Among his many duties as code enforcement officer, Ken Turner will issue permits for trimming or cutting down trees. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]
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Former firefighter to enforce Apalachicola’s codes

Ken Turner wants to put a kinder, gentler face to code enforcement.

The 51-year-old retired professional firefighter from Albany, Georgia, newly hired to succeed Glenn Jenkins as Apalachicola’s code enforcement officer, is looking to work closely with residents and businesses in making sure the rules are administered fairly.

“I heard from a few people that code enforcement is not a well-liked person,” said Turner. “That’s a stigma I’m going to try to change. I want to be a benefit to the community.

“I’m here to help the public and if I see somebody’s working to try to correct something. I’m going to work with them the best I can.

“Everybody has to follow the same rules, but when you do have an issue you want to be treated with respect and dignity,” he said. “You treat them like you want to be treated and you tend to get better results.”

Turner succeeds former code enforcement officer Glenn Jenkins, a retired North Carolina police officer, who retired at the end of last year. Jenkins sometimes drew fire for his tough approach to code enforcement, but City Manager Travis Wade said he did all that asked of him.

“He was going by the fee schedule we had; I don’t think it gave him discretion to vary from that,” said Wade. “He never violated any rules. He did a very difficult job and I thought he did a good job doing it.”

In late January, Turner emerged as Wade’s hire for the post, after interviewing with him and Tammy Owens, the city’s building official.

“He had experience doing fire safety inspections and citing people for violation of fire code,” said Wade. “We felt his experience was compatible with that position.

Turner will be paid the same annual salary as Jenkins, roughly $40,000.

A native of Albany, Turner graduated high school in 1989, and in Dec. 1990 joined the Albany Fire Department, where he served for 32 years before retiring in January as assistant chief. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fire science from Columbia Southern University in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Together with wife Marcy, Turner is living in his family’s home on St. George Island, but is looking to find something he can buy. The couple have two grown daughters, Kinsley, 24, and Marley, 20.

“I was too young to not do something,” he said. “This job was a catalyst to help me get here.”

Turner has already joined up with the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department, so that will be an additional asset to the city.

He’s obtained certification in the administrative aspects for code enforcement, after attending a weeklong class in Panama City.

So far he’s not levied any fines, and has busied himself in addressing complaints and in the task of permitting fences, trees, fill dirt, signs and sidewalk matters.

“Everybody I have talked to has been nice and done what needed to be done to alleviate the problem,” he said.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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