On March 10, after a phone call from a resident complaining about a neighboring property, I published a picture of a car on Lawrence Street parked on a property’s lawn. When I returned over the weekend to see if the car was moved, the car was not moved. Instead, I noticed a second car parked on a neighboring lawn (see picture below). That is, however, what happens. When there is no enforcement, infractions increase.
On the other hand, according to the minutes of the Village Board’s February 22 meeting (page 4), Deputy Mayor Griffin, Jr. noted he has received numerous complaints about some of the tactics of our Code Enforcement people. He complained that a summons is issued to certain homeowners instead of confronting the home owner or the person responsible. First, the Village of Mount Kisco does not have “Code Enforcement people,” it has one part-time Code Enforcement Officer. If Deputy Mayor Griffin has an issue, perhaps he should confront the person instead of issuing a broad proclamation. Second, in my ten years as a Trustee, the only complaints I heard about overzealous code enforcement was from Village Board members who either received summonses or had their friends receive summonses. Lastly, many properties have absentee landlords who cannot be easily located.
Trustee Morreale stated that when he and Trustee Farber were campaigning, the feeling among some of the residents is of a lack of professionalism in Code Enforcement. He continued “I think if people are concerned about this we should take a position and take a look at it and see if it goes beyond just giving summonses and not dealing with people.” He added that Code Enforcement should “not be punitive.”
Trustee Morreale must not have talked to residents around Spring Street who are crying for code enforcement from landlords who are taking advantage of Mount Kisco and less fortunate residents by creating hotels out of their properties and creating fire hazards. Trustee Morreale must not have spoken with residents around Grove Street and Leonard Street who are begging for code enforcement. Maybe he should speak to a few of Mount Kisco’s first responders who have been injured responding to fires caused by unsafe conditions. The next time a first responder is injured in a fire caused by a negligent property owner, Trustee Morreale should go to the hospital and ease the injured party’s pain by telling them “don’t worry, the Village of Mount Kisco acted extremely professional to the landlord that caused the situation leading to your injuries.”
There are many code violations that are causing unsafe conditions in Mount Kisco. If there are a few isolated incidents where the “Code Enforcement people” were unprofessional, speak with them. To, however, make a public proclamation that may result in a chilling effect on proper code enforcement is dangerous for the residents of Mount Kisco.