Two Little Words

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

After 30 years in law enforcement and almost seven years in code enforcement, there are two little words I heard yesterday that are as rare as hen’s teeth and as welcome as my mom’s hug … “Thank you.”  Typically, most people we deal with are not happy to see us.

Last week, we had residents from the Bloomfield Orchards Subdivision in our office who were rightfully upset about their neighbor’s back yard.  Apparently for the last couple years the owner had rented his house to tenants who weren’t exactly “gung ho” on maintenance or yard care.  Now the tenants have moved out and the house is vacant, adding to the maintenance issues.

At our front desk, I explained to them that we have rather limited powers as to entering a citizen’s property.  Generally, if we can’t see a problem from the street or sidewalk, we can’t go any further to investigate.  However, I asked for permission to enter their yard for observation and it was immediately granted.  Later that day, I inspected the situation and they, of course, were right – the neighbor’s yard was a mess.

Darren Darge, the Yoda of Code Enforcement

My partner, Darren Darge, used his Jedi computer powers to ascertain that the property in question was the subject of a lawsuit.  We contacted a person who had power of attorney for the former owner and she was extremely cooperative.  She agreed to clean up the yard over the weekend.  I gave her some specifics as to what the City’s Code required and she assured me that it would be done accordingly.

Upon re-inspecting the yard, I found that the clean up exceeded my expectations and, apparently, the neighbor’s as well.  Yesterday, the neighbor called and left a very nice message about how she watched the crew all weekend and what a great job they did.

She also said those two little words that motivates us to serve … “Thank You.”  Well, it was our pleasure.  Glad we could help.