Code enforcement can solve woesPublished 12:07am Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Plans to get serious about code enforcement issues in the City of Natchez should be welcome news to taxpayers’ ears.
Natchez Mayor Butch Brown said the city plans to move its two code enforcement officers from the oversight of the city’s planning department to the police department instead.
The goal, Brown said, is to more quickly sink some municipal teeth into the backsides of repeated code violators.
The idea being that by working more closely with the Natchez Police Department, code enforcement personnel will be able have citations written more quickly.
Citations should generate new funds. Those funds, in turn, can be used to help pay for contracting out grass cutting and demolition work on unkempt, dilapidated houses.
Clearly, violators are more apt to jump when they’re facing a police citation rather than the city’s version of a mall cop, which is how many people, unfortunately, view code enforcement personnel.
The idea of forcing code violators to foot the bill for the city having to pay to clean up their messes is not a new one, but it’s a good idea, if the city can pull it off.
Like most things dealing with code enforcement, the trick will be in fairly, but firmly, enforcing codes with common sense and ensuring funds derived from citations are clearly marked for the purposes of cleaning up blighted parts of the city.
If the blight can be diminished without spending taxpayer dollars, it’s a win-win for taxpayers and neighbors who have to face the blight each day.