The condition of the homes and businesses in our community is an important element of preserving our quality of life. When things go wrong, code enforcement officers are responsible for pushing things back in the right direction. Our new code enforcement supervisor, Gene Diaz, believes that “the primary goal of code enforcement is to provide residents with a clean, fresh, healthy environment in the city.”
Diaz moved to the area this year, after living in California. He served as a school resource officer in Oakland Schools, then at San Mateo Community College. For the last six years, he has served as a code enforcement consultant.
After a month in Ferguson, Diaz is enthusiastic about our community, and has a strong commitment to leading his department to make a difference.
“I’m very much about being proactive. In the short term, I want to be proactive by talking to residents. The community benefits when code enforcement engages with residents, asks them about their issues, and educates them about what we are able to do as a city.”
Some residents have expressed dissatisfaction that complaints did not appear to generate results. When normal channels don’t produce results, Diaz promises to handle it personally. “I want people to call. It’s my job to get out in the community, and let people know that we’re hearing your complaints, and addressing the problems. The municipal code gives us boundaries on what we can do and how quickly things can happen, but after sufficient time for due process has gone by, we have to move to the next step.”
Safety of the inspectors is another priority. In addition to performing occupancy inspections, they are responsible for securing vacant buildings, and that can result in dangerous situations. The department is working to obtain safety equipment for the inspectors, and establishing procedures to be sure that a police officer is present when an inspector enters a vacant building.
Diaz wakes up at 5:00 every morning, and goes running with his dogs. That energy carries over to his work here in Ferguson. “I want to look at everything that has to do with code enforcement, because I want to make it better. I want to see what the perception of the community is about these issues. I want to make sure they know that if they call code enforcement, Gene will make sure the issue is dealt with, because that’s why I’m here.”
Do you have a code enforcement issue that requires Gene’s attention? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.