Friday, 27 January 2023

Sprehn: We need regional code enforcement

The political division in the US today creates two environments for living. Democrats spend future money to prevent problems. Republicans kill funding for any program.

Citizens have choices. When it comes to lifestyle, that’s good. When it comes to regional issues, we got a problem. If one county decides not to mitigate fire hazards, we all got a problem.

You can mitigate all the fire hazards in, for instance, Sonoma County but one spark in any neighboring county can burn into Sonoma County without license.

Lake County can pretend to be the new State Of Jefferson, but unless it falls into the ocean and floats away, it is still connected to the mainland. Adjacent counties have to live with it.

Code enforcement falls to the county level on many issues. Homestead pump houses, like the one that started the Tubbs Fire (in Napa County) and burned through Santa Rosa, are regulated locally.

If the local authority fails to act, it isn’t just academic or political. It’s dangerous. When one county cannot afford to maintain fire safety margins, everyone is at risk.

We need regional code enforcement to stay alive.

Gregory Sprehn lives in Napa, Calif.

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