Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Lake Worth’s city manager on Code Enforcement: “Code is Moving Forward”.

UPDATE: At the City Commission meeting last night during public comment — for some inexplicable reason — the expected gripes, grievances, complaints, expostulations, squawks, wails, whines, laments, and the tiring, old oft-repeated narratives going back years about our City’s Code Enforcement DID NOT HAPPEN. This is significant and demonstrates our City has taken another big stride forward.

“You can only know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been.”
James Burke, M.A., British science historian and author.

To know how far we’ve come as a City it’s important to remember where we’ve been. Critical news reports and the oft-told, tired complaints about Code Enforcement are always the “low hanging fruit” because as City Manager Michael Bornstein* wrote:

“People are generally divided between believing there is not nearly enough enforcement and those who believe there is too much. In either case, few are happy to have a Code Compliance officer come by and issue a Notice of Violation.”

Every now and then encourage everyone to take a stroll down memory lane, like this news for example, from the City of Lake Worth’s archives, written by our city manager, “In Public Service”:

“The history of Code enforcement in Lake Worth has been mixed and we have tried to adapt to the dramatic changes that have occurred within the City. Additionally, larger issues such as the bursting of the housing bubble and the resulting foreclosure crisis as well as trends in the Sober Home market have complicated enforcing the rules.
     Almost three years earlier, it was apparent that the City’s Code Compliance Division was having some serious problems. The Division’s operations were hampered by trying to enforce outdated and inconsistent City Codes and they did not have the resources and training necessary to deal with the difficult circumstances in our City.
     Since then, the organizational issues have been addressed with a complete reworking of the department. The clean-up of the Codes was affected by the City Commission with the adoption of over 50 new ordinances. The result was a much more efficient and effective process with better and more legally sufficient and coordinated regulations.”

and. . .

“Maintaining community standards through Code Compliance is not an easy process. But it is one that we are committed to and one that we have made great progress in over the past several years. Thanks to new and enforceable laws adopted by the City Commission, the creation of the Code Remediation Fund, and a dedicated staff committed to the improvement of the City, we are working to make things better.
     If you have a Code issue you can contact the Code Compliance Division at 561-586-1652 or visit the Community Code Compliance website.”

*By the way, today marks 1,892 days (5 years, 2 months, and 5 days) since City Manager Bornstein was hired on April 16th, 2012. Here’s another quote:

“Michael Bornstein seems to be a happy soul and seems to be happy with the job,” [Barbara Jean] Weber said. “I suspect his stamina has not yet been tested.”
—Ms. Weber quoted by reporter Willy Howard on 6/3/2012 in a Palm Beach Post article titled, “New City Manager Michael Bornstein makes welcome changes in Lake Worth”.