Code officer commended for his war against blight

In one year’s time, Westminster’s part-time code officer has made strides in ridding some of the worst blight in the city. It’s still a work in progress, but Daniel Fletcher received audience applause and compliments from the mayor during last night’s city council meeting. Fletcher showed before and after photographs of properties from where derelict trailers and stick-built houses have been demolished and the debris removed. Fletcher divides his time as code officer between the cities of Westminster and Walhalla and devotes two days a week to Westminster. He conceded surprise that several owners of substandard structures have cooperated in the cleanup projects, with several of the property owners telling him that they were expecting him. But one home owner has not cooperated and, according to Fletcher, resigns himself periodically to serving 30-day jail terms for violating the city’s code rules. The mayor and council were told that 23 structures have been deemed unfit, 11 have been demolished. The demolition of six others is in progress. Forty-plus cars have been tagged or removed. Mayor Brian Ramey admitted he felt consternation a year ago when the city launched into its cleanup program, but his fears have turned out unfounded.