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MAYOR GRAHAM RICHARD

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On May 1, 2002, Greg Leatherman took over the leadership position at Neighborhood Code Enforcement. Leatherman replaced Gary Baeten who, after serving the City for so many years, retired. Leatherman has had some very big shoes to fill, but I am confident that he will provide Neighborhood Code Enforcement with the leadership they need to serve the residents of Fort Wayne.

One of the first things Leatherman did as he began his new position was to make changes in the WEED program. NCE implemented changes meant to make the WEED program more efficient, save taxpayer's money and promote the upkeep of properties throughout the City. One of the biggest changes was to include a legal definition of what plants are considered WEEDS in the ordinance.

NCE is also using a quadrant system to monitor weed violations. The system is less complaint driven and will be more efficient at improving the total appearance of City neighborhoods. NCE will begin with the Southeast quadrant and work clockwise making five or six sweeps. The system is much more proactive and consistent.

The system is working well. During the months of May, NCE posted signs on about 1,700 properties advising property owners that they would need to mow their lawns. Last year, the City's total was 1,500 for the entire year. Over 400 lawns have now been mowed by City contractors and more than 250 property owners took care of mowing their property themselves.

Despite the increased effort on the part of NCE employees, there are still some properties that are getting missed. Therefore, NCE is still taking calls from residents who have a complaint about overgrown weeds. To report a problem to Neighborhood Code Enforcement call 427-1324.

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