The city of Grosse Pointe Woods should streamline the process for home inspections.
Withrecord low interest rates, houses in the city are being purchased at a rate not
seen in years. As the city currently maintains three part time inspectors, each certified in separate areas of focus (electrical, maintenance, and plumbing) for a combined total of 8 hours per week, there is more work than workers.
Understandably, the city is trying to do more with fewer resources, but it make more financial and common sense to have one, or possibly two, full time
inspectors certified in all three areas.
Currently, if one inspector were to become unable to work for any of a variety of reasons, there is no backup plan and no flexibility in the city’s organizational structure. The sale of new homes in the city would, theoretically, cease.
Currently,the Building Department provides no flexibility in scheduling inspections. Since inspections are done on only three days of the week for an average of about two and a half hours each of those three days, it becomes very difficult for future tax payers to move into the city. We should be making it as easy as possible to welcome new families to our community, not deterring them from doing so and creating a negative impression of Grosse Pointe Woods throughout the region.
Under the current structure, inspectors and Building Department officials wield their power as if the citizens they serve are the enemy. Office workers refuse to help residents or treat them with respect, inspectors do not return phone calls, and those charged with maintaining a high level of community standards do not even live in this community. Too often, those at City Hall see the residents of Grosse Pointe Woods as their subordinates rather than their bosses.
City government should be there to serve its citizens, and right now it is preventing new tax payers from entering the city. If Grosse Pointe Woods is able to make the Building Department more efficient and responsive to community needs, we will be able to harness the current boom in home sales and create a city government as close and kind as the residents of the city themselves.