Westwego – The excessive code enforcer

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After a notice was placed on my boat trailer, which I thought had excessive wording on it, I decided to contact the Westwego council members via email. By reading my email below, I’m sure you will understand my frustrations behind this incident.

I’ll post updates as they come available.

Below is my email in response to the violation notice.

From: Mervin Graves [mailto:xxxx@xxxxx.com]
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2017 9:17 AM
To: glenngreen@netzero.com; johnnynoblesjr@gmail.com; LisaValence@cityofwestwego.com; info@cityofwestwego.com
Subject: Code enforcement violation notices

Council members and Mr. Mayor,

As a life long resident, I am quick to say that I love living in our small city. It’s unique in so many ways. I have recently found out that even our code enforcement policies may even be unique.

I recently came home from a out of town trip to find a sticker attached to my boat trailer. The part of attaching the sticker and notifying me of the violation is not the problem here as I was definitely in violation of the ordinance. The problem I have is the wording on the sticker, which reads “will result in the removal and destruction by the city.” Its in the least, a little extreme and excessive.

My trip out of town lasted a week. Had I taken it a week later, I would have never seen this notice in time, as it allowed me only two days to move the boat. Does this mean that I would have come home to a boat that would have already been removed and destroyed? As a tax paying, life long citizen of the city, I have to say that I am in the very least, furious by this wording and threat of these actions.

It’s one thing to notify a resident of a violation and very considerate of the city to allow the resident to correct the problem before a actual citation is issued. Thank you for that. But… the wording and strict short time allowed for correction is unacceptable. I’m asking you to rethink it and for someone to introduce a ordinance that would give residents a time frame that is more rational.

We have several new faces on the council and I firmly believe the city is finally moving forward in the right direction. Please take this into consideration and continue our city moving in that forward direction.

A response on your decision would be greatly appreciated. In the past, I have sent emails and did not receive one response. It kind of makes a resident feel like they are going unheard. Hopefully our refreshed council
will also change these ways.

Sincerely,
Mervin Graves


I received the following response from council member Johnny Nobles on Mon 9/11/2017 10:20 AM.

Mr Graves,

Thank you for your email. I will discuss this situation with the mayor and other council members to give a better time frame to give our citizens more time to be in compliance of our city ordinances.

Sincerely,

Johnny Nobles,Jr


I received the following response from council member Lisa Valence on Mon 9/11/2017 1:54 PM.

Good afternoon.  I understand and appreciate your concern for the wording.

We have been working hard to clean our city and follow the ordinances, as the mayor campaigned, “fairly and firmly”.  This is one of several issues we are working on for a smoother flow of enforcement.

Please be patient as we work out some of the kinks. The wording is extreme and we are working on this.

Sincerely,

Lisa Valence

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