Salem Lakes adopts grievance ordinance

The Salem Lakes Village Board has adopted an ordinance creating a committee and procedure regarding building code and fire code enforcement disputes.

The new ordinance, passed unanimously March 13, creates the Code Review Committee and procedure. The committee and procedure had earlier been described publicly as a grievance committee.

The ordinance lays out a procedure that gives a timeline that could have a complaint dealt with in less than a month.

No Village Board members commented on the ordinance at last Monday’s meeting, but the board had discussed the matter at several previous meetings.

The code review procedure and committee arose out of the village attempting to address complaints about fire code and building code enforcement, mostly relating to businesses.

The committee that will be central to the process is specified by the ordinance to be made up of two Village Board members, two members of the general public and a member of the village Plan Commission. Two alternate members from the general public also will be selected.

Members of the first committee will be Trustees Ron Gandt and Bill Hopkins, Plan Commission member Kimberly Breunig and members of the general public Michelle Perry and Stephanie Mann. Mann’s and Perry’s names were drawn from a group of 12 candidates at a March 6 Village Board meeting.

The ordinance says a person with a problem with building or fire code enforcement — called the aggrieved person in the ordinance — can file a written Request for Review form with the village clerk. Not more than five days following, the department head and the person requesting the review submit to the committee a written summary of their case, called a position statement. The committee then sets a hearing date not more than 10 days from the deadline for submitting the position statements. At the hearing, the committee will meet with the department head and the aggrieved person for discussion with the goal of coming up with a resolution. If there’s no agreement on a resolution, the committee will file a written opinion within five days. If the aggrieved person is not satisfied with the committee opinion they can seek further review including in the court system or review by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Here is a copy of the ordinance supplied to by the village.

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