SYRACUSE -- Streamlining the code enforcement process is projected to save the city about $67,000 a year, but will result in the loss of one the city's more noted employees.
"In this instance, we'll lose one full-time employee," Mayor Jamie Nagle said.
That employee is Tom Reynolds, who is serving as code enforcement officer through the end of June, said Amber Fowles, finance manager.
Fowles said between salary and benefits, the city will save $67,000 with the move.
Reynolds, 63, has been with the city for 17 years, but upon discovering his position was being eliminated, decided to retire on June 30, said Beverly Reynolds, his wife.
"He wasn't too excited that they were eliminating the job, so he is officially retiring," Beverly Reynolds said of her husband, who also has been a police officer and a water meter reader for the city.
But it was Reynolds' reputation for writing tickets that earned him the nickname of "Ticket Tom." Beverly Reynolds said her husband never shied away from the name.
"He did write tickets," she said, adding "for violations. He has done his job."
Tom Reynolds, through his wife, said Syracuse has been a good place to work, and he will miss the friends he has made.
The elimination of the code enforcement officer position is part of the city's FY 2010-11 fiscal year budget. The $14 million budget is down by about 1 percent compared to the current fiscal year, Fowles said.
The city eliminated the position because it was full time, but there was only enough work for a part-time position, Nagle said. She said that situation does not make good use of taxpayer dollars.
"It really is about working smarter," Nagle said. The city is not eliminating code enforcement, but making it more economical.
To ensure residents keep their property up to code, a city employee with other assigned duties will take pictures of properties in question and mail the picture, along with a friendly reminder letter, to the property owner pointing out the violation, Nagle said.
The pictures and letters will cost about $700 a year in postage.