Thanks to the Brockport Police Department there is no garbage piled on the sidewalks on King Street, for the first time in more than two weeks.
The garbage on King Street became an issue when the garbage companies stopped picking up the garbage from several rental houses on the street. It seemed pretty obvious that the students had stopped paying their garbage bill, so the garbage companies stopped picking up the garbage from the students renting several houses on the street.
Residents of the neighborhood complained to the Code Enforcement Department, but nothing happened. The garbage just stayed on the street, attracting mice, rats, raccoons and skunks, all of whom enjoyed the free meals provided by the garbage.
Finally, the Brockport Police stepped in when it got so bad that complaints kept pouring in and it was an obvious health and safety issue that was not being addressed by anyone.
Enforcing this particular section of the code is actually the responsibility of one of the two new part-time code enforcement officers, but nothing was happening and the complaints kept coming in. So Chief Varrenti had two police officers find out who the landlords were and had them contact the landlords to get the garbage removed immediately.
Health and safety problem solved, Why the code enforcement department couldn’t get this done is a question that needs to be directed to Mayor Margay Blackman and to David Miller, the new Code Enforcement Officer.
To make matters worse, the mayor stepped in after the fact and scolded the Police Chief for doing what needed to be done because it was the responsibility of the code enforcement department, even though they weren’t doing anything about it.
Shame on Mayor Blackman. Raking the Police Chief over the coals for doing what had to be done, and that should have been done a lot sooner, is about as foolish as punishing your dog for catching a mouse because mouse catching is your cat’s job.
When someone shows initiative, a good leader praises them for doing so, and saves criticism for the employees who fail to show any initiative, but instead claim, “that these issues will be addressed appropriately and in due time.” And then does nothing about them.
Instead, the new Code Enforcement Officer says that he, “Can assure everyone that steps are being taken to spur compliance with other methods, outside of court action. I am not at liberty to discuss those matters at this time.”
Why the new Code Enforcement Officer is loath to issue appearance tickets to people who violate the code, is a mystery. Why he is not at liberty to discuss those matters should be a matter of concern for village residents.
And why can he “assure everyone that steps are being taken to spur compliance with other methods, outside of court action.”
What is wrong with court action? That is exactly what the Village Code calls for. Is the new Code Enforcement Officer cutting deals with the landlords, like he tried to do with Bob Webster when Webster illegally widened the driveway at the house next to the Village Hall?
Or is he deliberately ignoring the law, as set down in the Village Code, and attempting to rewrite the rules to be the way he thinks they should be?
Or is he only capable of doing one thing at a time. He has said, “I am sure we can all agree that the priority is updating all expired Certificate of Occupancies.”
For all we know he can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, which would explain why he struggles to juggle two or three tasks in the same day or week. The expired Cof O’s are important, but so is the garbage on King Street, and so is the pile of pallets on State Street, and so is the illegally expanded driveway at the corner of State Street and Park Avenue.
The slumlords will do that to you. They’ll try to overwhelm you with more than you can handle so you freeze and do nothing. It’s an age old tactic that Brockport’s slumlords have used effectively for years and years.
Stop playing games and just enforce the Village Code. If that means court appearances, then it means court appearances.