Presentation on theme: "P OLITICS AND C ODE E NFORCEMENT Georgia Association of Code Enforcers February 20, 2015 Brandon L. Bowen Jenkins & Bowen, P.C. 15 South Public Square."— Presentation transcript:
P OLITICS AND C ODE E NFORCEMENT Georgia Association of Code Enforcers February 20, 2015 Brandon L. Bowen Jenkins & Bowen, P.C. 15 South Public Square Cartersville, Georgia (770)
W HAT IS POLITICS ?
W HAT IS YOUR JOB ?
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” - Plato
Code Enforcement Officer Sees violations every day. Knows how violations throughout the city are treated. Hears excuses every day. Has to report to administrative, executive, legislative and judicial officials. Has to deal with difficult people. Has to deal with difficult situations. Has to deal with property owners. Has to deal with the Court. Has to answer to the public.
Court Has seen a lot worse. May not feel this case is as important as other matters. Does not know what the COE has already done. Does not want to see the case again.
Property owner May not have ever dealt with the government before. May not trust the government. May not believe government has the right to interfere with his use of property. Likely does not know the ordinances. Does not know what other enforcement actions have been taken. May feel he is being picked on for other reasons. May not know better. May not be able to do better. May have significant other problems in his life.
Legislators Want to improve their community. Answerable to constituents. May not know or understand what enforcement actions you have taken in the past. May not have an understanding of legal process. May have friends and family that are the subject of enforcement actions. May have friends and family that want to push enforcement action.
Public Wants to see community improved. May have personal animas. Probably does not know the extent & history. May distrust government. May suspect “old boy network.” N I M B Y
S O WHAT DO YOU DO TO SATISFY THESE CONCERNS ?
W HAT ARE THE KEY SKILLS OF COE?
W HAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF POST CERTIFIED COE’ S ?
P ROBLEM P ERSONALITIES P ROBLEM P ERSONALITIES “I am thankful for all those difficult people in my life, they have shown me exactly who I do not wish to be.”
P ROBLEM P EOPLE
Egotist: “An Egotist is like a cock who thinks the sun has risen to hear him crow.” -George Elliot
Paranoid: “Just because I’m paranoid does not mean they’re not out to get me.”
Know-it-alls Gotcha’s / Manipulators Yes person No person Liars Rejection sensitive Neurotic
Deny responsibility Blame others Intentionally ignorant Suspects a conspiracy Over generalizes Everything is personal C OMMON T RAITS
Don’t expect them to change Don’t expect them to agree with you Make them feel like you are focused on their needs
1.Understanding their reality 2.Set a reasonable goal 3.Action plan / Results driven
N neutralize your emotions I identify type of person C control the emotions E explain options
P ROBLEM S CENARIOS P ROBLEM S CENARIOS How do you deal with…
Mayor who wants favorable treatment for a friend
Elderly property owner who is not capable of maintaining her property
City Attorney/Judge that does not feel case is important
City Council member with an agenda
Neighbor with a vendetta
C ONFIDENTIALITY C ONFIDENTIALITY “anonymous complaints”
P ERSONAL INTEREST P ERSONAL INTEREST “trashy house next door” Do you live in the community you serve?
E FFECTIVE S TRATEGIES
“The first rule for getting out of holes is: stop digging.”
R UNNING A C LEAN U P C AMPAIGN R UNNING A C LEAN U P C AMPAIGN Making a priority list Address specific communities Unfit Housing ordinance
U SING S IGNS
K EEPING A PHOTO RECORD OF PROPERTIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS K EEPING A PHOTO RECORD OF PROPERTIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS Document your progress
G OOD RELATIONS WITH P OLICE /S HERIFF
G OOD RELATIONS WITH B UILDING I NSPECTOR AND E NGINEERING
L ANGUAGE B ARRIERS L ANGUAGE B ARRIERS translators on staff bilingual officers
S ELECTIVE E NFORCEMENT S ELECTIVE E NFORCEMENT Document the file