FINAL REPORT
CASE #0800 NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES
CITY OF STOCKTON

REASON FOR INVESTIGATION

The 2000-2001 San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury (SJCCGJ) received a complaint from a citizen that code enforcement was not being handled uniformly in the City of Stockton.

BACKGROUND

The complainant alleged that Neighborhood Services is allowing landlords to operate "slums and flop houses" by turning a blind eye to problem areas in the city.

METHOD OF INVESTIGATION

The Neighborhood Services Division Program Manager and the Assistant City Attorney spoke to SJCCGJ.

Members of the SJCCGJ interviewed the complainant to clarify the complaint.

Members of the SJCCGJ interviewed the Neighborhood Services Division Program Manager.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

The Neighborhood Services Division operates on a complaint generation basis.

The Neighborhood Services Division employees are strictly code enforcers of policies made by other departments.

There are no current vacant positions. Management feels that staff levels are adequate.

Complaints received are put into one of three categories:

  1. Health & Safety issues, response time 24 hours and emergency action taken to remedy situation.
  2. Emergency issues (not a danger to health and safety) responded to within three to five days and immediate action taken.
  3. Routine issues, usually responded to within 5 days by a letter or site visit.

The Neighborhood Services Division conducts five pro-active sweeps a year in areas of the city where there are continual problems. Fifteen areas are identified, sweeps are conducted in each area once every three years.

Neighborhood Services Division is proposing a new city ordinance to the City Council that would give the City more authority over hotels/motels operating with sub-standard conditions.

The Neighborhood Services Division will be proposing to the City Council, a new city ordinance giving the City more authority over rental units with sub-standard conditions.

RECOMMENDATIONS

It is recommended that the Neighborhood Services Division develop an ordinance for the City Council to consider that would create stricter regulations of hotel/motel operation.

It is recommended that the Neighborhood Services Division develop an ordinance for the City Council to consider that would create stricter regulations of rental housing units.

RESPONSE REQUIRED

Pursuant to Sections 933.05 of the Penal Code:

The Neighborhood Services Division of the City of Stockton shall comment, in writing, to the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court - within (90) days of the publication of this report.

As to each finding in the report, a response indicating one of the following:

  1. The respondent agrees with the finding.
  2. The respondent disagrees with the finding, with an explanation of the reasons therefore.

As to each recommendation, a response indicating one of the following:

  1. The recommendation has been implemented, with a summary of the action taken.
  2. The recommendation has not yet been implemented, but will be with a timeframe for implementation.
  3. The recommendation requires further analysis, with an explanation of the scope of the analysis and a timeframe not to exceed 6 months.
  4. The recommendation will not be implemented, with an explanation therefore.