Police chief moved to full time
QUENEMO—The Quenemo City Council addressed building code and municipal code enforcement during its Sept. 13 regular meeting.
“We’ve had it advertised,” said Ron Parker, mayor of Quenemo. “We’ve got two applicants.”
“We’ve been on this for quite some time. We’ve got to get something done. I’m tired of fooling with it,” Parker said. “This dragging stuff out is going to stop.”
“You want to do that in executive session or open meeting?” asked Marty Kane, Police Chief.
Parker asked the applicant that was present, Victor Carey, if he cared.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Carey said.
“I have one question,” said David Schuyler, council member. “Are you going to feel comfortable if some of your neighbors down in that area might be the ones getting these citations? Are you comfortable with that?”
“Yea, I’ve got no problem with it as long as they give me a code enforcement book with united building codes and everything and it applies to everybody, me included.”
“But remember, it’s just not buildings, it’s the grounds,” said Schuyler.
“As long as there’s a set of rules and codes that everybody has to abide by I don’t have a problem with it. That’s the law, that’s the rules, everybody is equal,” said Carey.
“At the last meeting I asked for a code inspector and building inspector,” said Kane. “That’s what I need to take care of some of the stuff and the problems we’ve been having.”
Schuyler asked, “Why can’t he take care of both?”
“Well he can if he wants the headache of it,” said Steve Castell, council member. “What I’m looking for is someone who can bring us into compliance with the state.”
“You need a code enforcement officer and if you get into something bigger than a code officer can handle you need to have an individual person do a specialized inspection, we need to find somebody to do that,” said Kane.
“There’s no reason that one man can’t be both, as long as you understand there’s a difference between the two jobs,” Castell said.
Kane presented Parker with an ordinance book, noting only law officers have the right to hire a code-enforcement officer.
“I’ve read this whole book and this police thing, somebody in the past has written in chief of police or public officer,” said Castell.
“And that’s the trouble people, this ordinance was made 30 years ago when this town had 3,000 to 4,000 people,” Parker said. “We’re lucky to have 300 people today and 75 percent of them, if not better, is either on social security or some kind of assistance and everybody is trying to force everybody out, I’m getting pretty darn disgusted with it.”
“I don’t get where you’re coming at with that,” said Schuyler,
“I’m just trying to get it done,” said Parker. “Why don’t we put this on the back burner until the end of the meeting and then bring it back up?”
Council returned to the topic while discussing a person living in a camper.
“What do you want us to say,” said David Schuyler. “They are out of ordinance, they know it. We already sent them the letters.”
“We’re going to decide on a code enforcement officer tonight and he can take care of this when the sun comes up in the morning,” said Kane.
The council later held a 15-minute executive session to interview Victor Carey, with Kane present. Upon return to open session, the council passed a motion following Kane’s suggestion to hire Carey.
A second 15-minute session was held to discuss police personnel issues. Upon return to open session, the council approved a motion to allow Kane to work 40 hours per week.
Parker announced a city wide cleanup day, set for Oct. 1.
“We had a real good turn out when we had this last spring,” Parker said. “I’m going to say this right now, I’ve drove around this town a lot here lately, and the town looks tremendously better.”
“I’ve ordered three dumpsters,” said Peggy Manning, city clerk.
In public comments, a city resident brought to the attention of the council that there are mice in the community center and there are also a lot of water leaks. The council also commented on other things that need repaired in and around the building. Robert Schuyler, city maintenance, said he would begin working on the issues.
Another city resident asked about the culvert in his yard. He said he is tired of the mosquito trap. Schuyler said he would look at it right away and try to find a solution.
In other business, the council:
• approved three building permits, pending payment of a past due water bill from one of the resident request.
• adopted Ordinance 465 changing the water due date to the 15th, with a $10 late fee until the 21, when service will be shut off.
• by a 3-1 vote approved $5,350 to finish the update in the city hall office. It will include a new wall, door, floors and trim. David Schuyler had the dissenting vote.
• heard that the water tower will be repaired for free.