Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Resident alleges selective enforcement by codes department

At last night's Columbia Borough Council meeting, Gerald Maurer, 518 North Third Street, alleged that the Columbia Borough Codes Department has engaged in several incidents of selective enforcement, nonfeasance, and misfeasance over the past few years.  In particular, Maurer noted that the property next to his (516 North Third Street) sustained a fire on June 22, 2013, due to faulty wiring (as determined by the fire department). In the aftermath, Maurer took the photographs posted below, which he says display the poor condition of the interior of the house - aside from fire damage - and support his claims of selective code enforcement, since the codes department had not previously cited the property for code violations.  (Maurer presented these photographs to council at last night's meeting.) Maurer added that, to his knowledge, no search warrant had been executed for this property to investigate its interior. However, Maurer claims that on one occasion, a search warrant was issued for his own property, and he arrived home to find a code enforcement officer and two policemen inside his house. He also cited ongoing disputes he has had with the codes department for a deck he had added to his property, even though the department did not specify which codes he was violating.

MORE TO FOLLOW ON THIS STORY





25 comments:

  1. Maybe the code enforcement officer lives in this house

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  2. Wow... someone is just now bringing this to the publics attention... that's ashame this has been happening for too long.

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  3. Its owned by a landlord! Lets get a name out there people!!

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  4. Code enforcement has been selective for a very long time.

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  5. Codes department is a joke. They will go after someone for a small lift in their sidewalk or some minor paint chipping on a house but they let this go without any action. Time to clean house, fire and hire.

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  6. Lol do you think? No worries though we have a few councilors who actually care.
    Was council president behaving, or sleeping???

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  7. Taxpayers are being duped. The code department is costing us way too much annually and for what? We are paying to be harrassed. Let's demand change. The code department in this small borough should not be costing over a quarter of a million dollars a year. There is something very wrong here.

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  8. Meeting after meeting there is someone with a complaint about the code department. Is anyone listening?

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  9. the whole things a joke. codes NOT doing their jobs. council not listening to residents. this property was NOT a rental when it caught on fire. but codes dept selective????? without a doubt and it has been this way for years! they SHOULD be fining props like this one the one on 208 or 210 Locust St, etc. looking at both gateways into town to clean em up. what about 431 Locust St-do they have a valid permit???? or are they just painting...no permit needed. just sayin. the code officers SHOULD WALK THE DOWNTOWN AREA FROM BOTTOM OF LOCUST ST UP TO 5TH AND LOCUST EVERY DAY LOOKING FOR THE OBVIOUS SINCE THEY DON'T EVER SEE IT.

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    1. They can not do this because they would be stepping on a section 8 land lords toes!! They who have the GOLD shall make the RULES!!!

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  10. good comments! i agree. time for change.

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  11. When I presented Borough Council with evidence Monday night, the Council seemed to think my "kitchen addition" was a bigger threat to community safety and welfare than was a fire (electrical in nature) that could have destroyed half a city block and killed on injured many innocent residents on North Third Street. Columbia Borough Code Enforcement and those officials those in Columbia Borough who are in collusion with Commonwealth Code Inspections Services, Inc. to fleece the taxpayers of Columbia need to be looked into by a "watchdog agency." I smell a rat, a big rat. Who made the deal with C.C.I.S., Inc. to be the ONLY code inspection service that Code Enforcement will accept? Who was on Columbia Borough Council when this "arrangement" was made. The rat stinks more every day.

    Gerald B. Maurer

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    1. Council didn't dispute your assertion that the codes department has a $300,000 a year budget but farms out the work to CCIS - so it must be "on the money."

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    2. Most municipalities have a list which contains numerous inspectors under the uniform building code. Are you saying we only have one? If so, there is something very wrong!!!

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  12. I would like to learn more about this third party code inspection service. I was born here in Columbia and have been a taxpayer for decades and this is the first time I heard about a third party being involved in codes. What an astronomical fee we are paying. Our taxes are high enough and our elected officials are to be minding the money wisely for us. The entire current codes department needs abolished.

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  13. The Code Enforcement Budget is public record

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    1. Code enforcement's expense budget for 2015 is $194,925 - http://www.columbiapa.net/budget-information/

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  14. Codes and laws need to be enforce everywhere in this Boro. Not just pretty locust st.?

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  15. Where's the current permit being displayed for the scaffolding set up on (pretty) Locust Street, near the old theater? The visible permit is for work on a back porch and is outdated.

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  16. A few of the trash cans on Locust Street were recently overflowing with shoe boxes and even a stroller. Do the missionaries need a permit to set up shop at the bus stop on Locust Street, as they have been doing almost daily?

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  17. this is the sh-- that happens when no on e is paying attention. Boro mgmt AND COuncil do WHATEVER they want because no one cares enough to be bothered to attend mtgs (REGULAR BORO COUNCIL MTGS ARE THE 2ND MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH @ 7:00 PM & THE COUNCIL MTG OF THE WHOLE IS THE 4TH MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH @ 6:00 PM

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  18. ya know the codes dept DOESN"T EVEN do rental inspections anymore. and do you know HOW MANY rental properties are in this ITTY BITTY TEENY BORO??????? WAY WAY TOO MANY. Boro mgmt SHOULD be doing something about it.

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  19. WHAT?????????????????????? $$$$$195,000.00 for codes dept for the year?#&!^#$ are they freakin crazy. people we gotta get to mtgs. committee of the whole is mon july 27 at 6 pm. its much more informal and open. they have way too many code officers who are NOT doing what they SHOULD be doing. hell the one sits out side and smokes cigarettes all the time. AND has an attitude.

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  20. ya know people...its time to call your council persons, stop them on the street, or in the stores. and TELL them this is bs. its unacceptable and they are NOT performing to the standards of the taxpaying residents. Council RUNS IT ALL. and they are a bunch of puppets. time for change.

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  21. couldn't of said it better! council persons are public servants....their phone numbers and or email accounts are PUBLIC info. i think the entire Boro should start calling & emailing everyone of them and let them know we are tired. we are done. we want answers and we want accountability! can someone please post their info? thank you!!!!!

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