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Bellaire’s new code enforcer ‘not here to make friends’

There's a new code enforcer in Bellaire, and he's serious about one thing: Clean up your property, or face the consequences. Dick Flanagan was appointed as the village’s new part-time code enforcer by council last Thursday. He hit the streets the next day.

There's a new code enforcer in Bellaire, and he's serious about one thing: Clean up your property, or face the consequences.

Dick Flanagan was appointed as the village’s new part-time code enforcer by council last Thursday. He hit the streets the next day.

"No,” Flanagan said. “I’m not here to make friends.”

This is not the All-American town that he remembers.

"I was born and raised in this town,” Flanagan said. “It's very upsetting to see what it’s become."

Flanagan has ordered one home condemned, served three inspections on rental properties, and paid visit to more than a dozen people in the week since his appointment to the position.

"Ordered them to get their yards in order and get the junk cars and get their front porches cleaned up," he said.

Resident Rita Fitch recalls learning of the new code enforcer.

"He said Dick Flanagan, and I said ‘yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.’"

Fitch has been fighting a 20-year battle with an adjacent property.

"Finally,” Fitch said. “Finally, he is getting something done with this place."

Flanagan's biggest battle is that some properties are in such poor condition that it's not economically feasible for the village to tear them down.

And many of the complaints involve rentals.

"When you got cheap housing, affordable housing, you bring in the riff raff from Chicago and Cleveland and Columbus and Pittsburgh. That brings in the dope and the violence, and this where we're at,” Flanagan said. “But it's got to end, and it's going to start. It started Friday."

"Since Dick's been here, he's been up here three times, and I see progress in sight," Fitch said.

Flanagan will retain his position as a full-time police Lt. in Bellaire in addition to his newest gig.

"You just got to stay on them,” Flanagan said. “You got to follow up. I went to eight houses today. and I'll continue to follow up and make sure they get their house in order."

"Get it done man. I'll be back in 3 days,” he said.

Those who are issued citations could be headed to county court under state charges.

Flanagan hopes to see positive changes soon -- within the next month or 2.

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