Tuesday, January 02, 2007

From an Activist Citizen

This is an email I received and thought it needed to be passed on. Some of these forclosures are located in SH.


City of Tampa’s Code Enforcement

Over the last 3 years the proactive action from the City of Tampa’s Administration has made some very impressive improvements in enforcing code violation.

With the hiring of Mr. Curtis Lane as well as making the Code Enforcement Department a valued part of government and the support of Mayor Pam, Code Enforcement has now come full circle. Many of the neighborhoods don’t have piles of trash and abandon vehicles littering vacant lots and right of ways that once was common through out the city. Code compliance is at it highest rate in many years.

The development of a Diversion program has help many poorer elderly home owners regain the value of their property by volunteers helping in cleaning overgrowth and accumulation of trash. Code officers now have computers installed in vehicles allowing more time on the streets of Tampa rather then having to return to the office to keep the paper work in order.

However their still seem to be a clog in the system of justice. What do you do with the code violations that refused to be corrected? On both Homestead properties as well as Commercial properties.

What do you do with the number of violations that have reach fines well over the value of the property?

How do we as a City enforces the code that are set in place to the protection of the health and welfare of the City’s citizens and still comply wit h the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution?

In December2005 the mayor of Tamps installed the cities forecloses policy. This policy gave very strong guidelines for the use of Forecloses. At the same time 78 addresses were sent onto the Legal Department with the approved by top level city administrators to be process for foreclose. Somewhere alone the line only 35 of the 78 addresses where look into. Leaving some 43 address out in the cold with no explanation of why they where not looked into.

Of the 35 that where looked into only 5 seem to have the legal department’s approval to go to court. The remaining 30 addresses were deemed not in compliance with the Mayor’s Policy. However there are not records of why these 30 addresses did not comply? Is this poor government or just poor accountability by the City of Tampa’s Legal Department?

In August 2006 the Legal Department sent out guidelines for identifying forecloses. Non Homesteaded prosperities with five or more code enforcement cases with in a three year period and more than $200,000.00 in fines. These guidelines again limit the amount of cases that would qualify for forecloses.

In November 2006 The Legal Department sent out a policy of City Employees Entering onto Private and Commercial Property. Again this policy is limiting the ability of the Code Enforcement Department to enforce city codes.

This and many other questions should be answered at The Tampa City Council meeting on January 4. It is my hope that finial the City of Tampa with all of the Departments involved will come together to correct the problems of Enforcing Codes that we all have worked hard to see place into law.


Pete D Johnson
301 Druid Hills Road
Temple Terrace, Florida 33617
813-980-3291

8 comments:

shawn-non-anonymous said...

Some things worth noting:

"Non-homestead" homes include all rentals.

Most title companies include a homestead form in the stack of paper you sign to buy the home. It is probably true that the vast majority of owner-occupied homes are homesteaded.

Greg said...

with the way property taxes have gone - anyone that can homestead has!

ranbar said...

Just a note - There is no City Council meeting on January 4th. The next meeting is January 11th.

CouldBeSherry said...

Well there you have it! Thanks Randi............That's why you should be a councilperson!

Anonymous said...

Pete Johnson.....you are giving Curtis Lane way too much credit.
I still see piles of crap and it still takes a year to have any kind of resolution if there ever is any.I was very active in the beginning thinking that the mayor gave us hope.Code Enforcement is still being run the same way as when we had Dickie Boy.Nothings changed.Only Dickie Boy cleaned up the properties with some good old fashioned mafia contracts instead of making a big deal about a program.Read some back issues of creative loafing/weekly planet where the FDLE was investigating code enforcement for reducing Vincent Loscalzo's fines to zero even though he had caused problems for years.***And that was done by then director B. Dougherty/Steven Labrake according to the article.

Anonymous said...

Here is the link you are talking about-
http://tampa.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A1134

Anonymous said...

Usnt Warren Dawson running for some political office now?

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