AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The killing of a code enforcement officer while on the job last month has raised concerns with Augusta commissioners.
“I think the safety of our people comes first. We have to do something, we have to make sure our people are safe,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
Commissioner Sammie Sias says to help keep code enforcement officers safer, and to centralize the job of code enforcement, all those doing the job need to come under the direction of the Marshal.
“We have also talked about efficiency in our Code Enforcement Department we’ve been talking about blight and all these other things for years now,” said Commissioner Sias.
But other commissioners say they could not support giving all code enforcement functions to the Marshal.
“Our constituents call us and we get the ditches cleaned out and get the street pot hole fixed things of that nature we don’t want to give it up to an elected official and we have little or not say so at the end of the day,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.
Other commissioners are saying new equipment not a new boss will keep code officers safer.
“Code enforcement did say is that bullet proof vests have been ordered for all of the employees,” said Commissioner Bill Fennoy.
Mayor Davis saying commissioner just last week started a conversation on how to deal with blight in the city now he says commissioners need to stay focused on that.
“Most people translate that of addressing the issues of vacancy blight in the city we’ve done a piss poor job at that for six years as long as I’ve been here,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.
And blight and the best way to deal with it continues to plagued city leaders as of this meeting as well.
Commissioners did not approve folding code enforcement into the Marshal’s office and instead voted to continue having the Blight Subcommittee search for better solutions.
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