In the September/October editorial, I wrote that the Dallas Morning News had reported that the city of Dallas would not cut code enforcement departments in balancing the budget. It was my impression from that article that “building inspectors—electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and building—and fire inspectors were specifically singled out as those that would NOT be cut.” Unfortunately, this information was incorrect. After reading the editorial, Carl Thompson, with the city of Dallas, sent the following information.
- Uniformed personnel (police and fire) received no cuts
- Code Enforcement received no cuts. In the city of Dallas, this department does not include construction codes (building, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical) but rather focuses on local housing codes (i.e., high weeds, junk motor vehicles, substandard structures, certificates of occupancy, etc.)
- The Department of Building Inspections (which includes building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and sign inspectors) has been greatly cut, with several receiving termination notices. These cuts equate to approximately 36% reduction of the building inspection staff.
It seems that Dallas has not gotten the Blue Sky message after all. We shall have to increase our efforts to provide jurisdictions with more information about the importance of trained inspectors.