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Thread: Code compliance personalities

  1. #1
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Code compliance personalities

    I have a Code Compliance Officer to supervise. First of all, I adore this worker because the work gets DONE. City Council meeting last night a whole street full of people came out to complain about my officer's handling of their citations. They say she's rude and unreasonable, etc. I defended her in the meeting, of course. I think it's hard not to see an ulterior motive there, but it's got me wondering about the personalities of Code Enforcement.

    The point is, I think this worker does a good job BECAUSE of her personality, not in spite of it. I don't want her to change, because frankly I think she's more effective in Code Enforcement the way she deals with it than I ever could be (I'm a wishy-washy planner, you know?) Anyway, there's the thought. Are the personalities important?
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Well, at my former muni two of the enforcers were retired police officers with muni and one was a former State police officer. They were the best becuase they knew how to deal with confrontation and dealing with court processes. Plus, they knew how to be stubborn and not give much leeway.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    My code enforcement officer is even keeled. I've never heard him lose his cool once, even when the citizens are nasty. He is willing to work with citizens and comes across all different types of people but interprets the code exactly the same. There's a bit of frustration on his behalf because our department head tends to cower more when the board calls her after the citizen complains he's picking on them.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I held the same job (E&S) inspector for two counties, but 10 years apart. I was tough and acted unyielding for the first job. This time around, I am more even-keeled and cordial. The thing is, that even after ten years, people still remembered my reputation.

    I have more success in getting compliance this time around, but I can adopt my former personality if needed. There's no need to be rude, but sometimes sticking to your guns is perceived as rudeness, especially in women.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    In a prior dept where I was under a zoning admin as a building inspector, my feet-planted, but solid, stands led to local political complaints against her that goaded her into quitting.

    Two yrs later, citing money problems, my part time slot was eliminated, leaving them with the least skilled and experienced among us.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jswanek's avatar
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    .

    In many states, Code Enforcement Officers are sworn peace officers, which means THEY violate state law by looking the other way when they see a violation. In those circumstances, non-negotiation on an apparent ZC or Nuisance Code violation seems like rudeness. In reality, once a notice of violation is issued, it is SUPPOSED to go ALL THE WAY through the tortuous process.

    .

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    I interviewed a code enforcement officer the other day as part of Zoning Ordinance update project I'm working on.

    An answer to one question began with, "Before we start breaking arms..."

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ursus View post
    I have a Code Compliance Officer to supervise. First of all, I adore this worker because the work gets DONE. City Council meeting last night a whole street full of people came out to complain about my officer's handling of their citations. They say she's rude and unreasonable, etc. I defended her in the meeting, of course. I think it's hard not to see an ulterior motive there, but it's got me wondering about the personalities of Code Enforcement.

    The point is, I think this worker does a good job BECAUSE of her personality, not in spite of it. I don't want her to change, because frankly I think she's more effective in Code Enforcement the way she deals with it than I ever could be (I'm a wishy-washy planner, you know?) Anyway, there's the thought. Are the personalities important?
    IMHO what works best across the societal spectrum is: firm, fair, polite. Changes in this troika are based on local needs.

    IME there is a big fraction of people that try to get away with what they can get away with. When they get caught they are contrite. There are some who get caught and try to blame anybody but themselves. This personality type is better off ignoring and not confronting. The large chunk of the other personality type shouldn't be treated like the blame-everyone-else crowd.

    That is: not everyone gets treated the same way.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    IMHO what works best across the societal spectrum is: firm, fair, polite. Changes in this troika are based on local needs.

    IME there is a big fraction of people that try to get away with what they can get away with. When they get caught they are contrite. There are some who get caught and try to blame anybody but themselves. This personality type is better off ignoring and not confronting. The large chunk of the other personality type shouldn't be treated like the blame-everyone-else crowd.

    That is: not everyone gets treated the same way.
    Great point. I think the only thing I'm missing is the "polite" part of the equation. If I could give my officer a litte "cooler head" she would be the paragon, as she is already tough and fair.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I agree that it could just be that she is a woman. I find people going over my head when I say no. I try very hard to get things accomplished but I do have a patient side. I can wait long than others.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Queen B and kms you are so right....and it is so wrong.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  12. #12
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    update

    I'm nominating our Code Compliance Officer for Employee of the Month. Spring always reminds me how glad I am that she wants to be a Compliance Officer so that I don't have to...
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

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