Town Manager Vanessa George has discussed working with Hamilton County with respect to Code Enforcement. However, she was told that the County is not to the point of working with other municipalities at this time. Currently Shonda Werts is our code enforcement officer for White Springs.
In my opinion there is much to be desired. Ms. Werts does not have the abilities or capabilities to undertake the Code Enforcement position in a fair and just manner. Just look at what she and former manager Jones did to Sammy Dye. Although Fire Chief Pittman indicated that electricity hooked up to Mr. Dye’s mobile home was safer than filling a generator with gas, the Town Denied electricity to Dye.
Since that time Mr. Dye has cleaned the lot and moved the vehicles which were on the berm of the roadway. And in view of problems in his own family has purchased acreage out of Town where he has or is planning to move. It was also noted that Ms. Werts would trespass on property and go into other people’s homes unannounced for which she had no right.
To some of the audience’s dismay, Joe Griffin indicated that when Attorney Foreman was the magistrate for White Springs, Andrew Greene did a fine job with code enforcement. Mr. Greene wrote up reports on the infractions and took photographs by vehicle which assisted the handling of those violations greatly.
Attorney Foreman believes the Town Council is capable of being the magistrate for White Springs. It would save the Town money and the Council could handle the investigation and make a determination as a magistrate could. We by law have the right to seek remedy for ordinance violations but our town to this point has not done so.
Since Brush fires seem to transpire, Chief Pittman has now been given the okay to to enforce the Land Development Regulations. Specifically illegal burning has been a problem in White Springs and now for the first time, he will have what they called “teeth” in the event a warning is not complied with.
The Griffins of course have always wished for a fire assessment to be made on vacant or unoccupied lots. These lots provide the same hazards and probably more since they are not cared for on a regular basis. In fact houses are falling down in part, porches deteriorating, etc and it is felt that if there was a monetary assessment such as $100 a year from each of these vacant or unoccupied lots, of which White Springs has several, it would assist our Fire Department operations. After all the buildings are not worth much, except for possibly the land, and the owners probably do not even pay taxes on those properties. For some, the vegetation has outgrowth and the grounds have not been mowed.
It may be mentioned that we have heard some individuals comment that the Town of White Springs does not do anything for our citizens. 2020 was a terrible coronavirus year but technically, the Town has been short of money for over a decade and one-half.
Our council members felt spending money on what in some cases was frivolous and did not help the people at large, made these council members look good so that they would be continually voted in. So finally we are rid of the old guard and it is up to our new Council, Manager and staff to attempt to save money while trying to provide the Town with the services they deserve. It will not be easy, but remember the rules for many of these increases were placed by the Council of the Old Guard in ordinance and in order for White Springs to survive, it will be necessary that the rules be followed so that our Town may finally not be in a deficit position.