Potsdam Village code enforcement lacks acountability
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 2:39 pm

To the Editor:

I am responding to the recent letter from Potsdam resident Richard Hutchinson “Potsdam Village code enforcement lacking” (Oct. 17- 24) regarding code enforcement, or the lack thereof, in the Village of Potsdam.

Although I have respect for Mr. Hutchinson, I have generally not agreed with him as we are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. In this case, however, I couldn’t agree more. I keep reading about these “grand ideas” for development (water park, skate park, etc.) when we can’t even properly maintain the things we have.

I think the larger problem though is a general lack of accountability.

For example, as I understand it, code enforcement was supervised by economic development (during the dissolution study the economic development official said that this represented 20 percent of his job). I have heard that code enforcement will instead be supervised by the Village Administrator.

Is this true and, if so, has there been an adjustment to economic official’s compensation or has he been given additional off-setting duties and responsibilities? I have heard that the village does not do job evaluations or performance programs. Is this true? Does the village have an accurate accounting of the complete cost (after any income or other funding) to taxpayers for each of the following programs: recreation; airport; library; and economic development?

Has the village done any study regarding the logical impact of the Affinity project on other village properties or are we just taking a “wait & see” attitude? Does each village department have a strategic plan with measurable goals? If so, is the department head held accountable? Does the village have a strategic vision?

My wife and I were active supporters of the village during the dissolution vote while Richard Hutchinson was in favor of dissolution.

If things don’t improve before this comes up to vote again, and it will come up again, I suspect I will find myself in agreement with Richard once again.

George Arnold, Potsdam