A resolution requesting that the Metropolitan Department of Codes Administration promptly fill existing vacancies and add additional personnel in order to effectively enforce property standards.

WHEREAS, the Department of Codes Administration was established under Chapter 2.20 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws which provides, in part, that the Department of Codes Administration shall be organized into an enforcement section and an administrative staff section; and

WHEREAS, enforcement of the property standards promulgated under the Metropolitan Code of Laws is a priority for the citizens and residents of Nashville and is integral to maintaining Nashville’s quality of life; and

WHEREAS, citizen complaints have grown in recent years regarding the number of property standards violations, the number of persistent violations, and the limited level of enforcement provided by the Property Standards division of the Department of Codes Administration; and

WHEREAS, lack of enforcement is just one indicator of staffing deficiencies. Recently, on February 23rd and 24th, 2017, customer wait times at the Department of Codes Administration exceeded eight and one-half (8½) hours. On February 27, 2017, wait time was 5 hours, 56 minutes; and

WHEREAS, on December 20, 2016, the Metropolitan Council received a report from Fiscal Choice Consulting (“the Consultant”) that confirmed deficiencies in the Property Standards Division, specifically noting chronic and significant vacancies among staff positions, with a vacancy level ranging from 8 positions to as many as 16 positions within the past year; and

WHEREAS, the Consultant further noted the limited number of property inspectors in Nashville (16 inspectors) in comparison to other cities such as Indianapolis, Indiana (30 inspectors) and Austin, Texas (65 inspectors); and

WHEREAS, other indications of staffing deficiencies exist. For example, the Metropolitan Department of Codes Administration employs one (1) urban forester as established under section 2.104.020 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws. By comparison, the city of Austin, Texas employs ten (10) urban foresters; and

WHEREAS, to address staffing concerns, the Consultant’s first recommendation stated: “Property Standards should promptly fill all vacancies as well as add seven more positions (5 Property Standards Inspectors, 1 Office Support Representative and 1 Data Analyst)”; and

WHEREAS, based upon staff levels in comparable cities, and the clearly demonstrable need for greater enforcement, the Consultant’s recommendations should be construed as minimal thresholds that can and should be exceeded if more personnel are indicated as necessary; and

WHEREAS, resolving outstanding vacancies and inadequate staffing is crucial to the effective enforcement of property standards by the Department of Codes Administration.


Section 1. That the members of the Metropolitan Council hereby request that the Metropolitan Department of Codes Administration promptly fill existing vacancies and add additional personnel, as recommended by Fiscal Choice Consulting and as dictated by current needs, by no later than June 30, 2017 to effectively enforce property standards.

Section 2. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Mary Carolyn Roberts, Sheri Weiner, Mina Johnson, Russ Pulley, Nick Leonardo, Scott Davis, Steve Glover, Michael Freeman, Colby Sledge, Burkley Allen, DeCosta Hastings, Tanaka Vercher, Dave Rosenberg, Anthony Davis, Edward Kindall, Brett Withers, Kevin Rhoten, Jason Potts, Fabian Bedne, Jeremy Elrod, Larry Hagar, Brenda Haywood, Nancy VanReece, Robert Swope, Angie Henderson, Bob Mendes, Jim Shulman, Karen Johnson, Sharon Hurt, John Cooper


Referred to: Codes, Fair, and Farmer's Market Committee 
Introduced: March 7, 2017
Adopted: March 7, 2017
Returned unsigned by the Mayor: March 8, 2017

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