Hiram Hires Code Enforcement Officer to Address Blight and Code Compliance
The City of Hiram welcomes a new addition to the Hiram team, Cliff McGrady, who will be assuming the lead role in our Code Enforcement initiatives.
While Hiram has many aesthetic attributes and curbside appeal, our City still has its share of blighted properties which, if left unchecked and not addressed, could become a prelude to social disorder and crime. Research has shown that properties that are not maintained and left unkempt and blighted can contribute to crime. Reason being, the lack of care and maintenance sends a message that the community does not have a vested interest in its appearance and, therefore, becomes more attractive to those who engage in criminal activity. The mission of code enforcement is to eradicate nuisances that contribute to blight, social disorder and crime.
According to section 22-24 of the Municipal Code, “It is the duty of the owner of every dwelling, building, structure, or property within the jurisdiction to construct and maintain such dwelling, building, structure, or property in conformance with applicable codes in force within the city, or such ordinances which regulate and prohibit activities on property and which declare it to be a public nuisance to construct or maintain any dwelling, building, structure or property in violation of such codes or ordinances.”
According to City Manager Robbie Rokovitz, “We are not looking to issue citations and bring violators of our Municipal Code to court to face fines and possible jail time.” “To the contrary, we are seeking voluntary compliance with the local nuisance codes that apply to residences, businesses and vacant properties not maintained by absentee landlords,” continued Rokovitz.
The first contact made by our Code Enforcement Officer will be to educate the property owner of the violation he/she may not even be aware of violating. It is at that time the alleged offender is given an oral notice of the violation. The alleged violator will be given a reasonable period of time to correct the violation. If corrected and brought into compliance, the incident is documented with no further action. If the violation is not remedied, a notice of violation is issued. Again, the alleged violator is given a reasonable period of time to bring the property into compliance. If not, the Code Enforcement Officer will issue a citation and assign a court date in which the alleged violator will have to appear before the municipal judge. This court appearance can lead to a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than one year.
Again, our goal is to seek voluntary compliance and ensure we maintain an attractive and aesthetically pleasing community where people want to live, work, play and retire. The Code of Ordinances are available on the City of Hiram website, www.hiram-ga.gov.