The job of a Code Enforcement Officer is to make sure that people comply with the property regulations.
That means that most of a Code Enforcement Officer’s interactions with the public involve telling them what they are doing wrong and what needs to be done to make their property fit within the law.
Jeff Holter, Elkton’s Code Enforcement Officer, wants to make sure he also praises people for the good things that people are doing with their properties.
The town board has endorsed his program to sent letters to people who are keeping their properties in good order.
Holter is sending letters of congratulations to homeowners whose property looks well-cared-for.
“People love getting letters,” Holter said. “We want to tell them we appreciate the amount of work they are doing and that they make Elkton beautiful.”
Holter has been with the town since 2014. He initially started sending the thank you letters, but he became too busy at work to continue the letter writing campaign.
But he kept thinking about it and decided it was something he wanted to start doing again.
He wrote three letters in April and is preparing four more letters.
His job of enforcing Elkton’s codes means he travels around town – a lot.
“I hit every neighborhood every week,” he told Elkton Town Commissioners during their recent workshop meeting.
“There’s a lot of nice houses out there. I see a lot of properties that the homeowners have made so beautiful,” Holter said. “The good ones catch your eye.”
When he sees a neatly-kept house, he gets out of his vehicle and snaps a photo, keeping track of the address.
He then goes back and sends out the congratulatory letters when time allows.
Holter said he has no quota of homes to select for letters and realizes there are some homes that he may not get to for awhile, but he said he feels the program can be something to encourage people to maintain their homes and properties.
Town Commissioners praised his program, offering to invite homeowners to town meetings to honor their efforts and to even select a Yard of the Year.