Property rights are often defended, and unfortunately often usurped, at a local government level. Code Enforcement is one of several land and building use regulatory policies where I would seek to reduce the footprint of government so as to advocate and defend maximum possible rights to land and building owners.
This opinion piece was published for me on the topic of Code Enforcement in the Binghamton Press on August 6th:
As I discussed in the opinion piece, I'd like to see Code Enforcement consolidated to a Tioga county function, not a function of any of the towns in Tioga county. There isn't enough construction in our region to justify a code enforcement department for every town in Tioga county. The other, smaller towns in Tioga county struggle more with this than Owego does.
I've heard complaints from residents about a variety of code enforcement abuses. One of the classic tactics is to try to force a homeowner to improve the construction standards of a "temporary" building so as to make it more permanent - and therefore make it more eligible to a tax reassessment. Requiring a concrete pad under a garden shed is one example which is really absurd. If you have been abused in this manner or know someone else who has been, please let me know.