September 26, 2014
Our County Manager seems to have a penchant for blaming others and making excuses. So it is when it comes to people complaining about our Code Enforcement Officer/Zoning Administrator.
If you go by the P&Z office, where Sherry Braley, our code enforcement officer is supposed to work, you never know how long you have to wait for her to show up so you can get a permit or license. It could be hours or even days. Just don’t go before 9:30AM because you would be wasting your time for sure if you go before then.
There are many days when Sherry doesn’t show up for work at all, like this past Friday (9/26/14). When an open records request was put in for code enforcement citations, we were told there was no list to provide. So how does anyone know what she does or if she does anything? When folks complain , all they hear from the County Manager is excuses instead of making sure the work is being done. No doubt Ms. Degges’ solution is to hire more people instead of requiring everyone to be in on time and keep a log of their work. (Code Enforcement officers used to always keep a daily log. That way they could prove when inspections were done. Now there are no logs kept or required to be kept.)
How many cases has Ms. Braley taken to Magistrate Court this year? Last year it was a whopping 11 cases. This year, as of 9/28/14, she has had TWO cases in Magistrate Court—both for open burning. How many fines has she collected this year? For the two cases the fines were $50 each.
Where is the evidence that Sherry Braley actually works 40 hours a week? There is none. Just because a time sheet says 8 hours for a day means nothing because everyone puts down their own time.
When people that have driven to town to get a license or permit want to know where she is and why she is never in the office, the County Manager gives them the excuse that “back in 2009 there were 5 people in that office, blah, blah, blah.” That may have been true for a month or two in 2009, but there have only been 2 people in the P&Z office for more than 4 years, and up until our new County Manager graced our county with her presence, 2 was sufficient.
In 2008 when 5 people were in the office, there was a need for them—4 or 5 subdivisions being worked on, houses being built that required inspections , code enforcement issues, monthly P&Z board meetings, etc. Now what is there to do and why can’t 2 people handle it? They could if the County Manager did her job and made the employees come to work on time and actually work for the money they are making. Of course, that might be hard to do when the County Manager has a hard time showing up on time and putting in a full day’s work herself.
Ms. Braley had her picture in the Monticello News this past week because she went to class and became a certified code enforcement officer (at taxpayer’s expense). Now we are just waiting for her to show up for work and do her job every day—like doing something about those burned out houses that have been an eye sore for years, working on numerous other long time code violations, and printing out business licenses that people are waiting on.
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