Verona seeks code enforcer

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

City leader considers police officer and new hire

Verona is considering hiring a dedicated code enforcement officer to work five hours a week.

Verona Mayor Joseph Heck said the city’s current code enforcement officer, Jeff Burleson, also serves as the city building inspector.

“For the past month I’ve been doing code enforcement, and I think that’s a bit of a conflict,” Heck said, explaining that Burleson has been over-booked with building inspector duties.

Heck said Burleson is paid $35 an hour as the building inspector and code enforcement officer because the building inspector position takes a particular knowledge base. However, he said he believes the code enforcement officer position could be created at $10 an hour position to handle code enforcement to free Burleson up to focus on building inspections.

Verona Police Chief Jereimy Allen suggested the city council promote Police Officer Robert Foulk to code enforcement officer and give him a raise.

City Clerk Laura Hazelwood said if the city hired Foulk as the code enforcement officer, it could streamline the process, as he is an officer, who can sign citations. If the city were to hire a civilian for code enforcement, that individual would be responsible photographing code violations throughout the city and forwarding them to a city official who would then create a citation.

“I can save the city a whole lot of cash,” Foulk said. “I’m on duty five hours a day and I can do both.”

Foulk said rather than paying a new employee $10 an hour for code enforcement for five hours a week, he would be willing to do it for $5 extra dollars an hour.

Foulk works a total of 30 to 35 hours a week, and it was unclear to the council if his proposal was to receive an additional $5 an hour for his full 30 to 35 hours, or receive a $5 raise for five hours a week.

Council member Amy Spears said dividing the proposed $5 an hour across the 35 hours Foulk works would equate to a raise of approximately 12 cents per hour.

Hazelwood said she would look into the possibility of paying Foulk the $5 per hour raise for just five hours a week as “extra duty,” but wasn’t sure if the city could do that.

The council voted unanimously, with council member Mike Haynes absent, to table the discussion until next month.

The Verona City Council also approved a list of nominations to re-create the Verona Planning and Zoning Board. The council voted 3-0, with Haynes absent, to approve Patricia Burk, Shane Spears, Angela Johnson, Mike Miller and George Steng to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will meet the fourth Monday of February, May, August and November. The commission will also have the ability to schedule special meetings as needed.

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