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Brockport misses Scott Z already

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Nobody thought the day would ever come, but it has. Brockport residents already miss former Code Enforcement Officer Scott Zarnstorff. Go figure!

Scott Z is a nice guy; he just wasn’t very good at his job. Zarnstorff was criticized constantly by Brockport residents because of his consistent failure to enforce the Brockport Village Code.

During the mayoral election last June, several prominent Brockport residents said quite openly that if Margay Blackman were elected, her first act as mayor should be to fire Scott Zarnstorff.

Easier said than done; there are civil service laws to consider.

But you have to give credit where credit is due. We still don’t know the details yet. Was he fired or did he quit? But whatever happened behind closed doors at the Brockport Village Hall, Scott Z is gone and many Brockport residents say, “Good riddance.”

But who can Brockport residents call now to report gross violations of the Village Code?

Scott Z wasn’t the most proactive code enforcement officer on the planet, and he had an uncanny ability to turn his head so couldn’t see even the most obvious code violations.

But if a Brockport resident called to report a code violation, Scott Z would get off his butt; go to the house in question, and ask the people living in the house to do something about the code violation.

Many a pile of trash disappeared from the street of Brockport after someone called Scott Z.

But who can Brockport residents call now to report a code violation?

Residents can still call the Building Department & Code Enforcement office at 585-637-5300, extension 14, or send an email to pkrahe@brockportny.org and report the violation to Building/Zoning Clerk Pam Krahe.

But Pam only works three days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday), and she does not have the authority to enforce the Village Code.

If Pam Krahe.is not available, residents can contact Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Erica Linden 585-637-5300, extension 10 or send an email to elinden@brockportny.org.

The Village Board addressed the problem at the November 18th Village Board meeting.

“Mayor Blackman moved, Trustee Andrews seconded, carried 5/0 to temporarily appoint Town of Clarkson Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer Chad Fabry through a verbal agreement with Clarkson Supervisor Kimball for priority building inspections and code enforcement matters and to temporarily appoint Town of Sweden Fire Marshal Charles Sanford through a verbal agreement with Sweden Supervisor Connors for priority fire marshal matters while the Village of Brockport searches to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Scott Zarnstorff. Should either municipality wish a written intermunicipal agreement, the Board would be amenable to such.”

The Village is also looking for a new Code Enforcement Officer, and has posted a 9-page long, detailed vacancy notice on the Village website about hiring a new full time Building Inspector / Code Enforcement Officer. The application deadline is noon on December 31, 2013.

In the meantime, if someone calls the Code Enforcement Office on a Friday, Chad Fabry probably won’t even hear about it until Monday, and the code violation might just go unheeded over the weekend. That’s why there were so many garbage cans still out by the street on Saturday evening.

If Brockport residents don’t like that alternative, they can always call Mayor Margay Blackman at 637-5300, extension 16, or they can send an email to mblackman@brockportny.org.

Back in June 2012, when Margay Blackman was running for Village Trustee, she refused to support the referendum to move code enforcement to the Police Department. At the time, she said it was too controversial, and might harm her chances of being elected.

So instead of standing up proudly to support good code enforcement, Blackman stood aside while the landlords ran a smear campaign about Brockport becoming a police state if Scott Z had to report to Police Chief Dan Varrenti.

On the night of the election, the first indication people had about the result was the forlorn look on Margay Blackman’s face when she came out of the Village Hall just before the election results were announced to the crowd waiting outside.

The look, on her face said it all that night. She had won the election for Trustee, as had Bill Andrews, but her face showed defeat. The referendum had lost.

On the other hand, Rich Miller was ecstatic, and “After the results were announced, Connie Castaneda was prancing around the steps outside the Village Hall with a huge smile on her face. Rhett King, who looks like a stuffed hippopotamus, was ecstatic.”

Margay Blackman had chosen poorly, and as a result village residents have had to put up with lousy code enforcement for another year and a half.

Who knows; maybe if Scott Z had been working for the Police Chief since June 2012, code enforcement might be different, Scott Z might still have a job, and code enforcement wouldn’t be in limbo right now.

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