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American Enterprise Bank

Board’s fine reduction ‘nonsense’

Dear Editor:

Having read your column (Code board pushed under the bus) in last week’s Press, I am stunned. This is just nonsense.

My husband was the Baker County code enforcement officer until his death in December of 2009. He worked very hard documenting and attempting to get violators back into compliance with the rules of the code enforcement department. He often told me some violators did not know or did not care, but since he was a former LAPD officer, he was able to get them to see he had his job and they had their job, that is bring their property up to code.

He had a lot of respect for other employees at the building and zoning department, and they worked together as a team. Many violators heeded the letter of the law and his notices advising them to conform, and others brought their property up to code. Some were given more time and some were not. That is where the investigation and due diligence came in.

I live down the road from someone who received a hardship exemption that my husband argued heartily against. He and I both knew there was no hardship, yet the property owner claimed to be taking care of an ailing parent.

Set a precedent and that bell cannot be unrung.

I often call in residences that I see that are a hazard or that I know are in violation. One such neighbor in 2008 and 2009 flaunted his fines that reached the maximum and he still has not cleaned up his property. Every month I asked my husband if the man showed up and paid his fines. And of course he had not.

Why is Mr. [Roger] Harvey allowed to get away with this?

If the code enforcement’s due diligence indicated he was aware of the hearing and he signed for the notice, then what gives?

The county commission ought not interfere in the code enforcement board just because, if it’s true, the violator is a pal.

So, now if I have a complaint about an eyesore, or a dangerous property, do I have to wonder if the resident is a pal of the county manager? What nonsense.

And those we elect or hire [as in the case of the county manager], must do their job without attempting to use their influence or connections — election year or not.

Alicia Cabrera-Thomas

Glen St. Mary

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