by KATHRYN DENTATO
The General Fund budget discussion on Aug. 10, 2020, included the proposed Economic Development position and another Code Enforcement Officer. At almost every public meeting, Brooksville citizens ask for an additional Code Enforcement Officer.
At Council’s recommendation at the July 28, 2020 meeting, Kutney added $47,000 (rounded to $50,000) to the FY2021 Community Development Department for a second Code Enforcement Officer. The figure includes fees for a Special Magistrate to adjudicate code violations.
David Peters, the City’s current Code Enforcement Officer, is also the Zoning Administrator. He uses one of the City’s vehicles to respond to and verify complaints.
Council Member Bill Kemerer asked if the City would need another vehicle for the second Code Enforcement Officer to use. Since Peters uses the vehicle only during a portion of the day, no new vehicle was budgeted for FY2021, Kutney said.
Attending the meeting by phone, Council Member Erhard said she approved of adding a Code Enforcement Officer. Erhard wants someone who has time to address road conditions, specifically potholes, and other signs of neglect. It is all part of making Brooksville an inviting place to visit, live, and work, she said.
“It’s long overdue,” Erhard said because Peters’ time is almost evenly spent between zoning and code enforcement tasks. City Clerk Jennifer Battista answered Erhard’s questions of when and why Peters’ duties are divided.
In 2010, the City had both a Plans Examiner and a full-time Code Enforcement Officer. When the Plans Examiner retired that year, a decision was made to combine the roles of Code Enforcement Officer/Zoning Administrator.
Kutney said his goal is to make Code Enforcement more efficient by having the Community Development Department work in synchrony with his planned Economic Development Department, which is dependent upon the Council’s decision on BMS funding. Proactive code enforcement is better than reactive, Kutney said.