Fuda’s fellow commissioners say drone use is too invasive of privacy

Published: Thu, June 13, 2019 @ 12:05 a.m.

Staff report


The answer is back from Trumbull County Commissioners Dan Polivka and Mauro Cantalamessa regarding the question of drone use to help identify building code violators: No.

During a public debate at this week’s commissioners’ workshop, both commissioners said the idea generated by fellow Commissioner Frank Fuda and Bob Jadloski, local photographer and drone pilot, to teach one or more employees of the county’s building inspection department to operate a drone instead of driving around looking for violations would be too invasive of the public’s privacy.

Currently, Nick Massacci, enforcement specialist, drives around looking for violations, but he is prohibited from looking in backyards without permission from the homeowner.

Polivka said having a drone flying overhead, especially in a person’s backyard, makes people uncomfortable.

He gave the example of a person being in their hot tub or the drone looking in a window.

Jadlonski said last week during a presentation if the drone was being used legally and logically, it would not capture images from windows.

Fuda said one reason for considering the use of drones is because the enforcement specialist job, added a year ago, is costing the county an additional $70,949 annually, including benefits, and he wonders if a drone would allow the work to be done less expensively.

Fuda said he questions whether adding Massucci as code enforcement specialist has paid for itself.

Chief Building Official Mike Sliwinski has said the reason for creating the code enforcement position is to bring in more revenue by making people understand someone is out looking for violations.

Fuda said he made Polivka and Cantalamessa aware of last week’s presentation that was advertised as a public meeting. Neither one attended.

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