Who are you going to call?

Mar 242004
Authors: Robin MacDonald

The dog across the street is still barking. The bushes on the

corner are overgrown and blocking the view of oncoming traffic. The

kids down the block have left their sofa in the front yard for 2

weeks. Six foot thistles are poking up over the fence from next

door. I can’t believe how long my neighbors have left their stuff

sitting out after their yard sale!

Sometimes it’s tough to live in a neighborhood, but instead of

moving out to the country, why not try to make your neighborhood

better? My suggestion would be to speak with your neighbors about

specific behaviors that bother you. Most folks are happy to

accommodate. But what happens when that doesn’t work? Rather than

sit and stew about the annoyance, (which often can make it worse,

at least in your mind) you’ll find a knowledgeable and

understanding soul by calling the Nuisance Hotline at 416-2200.

“It’s always been a priority to keep our community clean and

safe,” says City Manager John Fishbach, “and our citizens are the

best people to help us do that. Unfortunately, sometimes it was

confusing for people to try and figure out which department they

should call to report problems or ask questions.” The Nuisance

Hotline now makes it simple by providing a quick and convenient

number to call to report problems.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday you will find a

friendly and helpful city employee who is happy to discuss your

issue and/or make sure that you are connected to the best

department to investigate further. You may leave a message on

weekends or after hours, but I urge you to call during regular

business hours. Often, anonymous callers leave messages with vague

or insufficient information. Without a phone number to call back

the complainant, the inspector or other employee investigating the

problem may be unable to find a violation or verify the correct

address. In some cases the caller’s interpretation of a “bunch of

junk” is different than that of the inspector. To resolve issues

promptly the best bet is to report them during regular business


What kinds of issues might you want to call about? Here are some


* Barking dog

* Smoking in public places

* Inoperable vehicles or parking on yards

* Rubbish or overgrown weeds

* Obstruction of street or sidewalk by materials or


* Unshoveled sidewalk

* Noise complaints

* Storm water or drainage pollution

* Vegetation blocking traffic signs or signals

* Excessive lawn watering

Some issues require immediate attention. As an example, for loud

parties or other disturbances, call the Police non-emergency number

– 221-6540. But for the day-to-day issues that make you think, “I

really should call and report that,” you now have a number to


Robin MacDonald is a code compliance inspector. Reach her at

rmacdonald@fcgov.com or 221-6771.

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