My Side of the Fence

The danger isn't going too far. It's that we don't go far enough.

Month: April 2007 (page 1 of 3)

Slow Posting

Sorry about the lack of posts.  I’ve been busy trying to earn a living since the budget death march is over.  You can only ignore your real life for so long before all of the accumulated stuff unloads like an avalanche.  As it turns out, that is more or less what happened.  In any event, things at City Hall seem to be moving along nicely.  The report on the zoning enforcement activities is due in a few weeks and the council will have the chance to review our staffing levels with that data in hand.  I hope we can bring that to a quick resolution and provide whatever resources are necessary.  If they need staff we will have to dig deep but dig we will.

The VCDL people have been to speak to City Council twice now and I’m still mulling over that situation. I see where they are coming from as I’m a big bill of rights guy but I also believe that we’ve taken appropriate action in response to their complaint – we’ve apologized for the incident, the Chief has implemented training on the law and disciplinary action was taken.  There were calls from those that spoke at City Hall to terminate the Chief but I don’t support that.  I believe the Chief to be a careful, professional officer who takes this business seriously and he’s given me no reason to think otherwise.  We’ll see what happens.

I think I made a mistake.

During the budget process, I put an additional zoning inspector on the list of things to be considered. As the budget process went forward, it was clear that we were in a tight spot and that the tax rate would have to float up to provide a, more or less, flat revenue stream in order to support City operations. When we got around to discussing new staff, we added 3 new police officers and restored half of the Museum staff that were slated to be cut. The police officers cost a fair amount and I was worried that adding the salary for a zoning inspector would be a bridge too far so I pulled it off the table.

In hindsight, I think it might have been a mistake. It seems that, in the midst of the forced-march to a budget I lost sight of my goal of cleaning up our City.  Tighter enforcement of zoning laws is an integral part of that. It may or may not be too late for this position this year but I’ll wait until the zoning enforcement study comes out until I try to figure out what to do about it. Should be a couple of weeks or so.

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