What I have heard from you, my neighbors, is that you desire and expect peaceful and safe neighborhoods in Wheat Ridge. We all expect neighborly behavior from our residents, business owners and property owners.
As you know, our neighborhood has been negatively affected over the past several years by a few problem residents. Fortunately, most of the issues have recently been corrected by the Wheat Ridge Police Department (WRPD), the Wheat Ridge Community Services Team and landlords who have evicted the offending tenants.
I have served you as an elected official for 17 years and have lived in our neighborhood for 30 years. As your Mayor and as your neighbor, some of you have contacted me about issues in your neighborhood and asked me to contact the police or code enforcement on your behalf to avoid retribution by the offending party. Recently I had the opportunity to take advantage of the Jefferson County Mediation Services to correct some issues in our neighborhood. This is a free service which allows parties (two neighbors for example) to meet with a professional facilitator. The parties and the facilitator are able to discuss the issues in a neutral setting and will hopefully come together to find a solution. If you would like more information about this program, please contact me at my number below or contact the WRPD.
I, along with some members of the City Council, have taken a proactive approach to the education of citizens regarding enforcement of the Wheat Ridge Municipal Nuisance Code. These codes are a collection of local laws approved by City Council and enforced by the Community Services Team, a unit of non-sworn staff committed to enforcing safe, healthy and attractive living conditions for all residents of the City. This code is intended to benefit all citizens while enhancing the safety, quality of life and attractiveness of our neighborhoods.
For example, In reviewing documentation provided by the Wheat Ridge Police Department’s Records Management System, calls for service data in my neighborhood focusing on the 3200-3300 block of Lamar, Marshall, Newland and Otis Streets from January 1, 2009 to March 21, 2012, indicated 75 calls for service consisting mostly of chronic barking dogs, disturbing the peace, graffiti, speeding vehicles, excessive weeds, trash and junk complaints.
Of the 75 calls for service, I was the reporting party in 16 calls. In 54 of the 75 calls for service, warnings were given and in only 3 cases, citations were issued to the property owners. I believe the limited number of citations can be attributed to the success of the warning/educational approach our Community Services Team uses in working with property owners to gain compliance with the code within 10 days.
Again, elected officials often receive concerns from citizens related to code enforcement issues. As an elected official, I am often asked by citizens throughout the community and my neighborhood to report code violation complaints on their behalf because they wish to remain anonymous. I believe my actions as Mayor and a citizen of this community to be reasonable and effective in moving the City’s revitalization efforts forward.
As your Mayor and a resident of the City, I travel throughout the community on a daily basis and I am excited to see the positive changes taking place as a result of the City’s proactive code enforcement efforts. Let’s work together to keep our neighborhoods safe, peaceful and clean. Meet and talk with your neighbors and work together to solve problems. If you see trash in your neighborhood or on your property please pick it up. If you have a neighbor who is a senior, ask them if they need help with anything. It’s the neighborly thing to do!
As always, if you have an emergency please dial 911. In the case of a code enforcement complaint, please call the non-emergency dispatch number at 303-237-2220. Please feel free to contact me at City Hall at 303-235-2800 with questions or comments.
Happy New Year!!