Thursday, April 14, 2016
Brandon Bennett and I just spoke and he was very conciliatory. He explained how the notification letter evolved into what it is today, which is basically a catchall for natural disasters, neglect, fire and abandonment. He did admit the letter as is takes a too-heavy handed approach. I think it became a situation of being too close to the trees to notice the forest.
His staff is going to rework their procedures and create notices that are more specific to the situation. Home fire will be separated out and treated differently than the others. He asked that I participate in the process and give input into the draft of the new letter, which they hope to have in place in the next several weeks.
At this point I can only express positive feelings about the response from the city. Mayor Price acted quickly, there was no denial or pushback from any person involved, the situation was deemed serious and in need of resolution, and a process of correction is underway. I don't think one can ask more than that.
Most importantly, to me anyway, future victims of home fires will be greeted by a city government that truly cares about helping them get their lives back on track. I never envisioned that code compliance would become my cause celebre, but I guess we take them as they come. My only hope was that the city would be motivated to turn a negative into a positive and that's just what has occurred so, in that sense, mission accomplished.
Many thanks to all who expressed interest or became incolved in this adventure.