Category Archives: Communications

Permit Folder

Permitting doesn’t have to be troublesome

Issuing permits can be time consuming. Not to mention keeping up on the inspections and follow-up of those permits. Code Enforcement officers tell us that before Codepal, they had to call the office when they noticed various permitting violations to see if permits were issued and tracking permit inspections was a nightmare. Now they are able to quickly determine if a stop is necessary and schedule their inspections with ease. Codepal allows a complete history tracking of a property, with quick scheduling features.

Food Truck Permitting

Food trucks are making their way to fairs, markets, and outside events, firework stands have taken over empty lots and burn permits are being requested daily.

Building and Fire are inundated with these types of temporary permit applications and inspections every summer. How do you prepare for the added workload? Were you receiving bad press over last-minute firework permit delays?

The Food Truck industry has boomed in recent years and expects to generate $2.7 billion in revenue this year alone. Spurred by low startup costs and consumer demand Food Trucks are here to stay. But keeping these trucks safe is a huge challenge for city officials and the Codepal staff has been listening.

Links to interesting food truck articles:

Firework Permitting

In addition to commercial Fireworks displays a growing number of states are relaxing regulation of personal fireworks. Iowa is the most recent state to allow Fireworks creating a lot of work for fire prevention professionals and city officials. Permits and inspections need to be done where the fireworks are stored, sold and used to ensure everyone’s safety!

Links to interesting fireworks articles:

Burn Permitting

Not every citizen understands or follows local burn laws. On top of permits and inspections, many AHJs must conduct, city officials must be on the lookout for unauthorized and illegal burning as well.

Links to interesting articles:

Let us Help!

  • ISSUE: Quickly issue permits from your desk or on site.
  • TRACK: Easily track all permits
  • INSPECT: Schedule and inspect from the field
  • COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT: Follow up on safety complaints with ease


Man yelling in phone

5 Tips for Dealing with Difficult People

Category : Communications , Trends

Whether you are an inspector, code enforcement officer, permitting clerk or administrator, you’ve probably dealt with a difficult person in the workplace. A disgruntled co-worker. An angry community member. A building or business owner. These situations are difficult at best and dangerous at worse. Let’s discuss how to deal with difficult people.

Listen and be alert

The key when dealing with a difficult person is to always be alert, don’t let your guard down. Know the warning signs. Listen for the changes in their voice (volume, tension). Watch for the tell-tale warning signs in their body language. Once you’re able to note when the tensions are rising, you may be able to diffuse the situation quickly without incident. Above all, most people just want to feel like they have been heard. Utilize active listening skills and try to diffuse the situation before it becomes larger.

Check your ego at the door

It is important for you to stay calm. Do not add to the tension by allowing the situation to emotionally charge you. Losing your temper could trigger the difficult person into action. Importantly, check your ego at the door. The majority of the time, the person is not angry with you. Perhaps it is the situation and possibly something else entirely. However, this does not mean you should be a doormat. Be firm, but fair and remain rational.

Show empathy and compassion

Treat the other person with respect, even if they have not earned it. Most of us work in a service providing industry and the way we act reflects not only on us but our employers too. Empathy and compassion go hand in hand. Try to determine the cause of the underlying issue, offer compassion and understanding. There may be a hidden need. Remain clear and focused on finding a resolution.

The truth is, you can’t reason with an unreasonable person.

Barbara Markway Ph.D.
20 Expert Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People

Do not issue demands

Issuing demands in an already volatile situation may not help resolve the issue when dealing with a difficult person. Offer clear solutions and resolutions. Providing options starting with the positive first and then move from there. Carefully detail consequences in a factual manner and verify the person understands. The majority of the time, people will choose the option that best serves their interest.

Anger in an escalated situation will only result in more anger. Keep it in check.

Protect yourself and trust your instincts

What if the issues escalate? When dealing with a person who is irrational, it is wise to keep some space between you for your safety. Going along with the first tip, be alert – trust your instincts. If you feel like the situation is escalating beyond your control, you need to safely remove yourself from the situation and call a higher authority for a resolution. If you are that authority, follow through with the consequences that have been discussed and carefully proceed in the manner in which you were trained.


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TEAM

Building a Successful Team

When Not Everyone Wants to Belong

We have been serving the people who serve the public for fifteen years. Over this time, we have recognized that there are organizations who serve well and others who struggle providing the services offered. Many times, I am reminded of my childhood when I was taught to play nice with others. I believe this is because we see workers that do not know how to belong to a team.

Sometimes all it takes is one person within an organization who doesn’t play nice. If this person is in a position of leadership or key responsibility, whole projects can be in trouble. At times people can take on bully tendencies at work. This may not be the person’s typical personality trait, but a situation has brought the behavior to the surface. At this point, the whole organization can become dysfunctional.

We have such a good team now that some days it is hard to remember that we’ve had times of dysfunction. I love when a team functions as a team and everyone can use their talents and gifts to maximum benefit for our own company and for our clients. God is really blessing us. However, we know, no business is exempt from toxicity and we work at the balance.

Don’t ignore the issue

When we work with organizations to implement our software, we recognize the people who are barriers to success, it is partially because we have experienced that problem ourselves. These people may be smart and have other great qualities but may be resistant to change. This is probably the greatest difficulty in any industry, overcoming not only resistance to change but flat out refusal to change.

Or perhaps there is an internal personnel issue. This is a tough situation. No one likes being uncomfortable around people. We have found coworkers treading lightly around some difficult people. These workers might consider any interaction with others to be an imposition, and in most of these cases, the other workers agree. This does not lend to a positive and productive team environment.

Lessons Learned

Here is what we have learned. When possible extend patience and kindness to people even when it is hard. Projects are meant to make organizations a better place; better efficiency should equate to more productivity. Creating buy-in from your employees is the most important. Ask questions that make them feel worthwhile. These difficult people most often just want to be heard. Listen to them and guide them to the changes in their work habits.

Other Tips:
  • Get involved, handle the issues at hand, immediately.
  • Build the team members up and create a positive work environment.
  • Open up the communications to assist the situation.
  • Be prepared to make tough decisions and stand by your decision.

Be satisfied to win them over slowly. This undoubtedly could push the date of project completion out but will ensure greater overall success if all team members are involved.

Avoid Organization Dysfunction to Reach Project Success

If people in management positions are unwilling to deal with the problem worker, the result will be organization dysfunction. This dysfunction will result in wasted resources, time and money. And like a fungus, will grow throughout your organization. The end result is most likely project failure. Nothing we do will make a successful system implementation if a change is not embraced, encouraged and accepted. I never like to walk away from a sale, however, project failure is not our goal. We work with our clients to successfully complete projects to reach an organizational goal.

“Be prepared to help your staff push through any growing pains. Put your house in order first, your processes must be in place before expecting software to fix it. You have to be in it to win it and have the mentality to commit and stick with it.”

Felix Reyes, DIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND PLANNING NEW LONDON, CT http://www.codepaltoolkit.com/2019/02/14/city-of-new-london-success-story/

If you have dysfunction growing on your team, all is not lost. Set your goal and build your plan. Ask yourself who needs to be part of this project, and am I willing to do what it takes to make sure each member of our team is on board? Follow through and plan for success, not a failure.

Other useful links:


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