Newton 'not getting the job done'

Collapsed buildings, household garbage and unlicensed vehicles filled with trash clutter a property on Newton's North Ashe Avenue.
It isn't the only city property with violations of Newton's nuisance and abandoned vehicle ordinances, but Worth Arnold Jr.'s residence did seem to be a final straw for the city's mayor.
"We have talked for two or three years about code enforcement in the city. We are not getting the job done," said Newton Mayor Robert Mullinax. "When we let neighborhoods or area property go down, it reflects on the entire city, and it permeates into other areas. We must stop that ... We can not continue to let our city run down."
The city's code enforcement is among topics that Newton leaders will discuss during its annual planning retreat starting Thursday. A code enforcement report and discussion on city's enforcement program are set to open the Friday morning session of city leaders' open meeting at Newton City Hall.
This isn't the first time Newton officials have tried to tackle the task of cleaning up nuisance properties - it has been a topic during budget discussions and planning workshops in years past, as well.
"I have listened to it enough," Mullinax said. "I defend the city of Newton when citizens call me about the things we do day-in and day-out. The area where I am defenseless is code enforcement."

Newton's 2011 Planning Workshop schedule:
• 8:30 a.m.- noon – Finance Department
• Noon- 1p.m. — lunch "on your own"
1 - 1:45 p.m. — Finance Department
1:45-3:30 p.m. — Public Works and Utilities
3:30 - 4 p.m. — Voluntary Agricultural Districts
4- 5 p.m. — Information systems

8:30 - 9:15 a.m. — Code Enforcement
9:30 - 11:30 a.m. — Public Safety
11:45 a.m. — 1 p.m. — Administration