CLEARFIELD, Utah (ABC4 News) What’s more annoying? Your neighbor’s out of control weeds or parking their trailer in the street? What about an abandoned vehicle or a dilapidated empty building?
Clearfield is asking those questions and more through a series of poll questions on Facebook.
It’s a unique approach to code enforcement that has some homeowners feeling shamed for circumstances they can’t control.
Minor code violations got major attention online with more than 4,200 votes in one week.
On a quest to discover which action reigns supreme, the city’s spokesperson created a Code Enforcement Sweet 16 Bracket. Much like March Madness, but the decision is digital.
“I think the first one we have about 800 respondents on it and that one blew me away. I think on a typical survey we have 100 or 150 responding,” Trevor Cahoon said.
The first five polls enticed votes and heated discussions. Education is the point, said Cahoon.
“People are saying, ‘I didn’t know that these were ordinances or I didn’t know that’s what the city was expecting.’ That has been really good to engage them,” he added.
People living in Clearfield tell ABC4 News they’re happy they’re being asked for input.
“It’s just a matter that everybody in the city has to follow the rules,” MaryAnn Jackson said.
“If you could get some of the trash out of the yards, some of the old vehicles, that kind of stuff, it would be a good thing,” Jan Roger said.
Others argue the bracket makes light of difficult situations often suffered by low-income families.
Renters abandoned a 1999 Subaru Legacy when Elizabeth McGahee evicted a couple behind on rent. They left the car and took the keys four months ago.
“I’m so frustrated about this because there is nothing I can do,” McGahee said.
McGahee doesn’t have the title so it can’t be towed or salvaged. She can’t get a title because it has a lien. She’s facing a $700 fine that is close to her monthly income.
“I think that’s so unfair because I’ve been trying everything,” McGahee said.
Bracket voting continues for a few more weeks. The information will be given to the city council.