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The Problem with Code Enforcement

Marco’s residents ranked Code Enforcement as the 4th worst City Operations issue facing residents (7:1 residents marked Code Enforcement poor/very poor; see survey results following)


We want a government that: (1) gets things done and (2) ensures that solutions are effective and improve the issue being addressed. In Marco’s case, the lack of effective CODE ENFORCEMENT appears to contribute to the lack of trust in government and the decline of Marco’s residents’ quality-of-life!


Poor Code Enforcement might result from what is being written into regulation. I believe less is more, and regulations focused on a narrow outcome are often more effective. Poor code enforcement might mean we can’t deliver on poorly written ordinances.


Often Ordinances lack:

  1. DESIGN or IMPLEMENTATION: At times, we don’t have the processes & systems in place to ensure regulations can be enforced. Does it require a new approach, a new tool to assess the situation, a new tracking system, training staff, increasing staff, and an expert advisor to help implement?

  2. TARGETING THE ROOT CAUSE: Often, we don’t know what will fix “THE ISSUE” or how to put the proper organizational design in place to deliver the intended results.

  3. INTENT: Did the ordinance intend to be enforced, and did the authors follow through to ensure it achieves the intended change?

  4. REGULATORY STRENGTH: Confounding issues by trying to satisfy or please a variety of constituents with opposing interests is likely to end up as a poor ordinance. Using a watered-down ordinance often results in high dissatisfaction. Blending competing interests can result in ineffective and expensive outcomes with unintended consequences.

And, guess what? On Marco, it feels like we are not trying to fix Code Enforcement! What is the city council doing about this?


Tell me, what are the known consequences for residents (or visitors) who do not follow Marco codes such as Fertilizer Ordinance, the NOISE / TRASH / PARKING Ordinances, Building Code Permitting (LDC) Ordinances, etc.

According to the Marco Island survey this year, a great majority of Marco residents are delighted with the responsiveness and effectiveness of OUR CITY FIRE & RESCUE RESPONDERS (85:1 good/very good satisfaction). What processes & systems, training, knowledge, and organizational structure do they have that make them so effective? Perhaps “cross-pollinating” by borrowing and adopting Fire & Rescue processes to improve Code Enforcement Management on Marco. Let’s become a leader in Code Enforcement Management.

LET’S MAKE MARCO AWESOME!

Nanette Rivera

2022 Candidate for Marco Island City Council





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