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code proposal seems dead

Monday, July 03, 2017 15:27 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

A proposed crackdown on junk and other code violations in LaPorte County is dead and chances of it being resurrected appear slim.
Originally, the measure called for the hiring of a code enforcement officer and contained provisions governing unsightly homes, junk, noise and high weeds.
An outpouring of opposition resulted in the proposal being gutted June 19 by the LaPorte County Commissioners to provide just for the hiring of a code enforcement officer and penalties for junk vehicles.
It was then sent for further review to the LaPorte County Plan Commission, where it died June 27 on a unanimous vote not to consider the matter.
Mike Gonder, a LaPorte County Commissioner also serving on the Plan Commission, said Monday he doesn't want the idea to ever surface again.
He questioned how such a measure ethically could be enforced when roadsides owned by county government and even state government have areas not properly mowed.
''It's selective policing,'' Gonder said.
He also said ordinances already exist to address the concerns in the unincorporated areas.
LaPorte County Commissioner Rich Mrozinski and other supporters of the proposal, though, claim existing laws in the county books require more teeth in some cases and a code enforcement officer would alleviate an overburdened sheriff's department of upholding the codes.
Gonder along with Mrozinski and Dr. Vidya Kora make up the three members on the LaPorte County Commisioner.
On Monday, Kora said he was fine with the action taken by the Plan Commission and he would not favor giving the measure consideration again unless there was a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.
The decision comes two months after a proposal to restrict the use of firearms in LaPorte County died after confronted by an even angrier outpouring of opposition.
Many of the opponents felt the provisions on noise in the code enforcement proposal was a back door way of trying to restrict the use of guns.
Gonder, though, emphasized that was not the case.
''The intent of any of these ordinances was not to take away anyone's gun rights,'' said Gonder.
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