South Bend department merger unlikely to pass common council

By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email

A proposal to merge South Bend’s building and code enforcement departments is unlikely to pass after more questions from the common council.

Monday afternoon, the council held a second special meeting to learn more about Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s idea. Combining the departments would save the city about $400,000 next year.

But it would also mean the loss of eight jobs, which some council members say they cannot support.

“I think we have a real problem today in government or in private business by slashing jobs and I don't think you can do that morally or ethically so I think there has to be a balance there,” said councilmember Fred Ferlic.

“I think that if I had my way I would want to add more code enforcement in terms of inspectors, I would like to have a crew even for the weekends,” said fellow councilmember Karen White.

In order for the merger to happen, the council would also have to un-table an amendment to city code that dictates code enforcement and building as two separate departments.

And that is not likely to happen before the council votes on the proposed budget in one week.

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