Dunedin.
· 2nd – We are rebranding the entire department! At my suggestion, we are changing the name of Code Enforcement to CODE COMPLIANCE. If that’s our goal, then that’s what it should be called.
· We are capping all fines so no more outrageous fines for our residents.
· We are creating a tiered fine system based on what the issues are. So no more outrageous fines for tall grass or parking in your yard. Larger fines will be for those with life/safety issues.
· We are creating an Amnesty Program so folks who come into compliance can get their fines drastically reduced or removed altogether.
· We have created stipulated settlement agreements as well. If you buy a home in Dunedin with code problems and fix the issues in short order, you only have to pay a small fee to cover internal costs. This will encourage those problem properties to be improved.
· These are the facts! Political Rhetoric aren’t facts!
· Don’t take my word for it, call my colleagues. Ask them if anyone on this commission saw this coming or could have prevented it?