Building code thoughts: Maybe less would be more

In his letter, published by the Times on March 13, (Roger) Kalter offered a dark quote from the French author, Victor Hugo. If you look that passage up, you’ll find that the councilman left out Hugo’s preceding sentence, which begins, “Teach the ignorant as much as you can …”

But Kalter did continue to confirm that, yes, he was talking about ignorance and its elimination by the adoption and enforcement of the new property code.

Kalter’s crusade to use the International Property Management Code to stamp out ignorance in Marietta might cause us to also recall American humorist Mark Twain’s comment, “In Paris, they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.”

Why is the property code improvement taking so long, commanding so much government time, and meeting so much resistance? Is it because a member of council is trying to force an alien IPMC “language” upon a populace he assumes is ignorant? Has council unleashed a tiger to chase away a dog?

The mayor’s recent veto has made the city’s approach seem more practical and sensitive. We can hope more common sense actions follow instead of allowing a resumption of council’s dogmatic cramdown. I wonder what changes would be recommended if Joe (Matthews) were to ask our current building, fire, and health inspectors to use their judgment to come up with a list of the top five affordable code and enforcement changes needed to better protect citizens and make the city more business friendly. Maybe less would be more.

Tom Fenton

Marietta