Are we going to have the fines in the city raised? Well if the head of the Building & Engineering Dept has his way they will go up. If I understand what was being said during his budget meeting he wants to raise the fines on ordinance violations to raise funds to help his department pay for the repair of the cars. These cars are what he called hand me downs, they are cars that other departments used, and they have been given to his dept. The ordinance officers drive them around town to search for violations in the city. If I understand what I heard he is asking the council to raise the fine, and to maybe change the way the tickets are given. Instead of getting a warning I think you will be getting a ticket right away. He’s looking to raise the cost of the inspection fee from 30.00 to 50.00, he said that he called many of the real estate agents in the city, and they are fine with this. I would like to point out that this was raised just last year,
I would like to point out that this was raised just last year apparently, the field inspectors are having to go to a property three separate times. While he is saying he wants to do this to help pay for the repair of the cars in his department, he only put down $2,500 in the budget for repair, and maintenance. While he told the council that on one car alone he paid 240.00 doing only the bare minimum for repairs on this car. On another car, he paid $ 260.00. in repairs, this brought the question from councilman Barron, as to why he is only putting $2,500 in his budget for repair, if he has paid this much already, he will run out in no time.
One thing I did not like was when the director of this dept, said that he did not repair the air condition on one of the cars, that this was not needed, and I’m wording it nicely how he said it was not so nice. Well, I would ask that you drive around in one of these cars all day in 90-degree temperatures in the middle of the summer, and see how you like it. Mr. Mayor maybe you would like to step in and tell your appointed department head that he should let them have AC, and no it’s not a luxury. If you want to find a way to cut in your department start with yourself.
This department has eliminated one position because Mr. Sobh is licensed to do this job too. So maybe you could give those part-time ordinance officers a break and fix the AC in the cars, after all, they are generating revenue for the city. Councilwoman Horvath asked about two properties in the city that she considers blight, on our community. The vacant lot next to Mexican Fiesta, and the Tuffy building. Mr. Sobh replied that a few months back the vacant lot got a ticket. Contractors called the city to ask about the repairs needed on the Tuffy building so mark the date he said that on April 27th 2010, let’s see if anything every gets done on it. I’ve said something here about this too, but I will not hold my breath to see if anything is going to be done with either of them.