Tallahassee City Services Spotlight: Lesa Vause, City Resilience Officer

“If you know your neighbor, then you can help your neighbor.” That’s the sentiment echoed by
City of Tallahassee Resilience Officer Lesa Vause.

As a 15-year veteran employee with the City, Vause connects residents with important programs to help them bring their properties up to code.

“My focus as a City Resilience Officer is to serve as a valuable resource coach, connecting
tenants, landlords and owners with programs that help them correct code violations and
properly maintain their property,” Lesa said.

Being a resource to residents has always been at the forefront of the City’s Code Enforcement
division, and it was strengthened tenfold in January 2019 when the division underwent a
reorganization.

Through this change, Code Enforcement Officers were given the title of Resilience Officers, signifying their expanded roles in helping address community hazards. The division is focused on the community’s priorities of public safety, environmental stewardship and economic vitality through the enforcement of codes and ordinances. To accomplish this, Resilience Officers take a proactive, holistic approach to help mitigate vulnerabilities and build
strong neighborhoods.

“During an investigation into a complaint about an overgrown lawn, it became clear that the
property owner, who was elderly, alone and suffering from mental health issues, couldn’t cut her
grass,” Lesa said. “With some creative collaboration, I was able to connect her with a local
church that volunteered to cut her grass on an ongoing basis, bringing the property into
compliance and helping the whole neighborhood shine.”

To maintain the health and safety of our community, the City offers programs to help address
hazards and assist property owners with correcting violations. These programs include
assistance with lot mowing, home repairs and demolition.

The City also offers up to $12,500 to
eligible property owners for storm mitigation and home repairs. City Resilience Officers, like
Lesa, are all specially trained to help connect property owners to the appropriate program that
might help them.

If you’re interested in learning more about programs to mitigate code issues, please visit
Talgov.com. If you’d like a City Resilience Officer to attend your next neighborhood association
meeting to review and explain code requirements, call 850-891-7007 or email
code.enforcement@talgov.com.

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