Meet your government
Every Monday, The Times takes a look at someone who keeps local government running smoothly.
Code Enforcement Field Supervisor André Niles said when it comes to his job, it’s all about staying positive.
Niles oversees Hall County’s Code Enforcement division, a department that handles violations of "anything that has to do with Hall County codes and ordinances," Niles said.
Code enforcement handles a variety of violations, including dumping on a road, operating a business without a license and zoning issues.
Though he may be intimidating initially, Niles said he always tries to put people at ease and help them resolve their issues.
Niles said the first thing he tries to do with people who are in violation of county code is tell them what is and is not permitted and then teach them how they can correct their problem. Though they may not be happy to hear it, he said people are more likely to respond to kindness.
"It really depends on your first initial contact," Niles said. "If you go out with a smile on your face and show them you’re really there to try to help them understand as opposed to going out and being really authoritative, they have a more warm response back to you."
Niles said this is his second time working with code enforcement. He started out in that department and then became a park ranger.
In May, Hall County created the Public Safety Department by grouping animal control, code enforcement and park rangers together into one unit. Following the creation of that unit, Niles was asked to head the code enforcement division.
Niles said he enjoys working in the new public safety department because employees are able to work in all three areas.
He still spends time patrolling the parks, and may best be known by children in the area as the guy who gives out "junior park ranger" stickers.
Niles said one of the best parts of his job is getting to meet many different kinds of people from all over the county.
"I learn more and more about people every day and not to judge because you never know," Niles said.
He said he especially enjoys getting to meet people from different countries who have moved to Hall County.
Though he is interested in other cultures, Niles said he would never want to call anywhere but Hall County home.
"I’m Hall County born, bred, never left, always been here," he said.
When he is not at work, Niles enjoys gardening and history. He also officiates high school football and serves on the board of directors for Friends of Recovery.