"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
As if code compliance wasn't bad enough:
The city of Austin has created its own version of a swarm of officers, though unlike King George’s swarm, they apparently don’t require training.A draft report from the city of Austin titled “Consistency of Austin Code Investigations and Resolutions Audit” finds that “25 out of 70 (or 36 percent) of field and division management staff do not meet the current, more stringent, minimum qualifications now required by the department.” Further, the audit found that of 306 code complaints examined, there were shortcomings found in about 77 percent.Recall that among the city of Austin’s burgeoning code enforcement officer duties are enforcing rules for short-term rentals, garage conversions, hauler for hire (regulations over taking windstorm debris out of someone’s backyard for pay) as well as more mundane health and safety issues. Thing is, the audit found that the city of Austin was itself a threat to its citizens, as noted on Page 7: “Finding 2: Investigation and resolution practices relating to city-owned properties often differed from established Austin Code policies and procedures, which may allow violations on city-owned property to persist and negatively affect citizen safety.” The audit further found delayed investigations when city property was the focus, along with “less extensive (investigations of city property) than the requirements prescribed in policy.”Translated from auditese, the city’s official policy could be summed up as, “Do as we say, not as we do.”The auditors even found a lack of protections against self-dealing among the code corps such that field staff could be called upon to investigate their own property. (Nothing to see here citizen, move along. …)
Read the whole thing here.....This raises questions about Austin, home to some of Texas’ highest taxes. High taxes levied on a healthy tax base allow for a large government footprint. This allows for all kinds of things for government to get involved in, from seemingly endless attempts to build or expand urban rail systems to maintaining a staff of inadequately trained code inspectors empowered to harass the population.The city of Austin would do well to do less and do it better.