YERINGTON -- Recently appointed Lyon County's first full-time code enforcement officer, Rich Zierenberg's goal is to decrease the hours needed for his new position.
Zierenberg is a retired detective sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department. He said he is optimistic that if everything goes as it should in the future, public nuisance problems that created a demand for the position will not exist to the degree they do now.
"Five years down the road, when everybody understands what is needed here and required of them, I can see this job maybe going back to the Sheriff's Department," he said. "I think there will always be need, but, hopefully, it would not need to be a full-time position."
Asked why he would apply for a job that will involve the sensitive and sometimes risky task of resolving conflicts between neighbors, Zierenberg said his 28 years of experience in law enforcement gives him an advantage over other applicants.
"I thought I was the most-qualified person for the job, " he said. "I set up a similar program when I was a narcotics detective for narcotics complaints. I think I can put forth a common-sense approach to code enforcement in Lyon County."
Zierenberg is spending his first weeks on the job setting up his Yerington office, scrambling for needed equipment, developing policies and creating the necessary reporting forms. However, he said he does not expect to spend much time in his office.
"Once everything is in place I do not intend to be here a whole lot. I intend to be out in the field and I look forward to eventually having a field office in Silver Springs," he said. "About the only thing I still need is a four-wheel drive vehicle to give me access to those difficult spots."
He said past records show the majority of complaints come from the Silver Springs-to-Mound House Highway 50 corridor.
"My major challenge will be in dealing with the rural attitude of residents in a rapidly changing area," Zierenberg said. "Many of them moved there so they could do whatever they wanted, but the county is in transition from this rural scenario.
"The addition of more residents from out of state who like the rural lifestyle but not the refuse and junk of some of their neighbors is causing friction -- junk to some can be considered a treasure by others."
Zierenberg is working under the auspices of the district attorney. His office is on the first floor of the old Court House building.
Zierenberg and his wife Pam have been residents of Silver Springs since 1998. Anyone wishing to contact Zierenberg's office call 577-5221 toll free from Silver Springs/Dayton or 463-6518.
For more information: call 577-5221 or 463-6518