Rental inspections task force members approved Tuesday
During the regular Washington City Council meeting Tuesday, city administrator Brent Hinson said that he believed the formation of a task force to study a proposed rental housing inspection ordinance will take months off creating the ordinance.
The council approved seven members for the task force with the stipulation that it would also approve any additional members. The task force will explore the city’s options for implementing a rental housing registration and inspection program. During an earlier meeting, Hinson had distributed a timetable for the council creating the program and it would have been next year before the inspections began.
“Part of the task the council assigned to me was to gather members of the task force and come back to the council to approve the persons that I gathered up,” said council member Kathryn Salazar. “My understanding from the directions I received from council is that I was to get approximately seven people and myself to do that.”
During the Jan. 15 regular city council meeting, Salazar had approached the council about creating the task force. The council approved the group with Salazar serving on it.
According to a list in the council’s packet, Salazar has commitments from six other people. Members of the task force will include: tenant Bob Perry; realtor Connie Larsen; attorney Craig Davis; housing committee member Ed Lins; landlord Tim Elliott; and landlord Jim Taylor. Salazar said that Washington Fire Chief Tom Wide had expressed interest, but she had not been able to talk with him. She said if he was not willing to serve on the task force that fire captain Craig Rembold has said he would.
“This is not an exclusive list,” Mayor Sandra Johnson said. “Additional names can come forward.”
Council member Bob Shepherd said that he wanted to see the task force explore the options for the city to create an inspection program and bring recommendations back to the council.
The council has discussed implementing a rental inspection program since receiving a report from the former housing task force in July 2013. It was one of the recommendations from the task force.