Councilmen reform enforcement of city codes

"A little perturbed" was the term Councilwoman Carol Stone used to describe an elderly Sunnyside woman's reaction when city representatives paid her a visit regarding a residential enforcement issue.

Stone, who described the scenario during the council's regular meeting last night, said the woman is on oxygen and her caregiver was out of town receiving treatment for cancer.

Stone cited the example as one of several reports she has received from the community of heavy-handed enforcement tactics by city officials.

The example followed a recommendation made by City Manager Bob Stockwell that council adopt a measure amending administrative enforcement procedures.

"As we have increased our appears we have been a little too aggressive," Stockwell admitted.

Council approved the enforcement reform, which will require city officials to make personal contact with a resident before taking enforcement action.

Stockwell said door hangers will be used if a resident is not at home when staff visits them regarding a possible violation of city code. The hangers will have a message asking the resident to contact city hall to resolve the matter.

Stockwell noted, though, that some situations, such as graffiti, will still need to be addressed within a day or two, whether or not the person contacts city hall.

Stone said the reform "will go a long way towards improving the relationship" between city officials and residents.


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