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Friday, December 23, 2016

What Do These Photo Say About Nashville's Metro Codes Being Understaffed?

 Oh, Nashville - we can do better.  The recent piece on NPR about Nashville's Metro Codes being understaffed rings so true if you are someone who is highly interested in walking.  Port-a-potties literally placed mid-sidewalk are, sadly, not terribly uncommon.   Parking meters, also mid-sidewalk.  Guide wires.  Poles.  All mid-sidewalk.  

No one is watching.
No one is being held responsible.

No fines collected.
No corrections made.

If no one ever comes around and fines you, a contractor or developer may never know (or care).  If there is no inspector available, despite complaints, the issues never get better.

Situations like this, of stuff in the middle of the sidewalk, should lead to a fine & correction.  Preferably, a steep fine that is memorable to the contractor/developer & speedy repair.  

NPR reports, with the provocative title of 'Metro Codes Is Understaffed And Handles Citizen Complaints With A ‘Skewed’ System, Consultants Find', that codes is 'understaffed and overwhelmed'.

'And it describes the system of responding to citizen complaints — about uncut grass, garbage in alleyways, and unsafe buildings — as “skewed more toward protecting the rights of property owners against unjustified complaints than it is toward providing relief to neighbors.”'

The consultants 'suggest several changes to add teeth to enforcement'.  

If you live in Nashville, you know exactly what this means.  You can call about an issue but then see the same thing pop-up on the next block over.  It is EXHAUSTING to notice these things and make these calls/complaints.  When you do call, you, as a citizen, are frequently asked to gather more information before action can be taken.  In a city that is properly staffed, I don't think they would be asking you to do leg work.  In Nashville, this asking for more, almost feels like a push-off.  Like if they ask you for more, you'll just drop it.  That is not the spirit and we can do better.  

We should want to do better.  

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