Mayor's Update: Community Compliance Officer
I have heard and read about some concerns with the City’s code compliance work. In the past, the City has had virtually no code compliance program. The City hired a part-time Community Compliance Office, Jonathan Wheeler. He was hired at the request of a couple of council members and some citizens, to help start a little clean-up around the town. The Community Compliance Officer works with citizens to solve problems and resolve issues while protecting property and personal rights and freedoms. His job is not to harass or coerce the citizens of Blanco. His essential duties are the following:
*Receives, records, and investigates complaints regarding violations of municipal codes, ordinances, standards, and health and safety regulations.
*Documents violations by securing photographs and other pertinent data.
*Examines existing buildings, structures, and premises in the city to ensure that all building, zoning, nuisance, and other codes and ordinances are followed.
*Examines abandoned vehicles to ensure the safety of the public and abates vehicles in violation of the Junked Vehicle Ordinance.
*Examines premises to ensure the safety of life and property from fire and other hazards by the abatement of weeds, grass, litter, abandoned building materials or appliances, junk yards, etc.
Looking at these duties, I just wanted to clarify that the City’s approach has been to work with citizens—not to coerce, harass or intimidate. Mr. Wheeler has not issued any citations. Only courtesy letters and/or door hangers have been used at this point. The City has ordinances passed throughout the years, but in the past, not all have been enforced, and in some cases, folks may not even know they exist. Mr. Wheeler is diligently trying to improve the community within our ordinances. The City Council has the power to amend these ordinances and we can certainly begin looking into doing this. We are also looking into adopting an anonymous complaint-based program and more information will follow. In sum, the City needs constructive feedback to make this program work for all and make our City better. Citizens can submit feedback to me via email, email@example.com, or schedule an appointment with me to discuss this in person.
-Mayor Rachel Lumpee