- story and photograph by Lisa Monti
Don Siebenkittel, the Code Enforcement officer for Bay St. Louis, is off to a fast start in his new job, making sure property owners are complying with the law.
Siebenkittel investigates complaints dealing with uncut grass, unsecured structures or any possible code violation, and if a violation exists, the enforcement process is set in motion. His goal: “Making sure everything is in compliance.”
Since starting Dec. 4, he’s closed nearly 20 cases and had two houses removed at no cost to the city. The white board in his City Hall is nearly filled with the growing list of ongoing cases. “I’m working 44 cases now,” he said.
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He brings an extensive background to the code enforcement job. He worked in law enforcement starting in 1992 with the Pearl River County and Hancock sheriff’s departments. More recently he also worked with the Waveland Fire and Police departments and in that city’s litter control and code enforcement. For 12 years he operated a flooring business in Hancock County.
Siebenkittel was born in Louisiana but considers Picayune his hometown. He and his wife, Kathyleen, live in Waveland. He loves the outdoors, especially deer hunting, and enjoys taking photos of nature and of the wildlife like foxes that he finds in the city.
Siebenkittel sees his code enforcement role as sort of a referee working to resolve issues with property owners on behalf of the city. “I like working with people,” he said. And if a property is not in compliance, he works toward a resolution.
His connections with other counties and cities also come into play on the job. “I try to work with other cities and want to keep a good working relationship with them,” he said.