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  • Arne Mortensen

Code Compliance Officer


May 2015

Code Compliance Officer

Recently the County Commissioners voted (Joe Gardner voted No) to add a compliance officer to the County building and planning department (B&PD). Unless we think most people are cheats and would endanger people for a few dollars, a compliance officer is superfluous. If we need one, then something is broken. And, if the sentiment I hear expressed about the B&PD is any indication, the department is broken. Spending money to force compliance to an underlying problem area makes no sense.

A good B&PD would have no trouble with compliance because people would value the service. Such a service would not be about “permitting;” it would be about certifying. Customers would flock to the department for advice. People would be glad to pay reasonable fees to be certified … it would be just like getting your product UL approved.

Typical government answers have been given: “It is for your health and safety?” Let them prove that. Let them justify the hiring not in terms of compliance, but in measurable terms of public welfare. I bet they can’t do that. Be prepared for bafflegab from them.


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