Glades County Commission votes to contract out code enforcement

Posted 3/4/24

At their Feb. 26 meeting, Glades County Commissioners voted to eliminate the code...

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Glades County Commission votes to contract out code enforcement


MOORE HAVEN — At their Feb. 26 meeting, Glades County Commissioners voted to eliminate the code enforcement officer position and outsource code enforcement work.

County Manager June Fisher stated Glades County has experienced an increase in complaints about the code enforcement office. She said using a private company to provide this service will help Glades County catch up with problems with code enforcement. She said the vendor would be able to provide multiple code enforcement officers when needed to review different areas of the county.

Three candidates for county commission spoke out against the change.

“If we eliminate that, you take another job from a Glades County citizen,” said Stu Taylor, a candidate for the District 5 seat. He said it will likely cost the county more money because a private business is not going to provide a service at cost.

”From a businessman’s perspective this didn’t make a lot of sense. You’ve got personnel issues; you go deal with the issue,” said D.J. McGlothern, a candidate for the District 3 seat.

Porter Walker, a candidate for District 2, said the jobs need to stay in Glades County. “If we outsource this to someone else, who are we going to get?”

In a related matter, John Sherman asked commissioners for some help or direction regarding his ongoing dispute with code enforcement over repairs to his RV.

Sherman said he and his wife bought the travel trailer, located at 50 Cypress Court Southwest, LaBelle, in March 2023.

He said before he started repairs, he called the county to find out if he need a building permit. “I was told I did not.”

He said he started repairs to the trailer then “buttoned it up” before going north for the summer. He planned to continue the work when he returned to Florida in the fall.

“In early November, we had a visit from the Code Enforcement officer, and he asked me to stop work until the issue was sorted out,” Sherman continued.

So far, they have not been able to resolve the issue and the building materials are deteriorating, he added. “I would really like to wrap this thing up.”

“At what point is an RV no longer an RV?” asked McGlothern, who has been trying to help the Shermans resolve the problem.

“I found myself wondering who is doing modifications to RVs without a contractor’s license,” he explained. The people who issue contractors licenses say they have no jurisdiction over RVs, he continued.

“The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles was quick to say they do not regulate it. Florida Building Code has nothing to do with it,” he said.

He said they finally determined the National Highway Traffic Administration decides if the object in question is classified as an RV.

“The Shermans and myself did all of this research,” he said.

He said because the county code enforcement officer red tagged the RV, the Shermans have been living in the camper of their truck since November.

McGlothern said the National Highway Traffic Administration has determined the Shermans own what is still an RV.

Fid Sherman said the ordeal has been very stressful.

Glades County, code enforcement, RV