Saturday, April 26, 2014

Apalachicola has certified code enforcement officer on staff

Wilbur Bellew Certified Code Enforcement Officer - Photo by Janelle Paul

On March 15, 2014 city employee Wilbur Bellew officially became a certified Level 1 Code Enforcement Office after the completion of a 40 hour course and successfully passing a written examination required by the Florida Association of Code Enforcement (F.A.C.E.) to obtain such certification.

The Level 1 course included training in report writing, communication, and ethics along with the principles and practices of code enforcement.  Though the successful completion of the course, Bellew acquired the necessary skills and abilities to prepare investigative documents, how to deal with difficult and angry people, equal enforcement of the codes, the issuance of warrants and the inspection procedures required to complete the duties of a code enforcement officer from the initial complaint to the final hearing process.

Prior to completion of his training, Bellew had already been tasked with the enforcement of both the city's nuisance and tree ordinances by City Administrator Betty Webb, although with limited ability and success without this official certification. Now as a certified code enforcement officer he has the ability to readily bring about compliance through the issuance of civil citations as an effective enforcement tool.  However, before he can actually begin issuing citations, the Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners must first adopt Florida Statutes Chapter 162.  

"We first have to adopt Florida Statutes Chapter 162 that pertains to code enforcement, which I reported to the city commission several months ago… we couldn't adopt then, not before having a certified official on board", said city administrator Betty Webb.

Typically certified code enforcement officers are involved in the enforcement of health, safety, and environmental regulations or otherwise responsible for the enforcement of municipal, county, regional, state, or federal codes in the State of Florida.