February 13, 2012 by wcobserver
As far as we are aware, none of the eight West Fork council members has ever publicly expressed any interest — much less support — for the idea of having an independent Code Enforcement Officer. They seem content with “doing it the way they’ve always done it.” That is, they’re content to relying on the police to enforce the non-traffic and non-criminal violations of city law, even though the chief has stated his dissatisfaction with that arrangement.
It seems curious that a group of eight elected officials could be so harmonious in their disregard for the municipal code. Appointing an enforcement officer hasn’t been a serious consideration for the council even though problems arising from lack of enforcement keep begging for attention.
In the past weeks and months, code violations involving neglected property have twice come before the city council. The planning commission has been dealing with issues resulting from lack of enforcement regarding zoning, conditional use and
businesses licenses. Failure to enforce the code uniformly and consistently will undoubtedly lead to more citizen discontent, neighbor-versus-neighbor-ill-will and possibly legal action.
Why the council refuses to address this glaring issue is anybody’s guess. From the cynical perspective (we like to think of it as realistic), we have a couple of guesses.
One is based on the psychological phenomenon, Groupthink, which happens when the group members’ desire to agree with each other overrides a realistic appraisal of alternative viewpoints. The push for code enforcement is coming from Mayor Hime, whom the council seems united in opposing.
The other guess, even more cynical, is that not all, but many (ok, some) of the code violations originate in the upper strata of the West Fork power structure. The lords of the manor can “get out the vote” and council members know that. That’s the way we’ve always done it.